Photo of our 9-year-old nephew, Mason Dovel, with the 10-point IA buck he got this year.
In this part of the country, when the calendar rolls over to the month of October and the trees begin to change colors, many of the men, women, and children are dreaming of getting the buck of a lifetime. Or maybe just the first buck of their life. Some just want a nice doe to put some meat in the freezer. Whatever they’re after, it’s the thrill of the hunt and the feeling you get walking thru the crisp leaves after the first frost, smelling the fresh scent of clean country air as you walk to your stand, anticipating the feeling of pitting your skills against Mother Nature one more time that gets you out of a warm bed before daylight. For many, it’s a heritage passed down from father or mother to son or daughter for several generations from way back when it wasn’t just a sport to enjoy, but a desperate need to put food on the table. It’s a great bonding experience that many friends and family members enjoy year after year. Legal, ethical hunting practices and safety rules are taught each year to hundreds of young people in the area in order for them to receive their Hunter Education Certificates. Living in an electronic society as we do with everyone glued to their iPhones, iPads, or computers these days, it’s good to see that some are still hitting the woods each fall to get away from all that and commune with nature. Watching the sun come up over the horizon, listening to the squirrels scampering around in their search for more nuts to put away for winter, and the sound of the Canadian Geese overhead as they head to warmer climates, there’s something in it that touches your soul.
Deer season begins in our tri-state area of southwest IA, northwest MO, and southeast NE in the early fall, beginning with archery season followed by muzzle loader, rifle, and shotgun seasons throughout the rest of the fall & winter. Camouflage and Hunter Orange are the fashion colors seen throughout the area for the next three or four months each year. Pick-ups parked along the roads and in fields everywhere in the early morning and late afternoon hours are a common sight. The local restaurants are filled with hunters telling their latest hunting stories or showing off pictures on their cell phones of their biggest bucks or their grandkid’s first deer over lunch. It’s a great tradition that can be enjoyed by everyone and part of what makes life on the back roads a nice place to live!
By Debbie Dovel