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      Nature Report: Primal Call of the Fall

      In the predawn light, you often hear their murmurings before you see them. As if on cue, the haunting calls of wild geese and sand hill cranes enthusiastically greet the sunrise as they lift off to join the day. The miracle of migration is underway, and soon the South Texas skies will fill with migratory waterfowl.

      In the fall the days begin to shorten and the nights lengthen triggering hormonal changes and instinctive urges to wing it southward to ancestral wintering grounds. With falls decreasing daylight, hormonal changes in whitetail bucks also occur and blood flow becomes restricted to their growing antlers.

      The antlers begin to harden, and the bucks will shed their velvet and scrape off any remaining shreds in the brush. Geese have been migrating to South Texas for thousands of years, and they have undoubtedly been both admired and hunted for nearly as long.

      The indigenous people surely gazed skyward relishing the arrival of a fresh food source, and the challenge of harvesting geese with bow, spear or tarp would have been a daunting task. Few sights in nature equal the spectacle of hundreds of geese gliding in for a landing amidst their thronging brethren. While he presence of an impressive buck in newly hardened antlers is an equally enthralling fall encounter.

      Since the dawn of man, migrating waterfowl and antlered animals have captivated hunters. Prehistoric cave paintings depict deer and winged creatures, often with hunters in pursuit.

      The ancient Gods and shaman of many cultures were adorned with antlers and feathers. Perhaps, it is these primal urges that command our attention to antlered creatures and winged migration at this pivotal moment of seasonal change. After all, we are all descendants from successful hunters. With your Nature Report I'm Richard Moore