Have you had enough rain yet? I’ve worked in lawn service for 47 years now and I can’t remember when I’ve seen so many weeds and so much crabgrass and, the grass is like cutting grass in May.

What will this all mean for the hunting season ahead? The big thing is that the row crops are getting the moisture they need and should be ready to harvest on time but, if these rains continue into the fall, getting the crops out in time for the hunt could be a challenge.

Fall is still a little way off but we are about to enter August and, in reality, fall is not that far away.

With all this heat and humidity expect the mosquito problem to be here come late September and early October as there will be pools of water all over the area. I look for hemorrhagic disease to be up as well. If you find dead deer near water this fall please let me know as this can get bad in deer populations and these need to be reported to keep an eye on how this is affecting Vermilion County.

Carry some insect repellent with you at all times this fall if you are going to be outdoors as trips to the woods and lakes could get mighty uncomfortable if you don’t. We keep fans blowing constantly on our outside deck just to keep mosquitoes from biting; they just don’t navigate well in the wind. A windy night fishing is normally a very comfortable night when it comes to mosquitoes.

Stay Sharp

Keep your knives sharp; I can tell you that for a fact! It is most frustrating when I need to use my knife and it’s dull. Drag your knife over your fingernail; if it digs in it’s fairly sharp but, if it slides across easily, it’s dull.

It is better to be cut with a sharp knife than with a dull one. Why? A sharp knife cut will heal faster than a cut from a dull knife. A sharp knife will leave a very straight cut through your skin while a dull knife will leave a jagged edge cut, much more difficult to heal. When a person goes in for an operation the doctor uses a surgical scalpel; razor sharp. Healing after surgery is relatively quick. A cut from a saw on skin and/or muscle would be very difficult to heal.

Being a wood carver and an outdoors person, I’ve been around a lot of knives and I’ve been cut more than my share of times. The sharper my knives are, the faster I can get things done. A carving knife needs to be razor sharp; a pocket or hunting knife, not so much. These knives just need to be sharp when cutting things, especially if they are cutting hide and/or muscle.

Keeping knives sharp is not easy unless you really work on them and put them in your schedule on a regular basis. When I am into a carving, I find myself sharpening my knife every ten to fifteen minutes. My pocket knife doesn’t get the care my carving knives get so I find myself with a dull knife more times than not.

Learn how to properly sharpen your knives and keep them sharp for when you need them. Don’t be out on a fishing trip and find you can’t cut your fishing line and, don’t be out hunting and find you can’t cut through the skin of you game.

Sam Van Camp writes about the outdoors on Saturdays. Call him at 662-6559. Fax: 446-6648. E-mail: pamnsam@nwcable.net

Recommended for you