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As we head into the peak of the fall season, when the hills are ablaze with color, spend some time taking it all in. This is natures grand finale, a final show before the drab landscape and doldrums of winter set in. Take a moment to appreciate the spectacular reds, oranges, and yellows of the leaves. On cool October mornings or evenings, when there's a nice nip in the air, breathe it in. Let it stir the primal hunter within, this is the time we wait for all year. All of spring and summer has been spent by both plants and animals, preparing for this one last spectacle.

The whitetail buck with his polished set of antlers. The doe and her young of the year, well fed from a summer of succulent browse. The black bear, thick with a layer of fat. Flocks of turkeys, with their almost grown poults. The oaks dropping acorns. The wild grape vines and apple trees, offering up fruit for wildlife. All are at their best. Even the trout in the streams put on a brilliant display of color.

Outdoorsmen and women wait all year for these weeks ahead. They pass far too quickly though, and before you know it, they're gone. So take a moment this season to appreciate all the beauty around you, and realize how lucky you are to behold it all.
 

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very well said... I was out tonight coyote hunting and the cool air the colors.. and the sounds of the woods made a very great evening... let alone watching the sun slowly fade away for the night... some people like to sit in the sun or at the beach... i wish i could trade ten of those days for one more this time of year
 

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It is indeed a special time of year, and you highlight its special uniqueness with clarity and feeling. Well done!


I sat with an old friend yesterday. He turned 90 last month, and through the windows of the nursing home, I pointed out how the wind was howling through the tassles of the field corn on the farm next door and blowing corn slalk litter high into the sky. He didn't recognize me, I soon realized, or understand what I was talking about.

I'd wheeled him down to the "solarium" where visitors could chat with their resident friends, and tried to find a topic from our shared past that might trigger some sign of recollection.

This man introduced me to grouse hunting in the early seventies, and we spent many, many beautiful fall days chasing them behind his Labs in Clearfield and Centre Counties. I mentioned some of the special memories from those hunts together, and which dog retrieved such-and-such grouse, woodcock, or wood duck. He smiled, but I'm pretty sure I hadn't sparked a recollection. I brought up about my first encounter with devil's walking club the day I needed to grab on to something as I slid out of control down an old strippin' bank trying to flush a grouse from a tangle of grapevines. Again, there was no indication of a triggered memory.

I brought up how he and I were members of the Pennsylvania Grouse Association, and wore our arm patches proudly, before there was ever a Ruffed Grouse Society Chapter in our southeastern part of the State. I related accounts of some of our hunts with Charlie and Doc, and how I was always proud to be considered a part of those hunts.

Hunting and Fall combined to enrich my long-standing friendship with the blanket-covered gentleman I wheeled back to his room. With tear-flooded eyes, I rested my left hand on his shoulder, shook his hand, and said good bye, knowing full well my visit was nothing more than an interruption between his lunch and a nap.

Cherish this time of year and those with whom you've shared it. It is indeed a wonderful few weeks for us all, hunters, young and old, and non-hunters alike. Enjoy them, for a time will come when their uniqueness won't matter.
 

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I was in a tree when the sun kissed the mountain tops on thursday morning and it was an awakening.I was a deer hunter,but at the time I was watching the rays of light dance on the forest floor and the shadows swaying with the blowing branches,I was just a speectator.I took pictures of nothing,but yet they were of everything.I watched as the woods came to life,the start of just another day? Oh no this was anything but just another day,this was my day..I am tired from work,but if I lie down now I wont get up early enough to do it all over again this morning.So I will sit here and surf the tube,or read all the old posts and wait until it's time to go watch the show start all over again...Who knows,I might even see a deer.
 

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It is indeed a special time of year, and you highlight its special uniqueness with clarity and feeling. Well done!

I sat with an old friend yesterday. He turned 90 last month, and through the windows of the nursing home, I pointed out how the wind was howling through the tassles of the field corn on the farm next door and blowing corn slalk litter high into the sky. He didn't recognize me, I soon realized, or understand what I was talking about.

I'd wheeled him down to the "solarium" where visitors could chat with their resident friends, and tried to find a topic from our shared past that might trigger some sign of recollection.

This man introduced me to grouse hunting in the early seventies, and we spent many, many beautiful fall days chasing them behind his Labs in Clearfield and Centre Counties. I mentioned some of the special memories from those hunts together, and which dog retrieved such-and-such grouse, woodcock, or wood duck. He smiled, but I'm pretty sure I hadn't sparked a recollection. I brought up about my first encounter with devil's walking club the day I needed to grab on to something as I slid out of control down an old strippin' bank trying to flush a grouse from a tangle of grapevines. Again, there was no indication of a triggered memory.

I brought up how he and I were members of the Pennsylvania Grouse Association, and wore our arm patches proudly, before there was ever a Ruffed Grouse Society Chapter in our southeastern part of the State. I related accounts of some of our hunts with Charlie and Doc, and how I was always proud to be considered a part of those hunts.

Hunting and Fall combined to enrich my long-standing friendship with the blanket-covered gentleman I wheeled back to his room. With tear-flooded eyes, I rested my left hand on his shoulder, shook his hand, and said good bye, knowing full well my visit was nothing more than an interruption between his lunch and a nap.

Cherish this time of year and those with whom you've shared it. It is indeed a wonderful few weeks for us all, hunters, young and old, and non-hunters alike. Enjoy them, for a time will come when their uniqueness won't matter.
Geez Berks !!!
I was hoping at the end you would tell us it was all fiction.

But then I think of all the youngsters strapped in wheelchairs, or enduring debilitating diseases, and one can take comfort in knowing that your partner was able to live a full life, and seemingly enjoyed much of it.
 
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