Tuesday, September 15, 2015

'It's all happening now'

By Mac Arnold
RTWO Editor-In-Chief

If you hang around me long enough this time of year in September, you will probably hear me utter at least a couple of times, "it's all happening now."

Indeed, it is.

The leaves are beginning to turn. Fields are hazy yellow with golden rod, spotted throughout by maroon sumac and sheet-white Queen Anne's lace, bordered with alternating wild gray skies and then bright baby blue ones.

Late summer's morning chill sets in before temperatures rise up into the 70s that by midday create a Michigan pendulum of switching between turning on the heat and then the air-conditioning in the Jeep.

Speeding along with the swirling winds come flocks of geese and occasionally one falls to Earth from a well-placed blast by this hunter. Although as of late, I am back in a shooting slump. Or is it just the amazing perseverance of geese?

On Sept. 1, with the liftoff of the first flock from the pond, my second shot rang true and christened a hopefully long partnership in the woods and on the water with my Labrador, mighty Augustus. Or should that be, a mighty pain, since he hasn't yet steadied himself during our grassy sits tucked along the pond's rim?

Next up though is fall turkey, and I have much redemption here after boloing my only opportunity in spring.

And after that, I will take Augustus to the sacred lands of woodcock and grouse flushes in Gladwin County where my beloved springer Henry ran point.

From there, more geese tries and finally the glorious deer archery opener Oct. 1 will be upon us and its 90 days of insanity.

Yes, it is all happening now.

"Boy, if I bagged that one I'd retire," I nonchalantly told the wife while we were sitting around sipping our java fixes in the living room the other day.

"Really?" she said, with a hint of incredulity.

"Well, for this season," I retorted in an amazing recovery of my mental stability.

"Yeah, I knew it," she huffed in a deep breath.

This conversation came after I had just showed her a picture of a real nice 10-pointer in a friend's hay field from last month. He recently had said I could hunt for the buck this fall.

The day I ever take my biggest whitetail buck, spring gobbler, smallmouth bass or whatever and say that's it or I "peaked," then just put me out to pasture. I had someone supposedly joke this comment to me the other day. I mean what pompous hogwash.

I'm always trying to outdo myself, and if I were to take the state record in a hunting or fishing category while at it, then that would just be an extra-sweet icing on top.

Believe me I'm not trying to bluster here. Just saying how I keep it fun every year (as if I really have to anyway).

It's why I always have an annual Top Hunts of the year listing at the end of every December or early January.

There's never any peaking here, only the next best one down the line.