News/Columns Oct 2020

The Great Outdoors, by Larry Whiteley

The Great Outdoors


 Most people think the spring spawn is the best time for crappie but fall can be great too. The smell of wood smoke from campfires and chimneys drifts through the cool air. You might see an eagle out fishing too.  The sound of honking geese could cause you to stop fishing for a moment so you look up and see them flying south in their V-formation. They know that winter is coming.

Most important though is the crappie are usually active and more than willing to engulf your offerings. Like the geese, they know that winter is coming too. It’s a great time to stock up the freezer for the cold days ahead or maybe enjoy a fall fish fry.

During the spring spawn you’ll find crappie fishermen everywhere you look but in the fall they’re hunting, raking leaves, cutting wood or doing other fall chores around the house so you have a lot less competition. The fall colors are the bonus and only add to the beauty of crappie fishing in October.


 I wonder why more people don’t realize that sunsets and sunrises in God’s great outdoors are a lot more entertaining than television shows, YouTube, Facebook or Instagram?


 If you are lucky enough to get to hunt or even fish on someone’s land, you should consider it a real privilege. It only takes a minute to ask permission and even less time to close a gate, shake a hand or say thank you.


 Practice your calling as often as you can prior to duck season. Find a place outdoors where you won’t bother anybody and practice calling at normal volume levels. When you feel pretty good about how you’re sounding use your smart phone to tape yourself and then compare your calling to recordings of live ducks.


Those of us who hunt deer have had those wonderful quiet times as we sit in our treestands. You know the feeling. We are in our stand and have everything ready. It’s still dark in the woods as we wait. Squirrels and birds aren’t up yet so it’s quiet. Really quiet!

For me this is the time my thoughts go back to the big buck I took from this same stand several seasons ago. I think about the little nub buck that played hide and seek with me and my grandson one morning.

I remember the year when I shot a doe from this stand and I sat there and watched for an hour as eleven small bucks came in to check her out. I also think about when I shot a nice buck with my new crossbow from this stand. I think of the times sitting here with my grandson who is now a senior in college. I think about God who gave me these quiet moments in a treestand.

Memories! Lots of Memories!

The sun starts to peek through the trees and the quiet is gone. Squirrels chatter and birds sing. It’s time to hunt.


“In the entire circle of the year there are no days so delightful as those of a fine October.” ~Alexander Smith

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