All This heat… I blame it on you! If you remember way back on October 29, 2016 I wrote a little piece called “Can you feel the nip in the air” explaining my love of all things in the changing seasons of fall and winter… Shortly there after Kris posted a blog by the title of “I’m dreaming… But it’s not of a white Christmas”, explaining how he was not “built” for the cold, and how the dark days with nothing to forage, mentally challenge him. In all truth I think that a lot of people follow that same sentiment. But take a look outside right now (it was 68 degrees on my porch at 6:13 this morning) and I think it may be time to reevaluate your thought process. According to the local news, which I watch with the sound turned all the way down… in the early hours of the morning… in my underwear… (Yes, I guess my actions are finally matching the grey hairs I have recently been cultivating in my beard) it has been around 30 DAYS since we have had a measurable amount of precipitation, and the temperatures are going to fluctuate between 96 and 103 degree’s for the next 14 days. What the hell is this, Death Valley? If I have to live in a place that you can’t enjoy being outside, I at least want a better selection of Mexican food to choose from! This summer sucks, this late summer and early fall is going to be filled with fire restrictions that deem camping senseless (if you can’t have a camp fire and cook outside, I just don’t want to go). Say what you want about the short cold days of winter, but it is a scientifically proven fact… When its cold you can always throw on an extra coat, but when its hot you can only get so naked. Speaking of outdoor activities, and being limited by the cold… How many of you have been outside soaking up sunshine, and participating in the same activities that you do every other summer? I am guessing that this weather has forced you to adjust your vacation plans, at least to some extent. My friends have been picking huckleberries for the last couple of weeks, but now they have to leave at 3 a.m. in order to get to the woods, get some picking in, and be back into town before the real heat sets in. No more hauling the quads up, packing a lunch and making a day of it. It’s just too damn hot.
So whats a fella or lady to do? Just sit inside and gripe about the heat? Well that’s one option, but you and I both know that s not going to get us anywhere. Some people use this time of year to take that boat out that they have to make payments on all year and only get to use 6 times a summer. (Personally, I think it’s too hot to even be out on the boat, let’s be real honest here. Its 100 degrees, you’re sitting in the middle of the lake with no shade, probably having some wobbly pops, your super prone to heat stroke, a sun burn is inevitable. The fishing is horrible. Even when you jump out of the boat to cool off, you have to worry about every other yahoo on the lake running you over. How safe of a recreational activity does this really sound?) Personally if I can’t be fishing or hunting, I want to be getting ready to go fishing or hunting. Enter living room scouting: Of all the years I have spent in the field, and reading books about refining my craft, I (up until a few weeks ago) had never heard of a stereoscope. Basically a stereoscope is a device that is to be used in conjunction with two identical images (in a 10″ x 10″ format) that have been shot from slightly different angles (or elevations in the case of some aerial photos) and when used correctly they give a true three-dimensional view. For the avid outdoorsmen, this is a fantastic tool for scouting. The USDA offices usually carries quite a few of your local areas maps shot in 2 formats to be used in a stereo scope. If they do not, they will gladly help you fill out the paperwork that needs to be submitted to have the Aerial Photography Field Office in Salt Lake City Utah, send you the pair of images that can be viewed with the stereoscope for your hunting area, all for $6 a picture. What this does for the hunter is give them the ability to see exactly how the land looks, as opposed to the generalities that are typically shown on topographical maps. Whats even cooler than that, is that when you order your smaller maps, you can also order maps in sizes up to 38″ square. If you have these maps laminated you can use a use both sets of maps in conjunction, and use a grease crayon to mark the larger format map with probably hunting locations to be scouted when the temperatures finally drop. All this without leaving the comfort of your own
bunker, I mean home.
Just because Summer has been miserable so far, does not mean that you can’t try to make the most of the remainder of it. Knives have to be sharpened, packs need to be cleaned and reorganized. This is a great time of year to get your hunting buddies together and make plans for this years adventures, dust off the maps, break out those last few packages of venison and toss them on the grill. Now is the time to get excited for the seasons to come, it’s also a great time to start putting away a few extra bucks to soften the financial blow that hunting season almost always causes (by the way its much easier to find ammunition and reloading components during the summer months too, when everyone else is focused on their tans and polishing their boats). Most importantly try to use this not so exciting time to be around your family and love ones, before we know it hunting season will be upon us, and whether you believe it or not, those are the people who are the most supportive of your primal drive to fill the freezer. Speaking of freezers, it’s all the way up to 91 on my deck right now, I think I will throw a little camo on my face, grab a duck call and crawl into mine. Come on winter, I’m waiting…