Fish… Don’t Hunt
In a week the dove season will open and there are two or three reasons to avoid it as far as I am concerned. For one thing, I don’t want to hunt in crowds, and I don’t like to get sweat on my shotgun, and I don’t care to get mosquito bit. But the main reason is, fishing is great when September comes and I will be where I can get wet and catch fish both. I will likely hunt doves with my Labrador in late October on a cloudy cool day, and then go fishing afterward. When I go dove hunting, there won’t be another hunter anywhere close, and new doves will have moved in from northern states. And though no one wants to admit it, in early September there are a few local doves which still have squabs (fledgling doves) in the nest. When I hunt in October there won’t be any of that. Right now up here on my wooded ridgetop, a bunch of doves feed beneath my bird feeders and nest around my home. I think there are fewer this summer than past summers.
There will also be some bowhunters out in mid-September, and I say more power to ‘em. You can sit in a tree stand in a camo t-shirt now, and get a shot at some deer still that still have fading spots. Those are the best eating, if they just would weigh a little more. And you might shoot a turkey with your bow. There are still a few around; about 60 percent fewer than there were 20 years ago. Get one while you can, it is likely they will be even scarcer in years to come.
I like to sit in tree stands but I would be there with my camera, not my bow. Why anyone would want to kill a deer when they can wear nothing but a t-shirt beats me. September temperatures often makes it necessary to get the meat in a freezer within an hour or so of the time it falls beats me. And on the way to the freezer, you have to keep the flies off of it. Oh, there’s another reason I will delay my bowhunting for a month after season opens…that same old reason; fishing is great in mid-September, even better than it was two weeks earlier. What I love about September fishing is, bass, white bass and hybrids are hitting topwater lures like a shark goes after tourist on an air mattress! And it will last well into October. But I have to admit there is a September hunting season that has gotten into my blood. More about that in a week or so.
It is amazing what we allow to destroy our waters in the name of profit and greed. At Pleasant Hope a meat-cutting and packing operation is now pouring contaminated, bacteria filled, polluted water into what had been a fairly clean, great fishing, small stream, the Pomme de Terre. The e-coli content of the water in Pomme de Terre Lake has been a problem in the past, but hidden from the people allowing their kids to swim there, and a rising pollution problem now will also be hidden. The polluted water will, in time, also affect Truman Lake, which the Pomme de Terre River feeds.
If the Department of Natural Resources says that meat plant can pour anything into the river that it wants to, no one can do a thing about it. They can approve raw sewage and no one can do a thing about it. The heads of that department should be forced to watch their own kids and grandkids swim in the river below the discharge. But they won’t because the DNR people know what’s happening. The folks from Kansas City who flock to the lake, and those who live downstream will let their kids swim in that water because THEY DON’T KNOW! Watch the build up of scum and algae on that river now in future summers. The water temperature will rise and desirable aquatic life will begin to die. But boy will the meat-packing and butchering company make some money. That is what it is all about now, all over the Ozarks. DNR stands for Don’t Need Resources. Show me any place in the Ozarks where they have improved water quality! But what they say is the last word. An agency that protects no water in the Ozarks. If the DNR wants to answer, I will print their side of the story in my column.
Sometimes I write two or three columns per week and most newspapers can only use one. I put the others on the Internet under larrydablemontoutdoors. See if you can find it. There is a story you can read there about a lady I knew that will fascinate you. Anything I write that cannot be used in most newspapers goes there. If you cannot find it, let me know at email@example.com.