By PAUL DAVIS, Outdoors Editor
Summer is winding down, and I couldn’t be any happier to see it go away.
I know the majority of people love summer days on the river or going to the beach or whatever, but you can have your river days and beach time and all of that. I certainly won’t be crowding you. I’d rather spend my time away from hordes of people.
I’ve been an outdoorsman my whole life, so spring and fall are the best times of year for me, plus they typically aren’t too hot or too cold. The archery deer season kicks off in a couple days, and while I don’t put much effort into it until later in October, I still go as much as possible. That’s because sitting in a stand 18 feet up a tree helps me get away from a hectic daily life. With a breeze in my face, bow in hand and the struggles of a job that’s way more stressful than necessary left behind, I can relax. Most days I don’t even care if I see deer, and more often than not, I pass on any shot opportunity presented. It’s just about being there.
As a prolific wildlife and nature photographer, the fall months are right in my wheelhouse. September and October, in particular, are when the eerie sounds of Missouri’s bull elk bugling can be heard echoing across the hills and valleys at daylight, and it’s when I take every opportunity I get to photograph them.
The mid-fall period of late October brings colors of every sort, ranging from the bright yellows and oranges of hickories and sugar maples to the deep reds of sweetgums and browns of various oak species. For a photographer, a showy autumn display can be the best days of the entire year.
The later days of fall, starting in November, bring waterfowl seasons, something I grew up enjoying with my father. Not many people would say it’s fun to get up hours before daylight, then drag way too much gear into a marsh for a chance to take home a few ducks that don’t even taste very good, but I’m one of them.
I’ve always said the spring turkey season was my favorite hunting season, but fall is my favorite time of year, and if I can find a way to get away from a hectic daily grind, I plan to make the most of it.
Paul Davis is a writer, photographer and outdoors editor for the Daily American Republic. He can be reached at email@example.com.