"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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A Memorable Natural Phenomenon
Copyright © 2005 by Bill Scifres

There are a lot of things to miss when you are not in Southern Indiana when Labor Day rolls around, but one of the things I miss most is only incidental to hunting.

When I was a kid at good olí Crothersville, automobiles were few. As a result, we rode Shankís Mare (feet and legs) almost everywhere we went.

Lou Nehrtís woods, my favorite for squirrel hunting, was roughly a mile and a half west of the town of C-ville. You could get there by road with a vehicle, but my route took me through fields of broom sedge, thickets, and along the banks of Buck Creek.

I almost always went to the woods to hunt squirrels at the middle of the afternoon. When I returned, darkness would be hovering over my path and the sun no longer would be providing its warmth.

My route home always followed a well-worn path through a broom sedge (we called it sage) field for at least half a mile, and the rolling hills created a natural phenomenon that I will never forget.

Cold air from the skies would be replacing air warmed by the sun throughout the bright afternoons, and when the path led me through deep-shaded valleys (a drop of 20 or 30 feet), air temperatures would drop 30 or 40 degrees in a matter of 50 or 60 yards.

When I first encountered this strange condition it was a little frightening. I wondered if normal air temperatures would return as the path took me back to high ground. And it always did.

My reaction to the cold air probably was at least partially explained by the fact that I usually would be walking as fast as I could to beat darkness to the town limits, and would be perspiring.

But it was a thing I looked forward to when Labor Day rolled around and my after-school squirrel hunts took me to the woods. It is a thing I miss very much--more than half a century later.

HEP ON HIP--Hoosiers who plan to hunt migratory birds (this includes doves) must register for a Harvest Information Program (HIP) number to stay within state and federal hunting regulations.

It is easy to register by telephone or on line, and it is free.

Still, to stay within the law, the hunter must have a HIP registration number and it should be recorded some place where you can find it . . . a good place is on your hunting license.

Although the registration procedure is simple, the prospective hunter must have an Indiana hunting license and he/she must read the instructions if registering on line. 

To register by phone, dial 1/800-WETLAND. To register on line, go to WWW.IN.gov/huntingguide 1/hip.htm.

But in registering on line, remember that while the procedure asks for the number of your Indiana hunting license, it will work only if you use the last seven digits of that number.

INCIDENTALLY--Early-maturing black walnuts and hickory nuts are falling now . . . beech nuts should be ripe soon. 

The fall migration of warblers has started . . . I have observed two or three species of warblers in the last two days . . .

All columns, essays, and photos are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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