A return to the sporting season

For sports fans, autumn is a time of overlapping seasons. As baseball season rushes toward the playoffs and the football season kicks off, it quickly becomes apparent that hockey season isn't too far behind. With basketball just around the corner and NASCAR still motoring along, it is a difficult time to decide what to watch and who to cheer for. Sometimes it's best to simply drop the remote control, skip them all and settle for the excitement a local high school football or soccer game.

Outdoorsmen and women suffer through a similar dilemma at this time of year, when geese fill the fields and ducks frequent the marshlands. Gun dogs begin pacing to get out in forest or field on the scent of pheasant, ruffed grouse or woodcock, while turkey strut about during a fall season that holds promise of a taste of the wild for Thanksgiving.

Landlocked salmon will soon begin their annual move up the rivers as brook trout begin to sport the magnificent splendors of spawn colors. For the same purposes, lake trout will move into the shoals as brown trout seek deeper pools on the streams.

In the deep woods or the farm fields, the river bottoms or mountaintops, big bucks and black bear will continue to stalk the woodlands. The seasonal transition is apparent on the hillsides, as a multitude of contrasting colors continues to creep across the usual green clad landscape. Heavy frosts will accelerate the process but most enthusiasts are willing wait and see it unfold incrementally.

As apples fall from the trees and mushrooms continue to sprout on the forest floor, the seasonal bounty of forest, field and stream becomes increasingly apparent. At the same time, the decision of which activity to pursue grows increasingly difficult by the day.

It is a time of grand opportunity and great indecision. Each day, the breeze grows cooler and the days get shorter, as wood smoke begins to scent the mountain air and a old, familiar mustiness greets those individuals returning to the woods for an annual, autumn jaunt.

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