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Local

Outdoor adventures: Butterfly affects columnist

The archery deer opener has come and gone already, and as far as I have seen, it has been a rather slow start.

I know of several does that were harvested the past week, but have heard little of any giant bucks biting the dust. I know that, generally, the big buck reports will increase as the air temperature drops and the days grow shorter. But I usually have been hit with a few reports of a super big pig down by now.

Now, maybe one of you readers know of one and, if you do, get us a picture and a few details about it, and we’d be proud to help you brag it up. After all, I ain’t got the time to get in a tree right now, so I might as well live vicariously through you.

This next bit of information I am gonna drop on you is a fact I probably should have shared back in mid-summer. However, I think it to be really, really cool, so here we go.

I have mentioned before that flatheads can change colors to make them more effective hunters. Well, along the same lines, I bring you the story of the beautiful monarch
butterfly.

While on a recent guide trip, I noticed a butterfly making its way upstream toward the boat. As the butterfly approached, I made the statement “Hey, a monarch. I haven’t seen one of them all year.”

No sooner had I
spouted that out than my client, a naturalist named Garon, laid this cool bit of outdoor information on me.

The butterfly that looked exactly like a monarch was not
actually a monarch, after all. It was a viceroy butterfly. It seems monarchs eat poison from milkweed plants, and this keeps birds from eating them. So the viceroy mimics the pattern of the monarch to avoid predation.

Now, I ain’t big into butterflies or anything, but that is just a real cool part of nature right there.

The things you miss while you’re sitting on your couch, right? There is just one cool thing after another going on out there now.

The extended forecast looks very, very fall-like, and if you haven’t ever taken the time to go park in the countryside somewhere and just take a walk, boy you’re missing out.

The fresh crisp air and the smell of leaves and picked corn are just relaxing. You should give it a try.

As I close this week, remember that next weekend is Illinois Youth Firearm season in these here parts. Please get the young ’uns out there and teach ’em right.

I hope you all have a safe and productive weekend together in the deer woods. Remember, while you’re there, the hunt isn’t just about a harvest. It’s about being together and teaching and learning.

Until next week ...

Go Catfish!

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