Something about August ignites a yearning for Fall. Maybe it’s because this is the hottest month of the year in the South. As the muscadines ripen, we’re reminded that this is summer’s last gasp. We know that in just a few short weeks, we’ll be inhaling the nostalgic aroma of a fresh dove pie, and that is the hopeful promise of the coming harvest season.
This month each year, Fall issues and catalogs begin gracing our mailboxes, and we can’t get enough of the waxed canvas, vintage shotguns, posing pointers, and floating feathers. We long for the days of crisp leaves and brisk air, campfires and mugs of whiskey, cold steel and warm walnut, flannel and front porches. But there’s still so much to do.
August is crunch time, the final push for all of the preparations that allow us to enjoy our favorite season. We’re tending our sunflower fields and making sure everything is just right for the dove opener. We’re mapping out our fall food plots and stand locations, doing site prep, and gathering seed. We’re running trail cameras and making our hit list. Checking and double-checking gear, practicing our shots and our campfire stories.
There’s a profound satisfaction that comes with this kind of preparation. All of our previous hunting seasons have taught us the rewards of this work, and maybe more importantly the consequences of leaving it unattended. The anticipation of our experiences over the next few months drives us to sacrifice our sweat now. With the first snap of a twig from below or whistle of wings overhead, we’ll take a deep breath and feel the rush of our vision being realized.