Winter in the Southeast always leaves us wanting more, one more duck hunt in that flooded corn field or timber bottom, one more chase in the field where geese feed, one more day at duck camp with friends and family. Snow goose season still lingers, while quail season is over, and the weather is warming. We all start to think about hitting the water again for bass, stripers, and bream while thinking about the smell of fried catfish and shrimp po’boys. Summer Mahi tacos are still a way off, and we miss winter. We have put the winter gear away to wait until the next waterfowl season. As those memories are fresh, there is some consolation in the coming warming weather. You go to where your vest is adorned with your favorite calls, your gun choke is changed, and the few necessary decoys are gathered. It is finally turkey season, a noble chase that fed the founders of this country, and you hear that first gobbler sound off from his roost in the darkness. Trying not to be startled, you mutter and smile, “Thunder Chicken”… best be statue still as he may already see you.
As I write this, I hope to be at the end of False Spring here in the Southeast, as the nighttime temperatures have, yet again, slipped below freezing. This is when you avoid planting until you are sure the cold spells are over. Then it will turn hot, and we will embrace the last cool mornings. The trees and plants are coming alive, and if it were not for the pollen, it would be perfect. It is the last season before the summer break. You note what you need to prepare for the next duck season as they migrate back north. You check deer stands and plots, take time for a bit of bush hogging for the turkeys and the next planting for doves and deer, and think about what needs to be done to chase whitetails in the fall in a never-ending cycle of the work you love on the land.