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Into the Outdoors: Thanksgiving Memories


I can hardly believe it. As this is being written, Thanksgiving is only a week away. Time is flying by so fast. It seems as though Memorial Day was only a little while ago. As I write, it is also snowing.

Thanksgiving is, to me, a wonderful holiday. It evokes a flood of memories.

When I was a kid, my dad and I would always go squirrel hunting on Thanksgiving morning. We always enjoyed it, although it was perhaps a way to make the time go by while waiting for the turkey to roast. Sometimes, we had to clean squirrels when we got home, but that was okay. I think about those things every year. While my mother didn’t like to cook, she was a master at it. I still love Thanksgiving, but I am somewhat saddened by the “empty chairs” around the dinner table. My wife, my mother, my dad, and my mother-in-law are all gone. I still have a lot of great memories of them, which I cherish.

Of course, the first day of buck season is this Saturday. There was a time when this ranked right in there with the year’s other holidays. Now, not so much. For one thing, changing it from the Monday after Thanksgiving had a negative effect. Antler restrictions did a lot to ruin the day for me as well. Nowadays, a lot of the guys with whom I used to hunt are dead. Since the Covid, I have had balance issues, I tire more easily, and am even more sensitive to cold. Worst of all, my best friend, Old Bub, is having medical problems. There is little chance that we will be out there together on the first day. I know that all of this might sound a bit depressing, but it is not meant to be so. It is simply a reflection of the cycle of life.

On another front, since the bears are probably getting pretty sleepy by now, I think it’s time to put the bird feeders back out. In fact, birds are showing up at the feeder locations. Watching the birds at the feeder is always a pleasant treat.

This seems to be a good fall for walleye fishing. I know they are hitting in the Allegheny, and I have read reports that the action on Lake Erie is hot as well. Over the years, I have had some really great walleye action at this time of year. The cold is a bit of a pain. As the water cools, you have to remember that the fish are slower. If you are using lures, you have to adjust your retrieve accordingly. It might be just my imagination, but it seems as though the filets are firmer and tastier out of cold water.

I find myself getting more and more interested in magnet fishing. Now that the docks are out in Brady’s Bend, the opportunities abound. When people are taking out their private docks, they have a tendency to drop stuff in the water. There is excitement every time you toss the magnet. You might get nothing or a real treasure. Remember, if you have a pacemaker or other medical device, magnet fishing is out for you, as powerful magnets can affect the operation of your device.

In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a really, really happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy it with family and friends.

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