Whooee, I really should be grabbing a snack and a nap right now. It’s that time of year, when the decision to chase ducks or bucks is just too darn hard to make most days, so I split the difference by hitting the ground before sun up for the birds and chasing the bucks in the afternoon until dark. Makes for some long days before all is said and done.
The ducks - well what can I say except they really are just starting to arrive. It’s been more scouting than shooting most mornings. I’m hoping the cold friont that’s rapidly heading this way will bring them in by hundreds this evening and tomorrow.
I was relieved to see this just before sun up today though - better morning flight than I’ve seen so far.
And this made my heart smile when the sun got up and I could finally see what I’d been hearing.
Even if there haven’t been that many birds just yet, there sure have been some pretty mornings out there.
The bucks on the other hand have been pretty thick and pretty cooperative.
So now that I’ve used up my lunch time and my nap time to post, I reckon I’ll just full my zombie killer thermos with zombie killer coffee and traipse off to the woods to see how hard the bucks are chasing around today. Well, unless I get sidetracked by a batch of incoming birds….....ducks or bucks…ducks or bucks…either way it’s a grand time of year to be out there. GO OUTSIDE!
Photographers love photographing the sunsets from Wolf Creek Causeway
One of my favorite parts of attending Southern Illinois Hunting and Fishing Days is that I get to have some extra time to photograph the sunrises and sunsets at Crab Orchard NWR.
Wolf Creek Causeway provides a great area to photograph the sunrise or sunset thanks to it’s easy accessibility and ample parking areas. Couple that with a an early morning or dusk drive around the auto wildlife tour just off of the causeway and you will find plenty to fill your memory cards.
A quick visit with the fine folks at the visitor center will also help you to find additional photo opportunities, learn about recent wildlife sightings, and anything of special interest that might be happening around the refuge during your visit.
Here are a few from this past weekends visit.
If you enjoy photographing the outdoors be sure to put a visit to Crab Orchard NWR on your list of must visit spots, and plan to be there at sunrise and stay through sunset! You won’t be disappointed!
I think we can all agree that a day spent hunting beats a day at slaving away at work.
Did you know though, that a day spent hunting in many cases is more affordable than a day spent on the golf course, at a major league ballgame, or any other number of outdoor and recreational activities?
Statistics in NSSF’s (National Shooting Sports Foundation) latest report, “Hunting in the 50 States: Regulations, License Fees, Species and Methods of Take,” clearly show that you get more bang for your buck hunting than in other competing hobbies and activities.
“There’s a misperception about hunting being a very expensive pastime. It can be in some circumstances, but for the most part hunting compares very favorably with the costs of other popular activities like playing golf, attending professional sports games and even going to the movies,” said Jim Curcuruto, NSSF Director of Industry Research and Analysis.
The report estimates the average cost of a day of turkey hunting at $37.54 for license, tags and ammunition, placing it far lower than a round of golf, estimated at $72.54 for greens fees and a sleeve of balls, or a day at a major league ballpark, which will set you back $57.45 for a ticket, parking and a drink and a hotdog. While 10 days of hunting costs essentially the same as one day afield, taking in 10 movies at your neighborhood multiplex will add about $185 onto your credit card.
Of course, “Hunting in the 50 States” includes much more information than these comparisons—information that is valuable to manufacturers, retailers and shooting ranges.
To gain a better understanding of the expenses associated with hunting, NSSF combed through the regulation guides of all 50 states to produce “Hunting in the 50 States,” which consolidates data regarding big and small game, and provides both state-specific and national information.
The new report includes resident and non-resident license and tag costs, number of species available to hunt (more than 40 in some states), available hunting days and legal firearm use by state. The report’s pages contain interesting factoids on hunting—nine states, for example, allow the hunting of white-tailed deer with an air rifle—and there is an entire page on feral hog facts (population estimated at 5 million).
The report reveals how states provide many economic incentives to encourage hunting. Sportsmen and women in South Carolina, for example, enjoy two free days on which they can hunt without purchasing a state hunting license. In many states, licenses for apprentice hunters, juniors, seniors, military and the disabled are modestly priced, including for non-residents.
Source – National Shooting Sports Foundation, (2014, September 24), NSSF Report on ‘Hunting in the 50 States’ Shows Hunting Is More Affordable Than Many Outdoor Activities, Including Golf! [Press Release]
That’s certainly something to keep in mind this weekend as a great many of us will be attending some type of National Hunting and Fishing Days event.
I always get the eye roll from my dearly beloved when he hears me mention that I am headed off to a show or event such as Hunting and Fishing Days. That eye roll is usually followed by some moaning and groaning about “How much is this going to end up costing us?” I get the same eye roll and mumbling when I start exploring and planning a hunting trip especially if it’s in a new location or for a species I haven’t hunted before.
Thanks to the research from National Shooting Sports Foundation I can now counter those eye rolls and grumbles with hard facts. Hey honey – Hunting is indeed more affordable than any other number of things I could be doing recreationally, and big bonus, we end up with healthy food in the freezer !
The Heartland crew will be at Southern Illinois Hunting and Fishing Days in Carterville, IL on the campus of John A. Logan College, both Saturday and Sunday. Please come by our booth, visit a little, and pick up a free copy of Heartland Outdoors magazine. You never know, we just might help you explain to your significant other that hunting is indeed a most affordable, healthy, and tradition filled way to spend time in the great outdoors!