Where did summer go?

By Roger Wolfe

Where has summer gone?

It seems like only weeks ago we couldn’t wait for the weather to break and the sun to shine again so we could get outside and get rid of all the snow. Next thing you know, we are in the middle of a full blown heat wave looking for some relief and now summer is gone and hunting seasons are right around the corner.

Can I get an Amen? It is hard to believe that school is back in session and it won’t be long before the leaves start to change and the hunters will return to the woods. Hunters are just like kids at Christmas waiting for the season to open, it seems like it will never come, then BAM it is upon us.

This year is no different. In just a couple of weeks the various hunting seasons will start to open. Before you know it they will be gone again. To get things rolling, Dove season and Ginseng season both open up on September 1st.

If you like a fine meal of squab every now and then and you love some fast paced wing shooting action, then dove hunting might be just the thing. Whether you find a field full of birds and take up a position and wait on the doves to come to you, or you get with a bunch of buddies and put on small drives to flush the birds by waiting shooters, it can definitely be a lot of fun and just as much action.

If wing shooting isn’t your thing and you have gotten way behind on your scouting for deer season, ginseng might be a good way to get some much needed time in the woods. The famed medicinal root that grows wild all throughout Appalachia can be tough to find, but it can also bring a pretty fair price to those who are willing to put in the leg work.

Prices for a pound of dry roots are usually somewhere in the $400-$600 range. Add that with all the pre-season scouting you can do for squirrels, deer, turkey and bear and it is definitely a win win scenario.

Hot on the heels of the dove opener, you have the statewide youth hunt for squirrel. This kicks off on September 3rd and is designed to give the youngsters first crack at the bushy tails before the full season opens up on September 10th.

If you are looking to chase bigger game, the early bear firearm season kicks off on September 3rd as well in the southern counties of Logan, Mingo, McDowell, and Wyoming. It will be warm to be chasing bear, but there are plenty of bruins scattered around the mountains to give hunters a fair chance at bagging a bruiser.

Just a few short weeks after the very first of the fall seasons open, perhaps the most anticipated day of the year in this region shows up on September 24th with the opening of archery season. The first few weeks of the season offer a unique opportunity to bag that trophy buck or fine tasting doe while the deer are still in that lazy summer and very predictable feeding pattern.

The temperatures might be a little warm for hunting, but don’t let that keep you out of the woods. There will be plenty of great opportunities in the early season for those hunters willing to battle the temperatures and the bugs to take advantage of them.

Oh, let’s not forget, that even though hunting season is open, that there is still plenty of fishing to do. There will be plenty of action on the water as well. As the water temperatures start to cool off, the fish will get more active which means great things for fishermen.

Just a small drop in water temperature will get the fall crappie, smallmouth and even those big catfish started feeding in preparation for the lean times of winter. Be prepared to take advantage of their need to feed!

As the evenings start to cool off to a more comfortable level and the leaves start to change their colors, there is no better time to be outdoors. The only question that remains is how did we get here so fast and where has this summer gone? I guess it is true that time flies when you are having fun.


By Roger Wolfe

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