The good news is that the beechnuts have hit this year!
Good thing since it looks like the acorns are down way off from last year’s record crop of the critical and nutty seeds of the oak tree.
Nevertheless, there are some true white oak and a tad of red oak acorns here and there. Hickory nuts seem scarce in places this year but the soft masts of apple, pokeberry, autumn olive and other outdoor victuals seem enough for sustenance.
It looks like a good year overall for outdoor fruits and nuts if not a banner one as was the case last autumn.
Let’s be thankful however, lest we return to the dreaded multi-year in succession mast busts of the late 2000’s that our wildlife are just crawling out from under in a slow recovery kind of like the economy.
With good riddance to the Great Recession of mast, keep an eye out for the beechnuts in your favorite hunting zones.
Most game species treasure them just like kids like ice cream.
The walnut crop looks pretty good too.
As one might suspect and the forecasts have been borne out that many good things would result from last year’s mast bounty.
We’ve touched on the sensational fawn deer crop already and it looks like both the turkey and grouse brood reports for this summer were the highest in the past five years.
Ditto on the Hallelujah!
In other outdoor news, be sure to take advantage of the earlier (Sept. 10) opening of squirrel season.
The break in the long tradition from the former first Sat. in Oct. was done with the youngsters in mind, so don’t let them down.
Likewise, this year’s earlier archery deer opener (Oct. 1) as opposed to the mid-Oct. versions of the past is a great opportunity, but don’t forget that you must purchase your extra deer stamps prior to Oct. 1 as well.
And last but not least in this digital era, the DNR law enforcement folks are offering a confidential hotline to report poaching. Go to www.wvdnr.gov/ LEnforce/Poachers.shtm for more information about how to report emergency and non-emergency fish and wildlife violations.
The site includes instructions and direct links to the email and online reporting options.
One other old axiom hasn’t panned out.
It went something like California was the land of the fruits and nuts.
Maybe so, but each autumn, the West Virginia hills are giving the Golden State are pretty good run for the money!