Believe it or not…within the next few days we might be seeing our first snow of the season here in southern Minnesota. Yes, indeed, snow is in the weather forecast for this Wednesday and I must say the thought of seeing it excites me just a bit. I like snow. I love to hunt in it. In fact, when it snows the entire outdoors world changes and becomes much more revealing to the sportsman. You can see things moving much more easily in the woods. Plus, by doing some tracking, you can quite readily see where and what has been on the move.
I know for some people it’s hard to imagine that Minnesota doesn’t have a snowy season. Yea, it gets cold and the “white stuff” is what Minnesota seems to be know for by much of the world. But the fact remains that our winters here in recent years have been pretty wimpy. That’s right…wimpy as in not a lot of snow or cold.
I was telling my wife just the other day how nice it would be to have some snow on the ground by the firearms deer opener still about 26 days off. When I was growing up and enjoying some of my first deer hunts it was the cold and the snow that added a great flavor to the hunt. Snow is nature’s way of giving the hunter a few advantages…not only in detecting deer…but also in trailing the deer after it is hit, should this be necessary.
Indeed, every time it snows it’s like taking a chalk-board eraser and wiping the slate clean. What used to be there is no more. After a snow when you do see fresh sign you can date it back to the last snow…something you just can’t do when the tracks or dung is observed without the aid of snow.
I also think that with some of the first snows of the year many of the woodland critters are more active. Maybe it’s because the snow is bringing a weather front through. Maybe the sight of snow triggers some primordial sense within all living creatures that time is running out to prepare for tougher times ahead. I dunno…maybe it’s just the silly feeling I get watching the woodlands transform from a noisy, crunchy, dried-out landscape to a now soft and much quieter existence.
Yea, the thought of a little snow in the hunter’s world is not all bad. Sure beats the past few years when I’ve hunted deer and the temps have been so warm in early November that I was still getting bit by mosquitos. That’s ridiculous! By the late season firearms deer hunt you should not be needing any bug spray for pete’s sake.
Oh, sure, I certainly realize that it’s still too early for any snow to arrive and linger for the duration of the winter season. Yet, I have my fingers crossed that a few weeks from now we will have a better chance of seeing snow on the ground than a dark, drab landscape that is not very inspiring to us deer hunters. Besides, snow in the forecast represents slightly colder times ahead when deer like to be on the move…and that should put a smile on each of our faces to be out in the woods taking advantage of the opportunity it will present.
© 2006 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Without Prior Permission.