Outdoors

Opening Day Blues

That’s right, I’ve got the blues….  It’s opening day of archery season this weekend in the Southern portion of our state and I’m going to have to sit it out.  Heartbreaking, right?  Oh, I’ll survive I suppose; just one of those times where work just gets in the way.  Oddly enough, though, work will be taking me south for a few days next week, so I guess I’ll just carry my bow along and sneak off for a hunt or two if I get the chance.

The People that Manage the Withlacoochee Forest | Behind the Screen

Brooksville- As mentioned in my previous article, there are a variety of responsibilities surrounding the Withlacoochee State Forest, one of those duties is to keep the public informed.

Judi Tear, Wildfire Mitigation Specialist & Information Officer at the Withlacoochee Forestry Center, is the one who keeps the public informed by providing essential information.

Take Care Of Your Oaks

Now that the rains are beginning again as Summer rolls along, one of the things I do each year to prep some of my hunting areas, is to visit the big oaks with a bag of fertilizer.  It not only ensures that not only will the trees produce acorns in abundance, but that those acorns produced will be sweeter and more flavorful than those produced by the untended trees.  Not only deer, but all local wildlife it seems, will benefit from this small amount of work; it practically guarantees me a great show while I’m sitting in my blind.    

‘Wild Skies’ Birding with Bev Hansen of Hernando Audubon

The weekly series ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ with Lilly Browning was popular for local wildflower enthusiasts, and now I will take you on another journey: ‘Wild Skies’ Birding with Bev Hansen of the Hernando Audubon Society.

The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail is a network of 510 premier wildlife viewing sites across the state, and eight of those locations can be found in Hernando County.

Candid Pics for Early Scouting

From time to time I use electronic game cameras to assist in my scouting.  These last few years, I’ve really captured some amazing photos on my game cameras and I thought I’d share a few tips to help you capture the best images you can on your own.  But, before I do, I want to suggest that a good trail-camera is no replacement for basic woodsmanship.  Learning to read signs properly can give you the same information as the camera.  The only advantage the camera has for me has been to provide some really cool before and after images of the bucks while they

Dads

My dad had gotten old, but I really didn’t know it.  Sounds strange I know, but really, I had no idea that the man I’d loved and admired my entire life, was slowing down.  He’d always been my hero; the guy that could catch a fish on the first cast, fill a quota of doves with only half a box of shells and could read the forest floor as clearly as reading a newspaper.  He was infallible, ageless and unchanged since my boyhood, until that hunt on some land down on the southern end of our county and he stumbled and fell.

Cub Scouts Bike Ride

Cub Scout Pack 71 will host a bike ride this Saturday open to youth ages 5 to 11 on Brooksville’s Good Neighbor Trail.

“We encourage you to bring your bikes, scooters or roller skates to participate,” Pack Committee Chair Emily Thomas said. “We look forward to a morning filled with fun.”

The Cub Scouts and their friends will meet at 66 Russell Street at 9 a.m. to bike a portion of the urban greenway. The youth will ride for about a mile before turning around and returning to their starting point.

Off-Season Archery

The old Archery bug bit me an awfully long time ago.  I’ve had a bow in my hand often over the last forty-five years; from the time I was five…. you can do the math later.  And what a wonderful blessing the sport of archery has been to me!  Starting out as a young archer, naturally I took to bowhunting small game around my family’s farm, like a duck takes to water.  I spent many hours chasing squirrels and rabbits back then and would only score maybe once, out of every hundred shots or so.  

Quota Permits

It’s that time again when those of us not blessed with the opportunity to hunt exclusively on private land, begin submitting quota permit applications to the Florida Wildlife Commission.  Those permits if drawn, grant us access to certain public hunting grounds on specified dates within our system of Wildlife Management Areas.  Most of us, being creatures of habit, apply for the same areas year after year, but I’d like to encourage you to take advantage of the summertime downtime to seek out some new hotspots on properties you haven’t left any tracks on.