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Shadow: Fall is the season of harvest, and this one is looking good for hunting and fishing

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Doesn’t seem like fall could be just around the corner, but here it comes.

The corn and beans are all turning into harvestable colors now, with daily changes being very evident. Looks like a rain eminent as I write this, but that, too, will pass shortly and the fall harvest of grain crops will continue.

I’ve been noticing some really nice looking calves on the neighboring farms — looks like the abundance of rain that created good pasture really paid off in the offspring. The old cows have to have good and abundant food to provide well for the babies.

The same process as above applies to most of the other wildlife and the flora and mast crops. The nut trees are loaded and my pear and apple trees literally broke themselves apart from the over-abundant loads.

The early pears are about gone now, as are the plums and peaches, but the apples are just now coming ripe. The late pears will be quite some time now before they are edible. They don’t ripen until after the first frost or until they are removed from the tree and shelved for a while.

The whitetail deer crop looks good with numbers of twins apparent and several sightings of triplets being reported. Seems like I’ve seen fawns of several sizes. That must be the result of some of the does conceiving at the first rut and some of the others not until later. This same is true for the rabbit population, but it’s not that uncommon there since they seem to have offspring every chance they get anyway.

I think the squirrel population is good but the dense foliage is making it very hard to see them long enough to harvest them. As the fall progresses the foliage will decrease and the nuts will start falling, both of which will improve the squirrel hunting.

Both the crappie and the largemouth bass creel reports have been continuing to be exceptional for this time of year, with sizes and numbers being reported as very good. Some of the crappie seem to be deeper, but several anglers are still catching shallow water crappie also. As the fall continues and the fall feeding patterns improve, the success rate will improve even more.

Archery deer season is just around the corner, and with the fall harvest of grain crops being in-progress already, that should just improve the prospect of putting venison in the freezer and trophies on your walls.

The early archery hunting season is always a challenge since the farm machinery always seems to be operating right next door to where I wanted to hunt that particular evening. But it’s good to see the numbers of deer. I pass up several before settling on the one that looks like venison steaks or large antlers on the wall.

I’ve been spending some time in the saddle riding the fence rows and forests, and am amazed at the numbers of small bucks that look to be great prospects for the future years if we will let them mature awhile.

Merlin Otto reset the shoes on my mare today so she’s all ready for a trip to Shawnee National forest, I hope. I’ve been planning a trip there for some time but have been tied up building a new horse barn. Seems like it’s been a long process but it’s coming together now and maybe that trip will transpire yet.

The fall colors will be coming soon to show us another of the wonders of Gods creations. Be sure to get out and look at all the shades and hues that occur in the various plants and trees as the fall season progresses. Even some of the invasive species and the poison ivy gets pretty at some point.

Dave Shadow Mug

Dave Shadow

Dave Shadow is a national fishing champion and outdoor columnist. Contact him at


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