BE A DIFFERENCE MAKER
Voting is a big part of our democracy. It has always been surprising to me that many people choose not to vote. I was shocked, when I recently read that 30 to 50 percent of licensed hunters don’t vote regularly. More than 35 percent skipped the last elections. Even more shocking to me was a third of licensed hunters aren’t even registered to vote.
There are plenty of reasons you should vote. Voting is a crucial, meaningful way to express yourself and support the people and issues you care about. No matter what side of the political divide you are on, your voice is an important one. Elections also matter to hunting and all our other beloved outdoor pursuits.
As we are into our fall hunting seasons, we are also heading toward the November elections. The non-profit Hunt the Vote Foundation can help you become informed about critical issues that can impact you. They can also help you get registered to vote and hopefully also motivate you to vote your values. Please go to https://huntthevote.org and also sign the pledge that you will not remain on the sidelines while our traditional American values are threatened. Take time off from hunting and go vote. Be a difference maker.
Visit the Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri or go to www. wondersofwildlife.org and you will discover why it is important to vote to protect our great outdoors.
Outdoor World presents free, interesting facts and stories from Larry Whiteley host of the award-winning Outdoor World Radio show. Each weekly column offers something you might not have known about our great outdoors.
THE MAGIC OF AUTUMN
Watching green trees slowly change to the reds, oranges and yellows of autumn is magic. As autumn days get shorter, other colors replace the greens in tree leaves.
Chlorophyll is the pigment that makes a leaf green. With the shorter, cooler days of autumn the green leaf begins to fade as the veins seal up and don’t allow the leaf to replace its used chlorophyll. The yellow, orange, reds and brown pigments which are already in the leaves then can shine through. If the days of fall are warm and sunny with cool nights, the colors will be at their brightest. If a heavy frost persists or if the weather has been exceptionally dry, they’ll be dull and fade quickly.
Autumn is much needed relief from a long, hot summer. Autumn is cool nights and mornings, the smell of wood smoke in the air, the honking of geese high in the sky as they head south. Get away from the desk, the computer, the TV set and go fishing, sit in a treestand or blind, take a hike, go camping, boat around the lake, paddle a canoe or kayak, or just take a drive around this beautiful country we call America. It’s time to enjoy the magic of autumn.
BUCKS AND DOES
Just like men and women, bucks and does behave differently too. In the whitetail world they differ by the use of habitat, in reaction to disturbance, and in response to the rut.
Does usually occupy habitat that offers the best blend of cover and with food close by so they can best protect their fawns and build up body fat for winter. Before the rut, bucks hang out close to these areas but where the topography is more demanding and food and cover is more separated.
Does are jumpy opening day due to bucks and hunters, so you’ll see more of them running around opening weekend. Mature bucks got that way for a reason. I think they know what weekend it is. When they move, they’re likely to travel short distances and then hunker down and hold tight. Even mature bucks when they get thinking about sex get careless during the rut. Always remember, find the does and you’ll find the bucks.
Good luck while out deer hunting this year. Whether you get a deer or not, just remember it’s a great time to escape all the politics and a pandemic that’s still going on. Forget all that for just a little while and go make memories.
This is an historical and true story that is dedicated with sympathy to all of you, along with me, who pursue the popular white-tailed deer.
One of America’s first national parks was a 92-square-mile area in southwestern Oklahoma. Now named the Wichita Wildlife Refuge, it was the hunting grounds of the Apache, Comanche, Kiowa and Wichita Indians.
With the white man’s coming, market hunters turned on all the animals with terrible ferocity. One by one, game species became extinct. Bison were wiped out. Then the elk went. Wild turkeys disappeared. The last antelope fell. Even longhorn cattle were shot to extinction.
When the animals finally received complete protection and a warden force was established, it was found that only one shy and delicate creature survived the decimation. Out from the nooks and crannies of the range, from places where you would think not even a mouse could hide, came – you guessed it. White-tailed deer alone were smart enough to survive.
Good luck this year folks. You’re going to need it.