"In the depths of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." — Albert Camus
I hate getting stuck. I have had vehicles stuck up in some of the nastiest places that you have ever seen. Usually there was rain and snow and lots of mud involved, along with a good portion of oaths being muttered.
I have at times stood and looked at a truck or a Jeep and thought, "There's no way! That thing is never coming out of there!" But somehow it did. I would dig, carry rocks, hook up a come-along, (cuss some more) and suffer all the other things necessary to get me out of there. I always felt a great sense of relief to escape from the mud hole I was in at the time.
Game wardens are famous for this. We always thought of it as part of the job. Hunters and fishermen, of course, are likewise famous for "vehicle stuck up" stories.
Now I feel as though we are stuck in February. Maybe you feel that way, too. I guess it is just that time of year. It's winter, so many of us have cabin fever. We sit and look out the window at the snow and rain and wish we could "go do something."
Now some of you might say I shouldn't feel this way. February is not that bad. There are still some hunting seasons in. Grouse season is going on in West Virginia (if you can find one of these birds), rabbit season is in — I do need to go out with some buds I know that have some pretty good beagles — and don't forget about squirrel season.
So what am I complaining about? If I can go hunting, I should just go!
Well, sometimes, for me, when there's just too much snow and it's really cold, I just don't want to go.
There, I said it. Can't believe I did. There was a time when I never would have admitted to it. I wonder what that is all about.
I used to think that March is worse than February. By that I mean there usually aren't any hunting seasons in during March. I thought of it as a month that is kind of wasted: you couldn't hunt, most of the time the fishing had not started yet, it was pretty blah. Somehow I feel a little different now.
March now seems as kind of a "get ready" month. You know what is coming down the road — the spring gobbler season and all that goes with it. Any big event has a lot of lot preparation involved.
For gobbler season, there can be a lot of scouting, looking over the country and finding where the turkeys are. Getting your gear ready can take up several days, especially working with all your turkey calls. (The family will love that.) I have preached to you before (and will again) about patterning your shotgun and having it ready for opening day.
All of this takes time.
One more thing about March. If I am really lucky, I will go somewhere that the turkey season is in. The great state of Georgia comes to mind ...
OK, listen, I hate to run, but I've got things to do.
Is it supposed to warm up this week? I think so. If it does, I've got to get with it and go over to Virginia and tree some squirrels. I need to call Woodrow and see if I can go with him and his rabbit hounds one day. You know, I think I read that the raccoon season in Virginia runs into March. I have to find out about that; remind me to give Capt. Fisher a call down there. I just thought, if it gets pretty outside by the end of month, there will be turkeys gobbling down on the river; need to go check on that.
Sorry, don't want to be rude, but I need to run!
Man, I'm glad I got out of that mud hole!
"Guns & Cornbread" is written by Larry Case, who lives in Fayette County, W.Va. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.