If you need me, I’ll be in the woods

Published 2:32 pm Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lately I have had an almost undeniable urge to get out in the woods.

Maybe it’s the somewhat cool temperatures that have begun to show up in the evenings.

Maybe it’s a need to reconnect with nature.

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Or maybe it’s the nearly endless stream of Duck Dynasty episodes on television.

Whatever the reason, I can barely wait for Oct. 1 when squirrel season opens here in the great state of Alabama.

For many hunters, their first memories of hunting involve stalking through the woods in search of bushy tails.

That’s certainly true for me.

I can still remember my first hunt.

At the time we were living in Lowndes County and woods surrounded our house. One cool Saturday morning my dad and I walked across my granddad’s pasture and into the woods, took a seat on a log and stared into the treetops searching for squirrels.

I had my pellet gun in hand, hoping for a chance to harvest a squirrel or two.

At the time I wasn’t much of shot.

I bounced a few pellets off a couple of trees and probably gave a few squirrels a scare, but they all escaped safely.

It didn’t matter. I was hooked.

A couple of years later I became the proud owner of a .410 shotgun that was handed down to me from my dad. Needless to say, my success rate on bagging squirrels improved greatly.

My granddad told me hunting squirrels with a shotgun was cheating.

That may be true, but I’ve heard it said that if you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying.

Over the years I’ve hunted deer off and on, and plan to do so again this year, but for me it was that first hunt that hooked me on the sport.

Squirrel hunting may not end in trophies that can be mounted and hung on the wall, but it’s plenty challenging. In case you haven’t noticed, those little jokers are quick and once you get outside of the city limits, they’re not too bad at hiding either.

So, come Oct. 1, you can find me in the woods, sitting on a log staring up into the treetops.

I may even have a .22 in my lap to make things a little fairer for the squirrels.

Who am I kidding? If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.