Seasonal transitions and traditions

"I missed," he remarked, "I can't believe it, it was only 15 yards away!"

And, so the new season began. In my mind's eye, that single shot confirmed the transition. No longer was there any room for thoughts of salmon, brook trout or fresh ski tracks.

Now it is a time to concentrate on whitetails, to study their activities, their travel routes. I knew I'd have to focus and remain alert, as the deer should be up and moving following the big storm.

A very abrupt juxtaposition of pursuits occurred instantly in my mind. I shifted from fins to fur and welcomed the new season and it's fresh snow. The weekend in camp provided a lot of laughs as we shot and reshot deer in our memories, the only venison that made it's way to the skillet was taken during the bow season.

When we departed camp Sunday evening, plenty of snow still remained in the upper elevations and leaves were dropping from the trees like raindrops. Although the landscape was undergoing a gradual process of change, the sporting seasons had already been adjusted.

On Monday morning, I put away my rods and reels and reorganized the canoes and boats. I still have to pull the big boat out of the lake, but it can wait until next week. Saturday is the Opening Day, a whole new season begins and I can't wait!

Women on the hunt

According to new figures from the National Sporting Goods Association, more women than men were recruited into the hunting fraternity last year.

As the total number of hunters in the U.S. decreased slightly between 2008 and 2009, the number of female hunters increased by about 5.4 percent. Women involved in muzzleloading grew by 134.6 percent, bow huntresses grew by 30.7 percent and the number of females hunting with firearms was up by about 3.5 percent.

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