Everywhere you go these days people are talking
about the fall colors of Brown County and environs, but for my money (a
lot of it changes hands due to fall color) the hues of many other counties
is just as spectacular. We are putting the emphasis on the wrong syllable,
so to speak.
Sure the hardwood hills (the conifers can stay
any color the like) are really neat. They are well worth the drive (with
current gas prices) on a bright, beautiful day. But I have long contended
that if you wait until the colorful leaves are on the earth, and coordinate
your visit to the hill country with bad weather (including snow, or a cold,
miserable rain) you will see something just as great or greater.
Letís not touch that chlorophyll thing with the
proverbial 10-foot pole, except to say Dr. George Parker, Purdue professor
of botany and co-author of the Purdue Pressí beautiful book, ďNative
Trees of the Midwest,Ē tells me it does not winter over with the
sap of a tree.
The real thing, at least in the book, for hundreds--even
thousands--of upland game and waterfowl hunters, lies in the fact that
the leaf-barren hills of the gorgeous land in question turns to a purple
no artist or photograph can mock when a miserable day turns to a perfectly-miserable
late fall or winter night.
I have witnessed this phenomenon of weather conditions
many times when some form of hunting has lured me to the hinterlands. It
seems that my vehicle (I have owned many) just seems to stop as I reach
the transformation line between backcountry and civilization. I get out,
or sit quietly for a minute or two to view the purple hills.
Purple Hills. Thatís all you need to say.
Yes, a trip to the Hill Country is worth the price
of any gallon of gas. But you got to pick and choose the day.
you probably know, early seasons on ducks and Canada geese have already
closed in parts of the state while they are still open, or about to open,
in other parts of the state.
First part of the Northern Zone season duck season
of the North Zone netted 300 or 400 at Willow Slough, and 620 at Kankakee
Fish and Wildlife Area.
They arenít just exactly over run with birds now
but there are more now than there were then (makes sense), and the second
part of that season opens Oct. 28. It closes Dec 19.
The early South Zone season opened last Saturday
and it will continue through Oct. 29. Waterfowl hunters reported bagging
eight ducks at Atterbury State Fish and Wildlife Area last weekend, while
they brought down 57 at Monroe Reservoirís duck-hunting (mostly Stillwater
These spots have a few more ducks now, but the
big migration is yet to hit this part of the state. The pictures
painted by Ducks Unlimited are of a rosier hue.
Meanwhile, the second part of the North Zone season
on Canada geese opens Saturday Oct. 28 and runs through Oct. 29. Most of
the geese now are residents, not flight birds. It is too early for geese
to move south from northern states and Canada The North Zone, incidentally,
has two early seasons on geese. South and Ohio River zones have only one.
The South South Zone season on Canada geese is
the same as the early season for ducks in that area (listed above). During
the first season, waterfowlers bagged 6 honkers at Atterbury and 4 at Monroe.
Not much movement of geese there, either.
Actually there may have been more wood ducks and
geese taken in the state because we raise quite a number of both woodies
The Ohio River Zone season on both ducks and Canadas
also opens for two days Saturday, Oct. 28.