St. Charles Herald-Guide

Time is now to prepare for upcoming hunting season

By Bruce McDonald - September 30, 2010

Most outdoorsmen have success due to preparation.
Fishermen spend hours organizing their tackle boxes, cleaning reels, changing line, or spending time at a local tackle shop.

Deer hunters, on the other hand, spend months preparing for their season. Late September means plowing and planting food plots.† Some hunters take soil samples and have them analyzed for proper growing potential.†

Camps need general maintenance. Shooting lanes must be cleared, deer stands have to be cleaned and fumigated, feeders re-powered with new batteries, and game cameras put out.†

The most overlooked maintenance is a hunterís four-wheeler. If bikes have not been ridden, one should take out the old gas and replace it with ethanol free gas. You should also change the oil, replace the spark plug, and air filter. This should get you started until a cycle shop can do a tune-up.† Most cycle shops will do a complete tune-up if a hunter calls and sets a date for one.

Recently, I visited my box stand at the Churchill Hunting Club in Avondale. I was shocked to see the new growth around my stand and shooting lanes.†

It was mid-summer when I last visited the Oilwell - the nickname given to the box stand. When I arrived my shooting lanes were completely grown over. During the summer I had opened the east shooting lane and had minor trimming for a 300-yard shot.†

The west lane needed a lot of trimming.

On the day, I spent four hours cutting and clearing.† The feeder needed new batteries and the game camera was set out. Before I left, I climbed into the box stand and sprayed a can of Bengals roach and wasp killer.††

To my surprise there were only three wasp nest, one bird nest, hundreds of roaches and six spider webs.†

The stand has a comfortable office chair, carpet, windows, curtains, and a tin roof.†† On those cold, windy, and wet days, I can sit in comfort for hours waiting for my chance at a great shot.

Bow season opens on Oct. 1 in Area 6. On Oct. 2, rabbit and squirrel season opens.† The daily bag limits are eight a piece.

Time to renew license
A reminder to all hunters, please renew your license.† Small game needs a basic hunting license.

Bow hunters need the basic, big game and bow hunters license. If traveling to a Wildlife Management Area, you need the $15 hunting permit. Anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1969 must pass the huntersí education course to purchase a hunting license.