Autumn is finally here, and some people are saying that the September sun is warmer than the one in July. No one can argue that this year has been one of the warmest on record.
The Mountain State Forest Festival will be in full swing in about a week, and deer archery season will start on Sept. 29. It's like what I have said before "time flies" when everyone is having a good time.
In several counties, the early black bear firearm season will come in on Monday, Sept. 24. The counties in this special hunt include all of Greenbrier, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Randolph, Tucker and Webster. Barbour (east of State Route 92), Braxton (east of Interstate 79) and Clay (south of Elk River) will also be open for bear hunting during these three days. During this early hunt, bears may be hunted with or without dogs.
By now, the bear hunters who choose to hunt with dogs should have their animals thoroughly trained. They should also have all of their necessary shots and a physical check-ups from a veterinarian.
Bow hunters should have all of their archery equipment ready for action and be physically capable themselves to drag a bear or deer out of the woods. I doubt if there will be any snow on the ground in late September to assist in a drag like this.
I have not talked with very many people who have been squirrel hunting so far. One friend of mine went over to Pendleton County on the opening day and was able to get one bushytail. Most people I know agree with me that it's just too darned hot to be hunting in the woods this time of the year.
Several nimrods who have been scouting have told me the ticks are really bad this summer, and that yellow jackets are also quite aggressive. Of all stinging insects, I have said before that yellow jackets are the ones I fear the most. These are the leading reasons why I stayed indoors in a nice air-conditioned building and watched college football games on the opening day of squirrel season.
About three weeks ago, I was talking to a few of my friends at the Elkins Operations Center. When I asked if I could get a copy of the mast survey summary, they told me I could. Then they gave me a sharp scolding for not sending in a report of my own like I have done in years past.
For the second year in a row, Morgantown is having an urban hunt. This year, about 70 hunters had their chance to bag a deer. Last year's urban deer hunt in Morgantown was a bigger success than most people expected. About half of the deer taken were donated to food shelters.
The city of Bridgeport will start its urban deer hunt for the fifth year in a row. This year, hunters will be able to take seven deer, and the number of tracks of acreage has been increased. City officials are hoping this will get more hunters involved. Other cities in West Virginia that will have urban hunts this year include Barboursville, Charleston, Parkersburg, Weirton, and Wheeling.
With the weather forecast for the next few days, I doubt seriously I will be doing any hunting for at least another week. My wife has been wondering what has happened to my get-up and go. About the only thing I can say is that it got up and went. She has also been chastising me that I haven't taken off the pounds I said I wanted to.
I have to openly admit that at my age, I am no longer a young adult. However, last month I got myself a new pair of glasses, and with this new correction, I am seeing much better.
The sights on my shooting hardware are much clearer and sharper now.