November Dilemma

I go through this every year, you'd think by now I'd have a better handle on it. The angler in me rejoices as November approaches. The hunter in me has trouble sleeping and tears his hair when he is awake. Oh how I wish my sometimes split personality could actually become two outdoorsmen during fall.

We have enjoyed great fishing so far this year, even coping with flooded bays. We cry like babies when our favorite spring and summer haunts get "freshed out" but we adjust and the lessons learned fishing these conditions make us better fishermen. Salinities are mostly back to normal and the important forage species are thriving in legendary numbers. November's cool-down puts fish into near-frenzied feeding. It's a beautiful thing.

Teal, doves and archery deer, you might think, would take some of the edge off. Enough at least to calm down and concentrate on November's great fishing. But alas, I think it only makes it worse.

I was supposed to fish yesterday but an invitation to shoot afternoon whitewings coming to water got in the way.

"Heck yeah I'll be there–what time?" My lab jumped for joy when I dropped the tailgate but my boat sobbed as I wheeled her back into the garage. Pam had mentioned she had a new dove recipe. I called it an editorial assignment, getting the doves. Who knows, she might publish it someday.

And this is just the beginning. You schedule a big duck or goose hunt with out-of-town friends and they're flying like bees to fresh clover all week. Saturday dawns without a cloud and barely enough wind to rustle a decoy. I kick myself all morning for not taking them fishing.

I could go on but you've been there. There's just too stinkin' much going on in November. Perhaps someday I will stop arguing with those two guys inside my head and let them take turns being boss–maybe I should try one ear plug–maybe I need to see a shrink.

Whichever way you decide to go this month, please include your family and friends, especially the youngsters. If a kid or grandkid reeling in their first or best fish, or shooting their first duck or deer doesn't excite you–maybe you need a shrink.

You will have to deal with your own November dilemma in your own way. I'm afraid I will be too torn between fishing and hunting to be of much help.

When you gather around your Thanksgiving table, give thanks to the Almighty for all you have and how richly He blesses us each day. We know God loves us; He gave us November!