George Block Column

Autumn makes me feel better

There’s nothing like Autumn to make me feel better

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My mother really didn’t like this time of year for one reason. It wasn’t the colored leaves she dreaded, but what was to follow.


The snow and cold would keep her in the house. As for me, I find the cold mornings and evenings refreshing and spent many hours with my wife, Eileen, in the woods, just listening and watching.


Our favored destination was about a mile walk from our house. We would sit until dark, watching for deer.


From late August until the opening of buck season, we walked the wooded path at least four times per week instead of watching television.


Even when hunting, I prefered the semi-isolation that could be found away from the road. At first, I climbed the mountains of McKean County. Today, the base of that mountain is under water, part of the Allegheny Reservoir.


Later, I moved to the Grunderville area of Warren County, and Ed Haley and I found productive stands well over a mile from the nearest road. Going in was easy, but dragging a buck out was a hard by happy task.


I haven’t been there for at least 25 years but have heard there is a road leading up to where we shot our bucks.


It is Autumn during which I always feel better. Much of that was increased time in the woods and getting as far from the road as I could get.


In the summer, a trout stream would lead to far-away plaes, but travel through summer cover can be limiting. More than once, Eileen and I would park the car along a road far from any water, take our rods and tackle and walk to the headwaters of a trout stream. We were seeking isolation.


I never understood those who chose to scout deer from their car, but as age catches up with me, I find myself walking less and staying closer to the road. But I would bet that few have spent as much time in the woods as I have.


It was my hobby, and, thank God, the hobby of my wife.


• It was the largest sports show in the Eastern United States until the English-based company that produced it mistakenly banned certain guns from being displayed. I am, of course, referring to the Eastern Sports Show in Harrisburg.


Many of the vendors walked out and the show was cancelled last year. Sounds like the late 1700s when the English tried to tell the Yanks what to do.


The future of the show was in doubt, but the NRA has come to its rescue and is now sponsoring the re-named Great American Outdoor Show.


As in the past, the show will be held at the Farm Show complex in Harrisburg.


Reeds Expositions, the original producer, miscalculated the unity of sportsmen and women.


• I have been told by a couple of different sporting goods store owners that ammunition will probably continue be in short supply until next year. That includes common sporting rounds used for big game hunting.


It is possible that ammunition might not be available for those who wait until the last minute. My advice is to start looking now. It’s hard to hunt with the 30-06 if you don’t have ammunition for the darned thing.


A local store recently had an offering of a brick of .22 cartridges at a reasonable price. When the store opened, they had 10 bricks and a two-brick-per-customer limit.


After five buyers, they were out of ammo.



George H. Block writes a Sunday Outdoors column for the Observer-Reporter.


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