Fall is my favorite season for a number of reasons. I am much more suited to cooler weather than the heat of summer, so I always look forward to this time of year when the temperatures outside become more bearable – and even drop down to the freezing range overnight. I love those first mornings when you can see your breath again and need to put on a few extra layers.
But the biggest reason I love fall is that it comes with hunting season.
When I was just a kid, I wanted to hunt with my dad so I could shoot a gun or a bow, and I was stoked to bring home a deer, a duck or a pheasant. I was excited to be able to shoot, and even more excited to get something.
But over the years, shooting and harvesting have played a less important role for me. These days, I don’t need to fill my freezer, or even take a shot, to have a successful hunt. It doesn’t matter if I’m bowhunting for elk, rifle hunting for deer, or sitting in a blind or walking the fields with a shotgun hunting birds. The important thing is just getting out there.
Even better is getting out there with good friends. We may not actually hunt together – we might go in separate directions from camp, but we get together around the fire each night and talk about what we saw and did. A bird hunt gives us a chance to get out in the field with our best friend, and watching that dog just do what dogs love to do is more rewarding than getting our limit. Even if we don’t kick up a single bird, it’s one of the most rewarding things we can do.
And there’s no minimum time required. It can be a week-long hunt, or a month in the field if you can get that kind of time off, or it can just be a weekend, or even a morning. The important thing is to just get out there. And enjoy this gift we get every year. Happy fall to you.