Outdoors

Hernando Audubon Offers Birding Adventures for Beginners

Hernando Audubon offers a beginner program for those interested in the adventures of birding.  

As birding becomes more popular for those of all ages, the excitement of spotting birds is also a way to learn more about Florida’s wildlife. 

“We never know what we are going to see,” Linda Vanderveen said. “Of course, the winter months are the best, especially nice during the migration time because we get some unusual birds, like the Indigo Bunting.”

Talking The Talk

There are a lot of people out there who apparently think that whitetail deer are simply cute little mutes wandering about the forest.  Well, although they aren’t the loudest of critters, they’re far from mutes.  The fact is, they have a pretty fair range of vocalizations from social grunts, a “hey how are ya” type of call, to a shrill wheeze, sounding the alarm of danger.  But, one call that’s been mighty important for deer hunters to learn, is the bleat.

Doe Days and Newbies

One of my greatest pleasures is introducing new hunters to the sport and helping them find success.  Seeing the experience of the outdoors and the hunting heritage fresh, vicariously through their yet untrained eyes, renews my own love affair with the wild places.  One of the obstacles that I have to overcome when taking out young folks on their first hunts is their expectations of an instant kill.

Public Land Pointers

I know that there are a lot of you, who like myself don’t have the deep pockets for private lease fees or outfitters in order to hunt.  Instead, we're left to hunt the public Wildlife Management Areas, which while offering some great opportunities, they do see a lot of pressure and offer unique challenges.  Now, I’ve been hunting and taking my share of game out of the public WMA system for well over thirty years, so I decided to share some pointers. I really hope that these tips can help you battle the crowds and skittish deer, while setting you on the path to success.

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween my friends and I hope everybody has fun tonight with the Trick or Treating crowds.  I know I’ll be coming in from the woods in time to pass out a few treats to any ghouls and goblins that may show up at my door.  Just as well too, since I’m not entirely fond of walking out of the woods after dark with the skunk apes roaming about this time of year.  What, there’s some of you who haven’t heard of Florida’s skunk ape? 

Bushytail Bonanza

Small game season opened up this past Saturday and I had the chance to switch gears a bit.  Since archery opener, I’ve had some great times in the woods filling my freezer, but I’m not likely to be drawing back my bowstring again any time soon.  I took a good fall last week and broke a couple of bones in my right hand, so I was really happy that small game season arrived when it did. That’s why the gears switched, the old .410 came out of the safe and I invited my nephew Owen to join me in the woods for squirrels.

Old Timers

I got a call recently, the kind nobody wants to get, but far too often do; a friend of mine has passed away.  More so than just a friend, he was a mentor of sorts in my young adulthood and was a cherished member of a class of the most influential outdoorsmen.  The influence of men of that class is sorely needed these days, more so than ever...  My friend, Jimmy West, of Dade City, Fl, was an “Old Timer.”   

Love Is In The Air!

Lots of lovin’ in the woods right now as the whitetails are coming into rut and it’s a beautiful time to be on the hunt.  Temperatures are slightly dropping, the rains have stayed at bay for a time and activity abounds. The bucks are actively scraping and chasing the does, and every now and then, they will pick a fight with other bucks intent on dating from their herds.  The rut is on!

The fruits of their labor

On the fourth Saturday of September, many volunteers participate in National Public Lands Day. It’s a day to bring together hundreds of thousands of volunteers to help restore the country’s public lands. On Saturday, September 28, 2019 many volunteers from individual and organizational groups gathered at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park to help with much-needed landscaping and general clean-up.

Laura Basamania maintains landscaping areas at the park and has been doing so for the past four years. Volunteers contributing their time is much appreciated.