Archery and small game hunting seasons are here

Published 6:40 pm Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fall is in the air. It’s time to think about hunting as the small game and archery seasons are now open. It is a great time to get out and enjoy the outdoors with the many different hunting opportunities that will be available to us. I have always felt that once the archery season begins, fall seems to go by all too fast.

Looking back to my days as a youth I don’t have many memories of doing any actual hunting until I was a teen.

Pheasant hunting was the only hunting I actually did that didn’t involve my Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. When hunting with my trusty BB gun there was no season and of course I never hunted anything that was actually considered game with it. Usually none of the critters that were afoot or in flight had any need to worry when me and “Old Red” were on the prowl.

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I can remember waiting for summer vacation and the excitement of doing anything (within reason) you wanted for almost three whole months. The first couple weeks of my summer vacation were spent anxiously awaiting the arrival of my first copy of the Weekly Reader. I didn’t get much mail (I was a kid) so I’d be patiently waiting for the mailman to drive up to our mailbox just hoping that he’d have the mail that was just for me.

I guess like most kids after a couple of weeks of summer vacation I would get bored but there were ways to solve that little problem. Does anyone remember a game called stretch, or did we just make that one up? Roger, the oldest kid in our neighborhood came up with this game where you had to stand in one place and throw a knife so it would stick in the ground and then you’d move one foot out so it touched the knife while keeping the other foot in place. The one that had the longest stretch would win. You could do as many sticks as you dared in order to extend your leg. If we got caught by one of the “warden moms” the knives would be confiscated and the party was over unless a butter knife was snuck out of the kitchen drawer so the game could continue.

Do you know how smart a guy must have looked when he stabbed himself in the foot with a butter knife? Boy that hurt! I don’t think we ever figured out why Roger, who was older and taller, always won at that game.

There are a few sayings that I used to hear while growing up that most kids today wouldn’t have a clue as to the meaning. Most of these are phrases that I heard used by the adults (mainly my mother) while I was growing up.

A few weeks ago we had a blue moon which is two full moons in the same month, a rare occurance. The phrase “once in a blue moon” was more than likely derived from that. Have you ever had to toe the line? Are you worth your salt? Have you ever taken someone under your wing or worked on something until the cows came home? I can remember the saying go to bed with the chickens and don’t let the bed bugs bite. At one time or another we have all gotten up at the crack of dawn or gone on a wild goose chase and when you didn’t have much to say someone would undoubtedly ask you if the cat had gotten your tongue? This would sometimes be followed by a penny for your thoughts which isn’t much in today’s money market. If you had found some lint somewhere or a dust ball that was called “roosk.” You could have as many of something as Carters had little liver pills. If you were trying to achieve a great feat you were attempting to make your mark and someone may have told you that you were a chip off the old block. You could be fit as a fiddle and cuter than a bug’s ear but if someone told you that you were full of beans it could make you madder than a wet hen.


Feel the wow of fall at Minnesota state parks

and trails

The leaves are beginning to change color here and there around the state, and staff at Minnesota state parks and trails have planned a variety of special programs and events to help visitors feel the “wow” of fall, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Online reports will be updated weekly by staff at Minnesota state parks and recreation areas. As in past years, these reports will include percent of color change, peak color projections, flowers and grasses in bloom, and three parks considered “hot picks” of the week. The fall color reports, updated by noon every Thursday, are posted on the DNR website.

The DNR also offers fall colors “to go” on a mobile website compatible with smart phones and tablets. The mobile fall color reports include percent of color change, integrated with Google maps. To access the mobile site, scan the QR code at the DNR website or bookmark this site on a smart phone or other mobile device.

Colors typically peak between mid-September and early October in the northern third of Minnesota, between late September and early October in the central third, and between late September and mid-October in the southern third (which includes the Twin Cities).

“The fall colors are arriving right on schedule in northern Minnesota, and they’re making their way south,” said Jana Albers, forest health specialist for the DNR’s Forestry Division. “We had a decent amount of rain in August across much of the state, and if the sunshine and cool nights continue in September, that’s the ideal recipe for fall color. There are already splashes of color wherever you go, and it’s only going to get better in the weeks to come.”

Many family-oriented Minnesota programs and special events will take place at Minnesota state parks and trails and other public lands to coincide with peak color projections in their area. There will be guided hikes, bike rides and ATV rides, geocaching and canoeing programs, and scavenger hunts and harvest festivals.

For more information about these and many other free programs and special events, visit the online calendar or call the DNR Information Center at 651-259-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Information Center can also provide fall color updates to those without access to the DNR website.


Until next time, hunt safe and always try to take a little time out of your busy day to enjoy the outdoors experience.

Please remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers because they are the reason we are able to enjoy all the great freedoms that we have today.


Dick Herfindahl’s column appears in the Tribune each Sunday.