McKean Minute: Get Ready for the Greatest Month

Sure, September is cool. There’s the dove opener, and screaming bull elk. There are the month’s archery deer seasons that open like so many fortune cookies. Some folks have early waterfowl opportunities. If September has a mascot, it’s the grouse.

But the greatest of all months is October. In my country, pheasant opener is fast approaching, and antelope rifle seasons are close behind. Montana’s rifle deer season opens late in the month, but it’s easy to be distracted by the migrating waterfowl that are pouring south.

The greatest attribute of the month may be its killing cold, frosts that should finally end the tyranny of mosquitoes that make it either impossible or extremely uncomfortable to spend an evening in a deer stand or kicking around for prairie or forest grouse. With frosts also come the turning of leaves, and the quintessential sight of October might be a yellowing leaf fluttering down on a buck coming into range, or a rooster rocketing out of curing cover.

We might see our first snowfall. Did I mention all those geese and ducks, cupping onto ponds and lakes that will be frozen in another few weeks? Brown trout and brookies are running, and any fish with an appetite and a sense of the future is feeding aggressively as the water cools.

Go head, tell me why October is so wonderful in your area. Or, if you dare, tell me how wrong I am, and why February is your most favorite of all the months.


One thought on “McKean Minute: Get Ready for the Greatest Month”

  1. October is the best month in Arizona as well. In the higher elevations the aspen leaves are turning colors from green to yellow and later red and are a stark contrast to the ponderosa pines. There’s a chill in the air that is enough to make any Phoenician look for their wool socks, long john underwear and a jacket while I’m still in shorts and flip flops. We’ll know by Halloween what kind of year it’ll be for snow based on the first couple storms of the year. Anticipation builds for elk, deer, antelope and javelina hunts and gear gets checked, rechecked and triple checked. New gear is bought with the excuse, and in the hope, of needing it. In the woods, near the home I’ve known for 30 years, the bulls bugle, roll in wallows, chase cows, fight other bulls and in general give us all fits knowing there are record book bulls 3 miles from our front door. Shoot, they’re in my sisters back yard most days. Best of all…it’s the time of year you don’t mind sleeping a little closer to that special someone on the other side of the bed. You just never know what might happen when October comes around. Yup, October is the best month of the year.

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