Following a couple of wet and wild weeks, the weather has finally returned to more predictable patterns. However, a combination of warm, sunny days and plenty of standing water has helped mosquitoes return to the woods. Unfortunately, the winged warriors have returned in swarms, just in time for the arrival of our annual Indian Summer. Where’s the snow, ice and cold weather when we need it?
Another woodland oddity of early autumn is an unusual proliferation of spider webs. It seems the webs are everywhere, and it’s been difficult to walk more than a few paces on the trail, without feeling a spider web in the face.
Despite the bugs, the webs, and the bad weather, we are rapidly approaching the Sportsman’s High Holy Days of Autumn. It is a timeframe that allows a return to our roots; where we can revel in the joy of outdoor sports, and share in the adventures that bind all outdoor sporting enthusiasts.
In recent months, there’s been a flurry of legislative activity that will affect sporting endeavors across the generations. The most important of these measures was approval of a new Junior Archery License that allows twelve-year old archers to participate in the annual Big Game Hunting Season, when accompanied by a licensed, adult archer. The new measure allows youth hunters to become involved with the sport at a crucial point in the development of their life skills and outdoor pursuits.
Whether a youngster is involved in hunting, fishing, skiing or biking, the benchmark for developing a regular recreational pursuit into a lifelong commitment is typically achieved by the age of 12 years, in 5th or 6th grade. It is important to get the current generation of youth involved in the outdoors, especially due to the omnipresent allure of electronic entertainment opportunities. Whether they decide to be hunters or hikers, anglers or paddlers, skiers or ‘shoers, they’ll be doing it outdoors! “If you hunt with your kids, you’ll never have to hunt for them.”
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org