I’ve hunted for about twenty-five years, mainly for deer and pheasant in Ohio. In that time, the deer population has grown significantly and the Department of Natural Resources has raised limits to the point I’ll never worry about shooting too many deer.

Hunting is only one aspect of enjoying the outdoors, for I’ve spent many a day sitting in a tree stand and not seeing a deer. Yet I found just being there a pleasure, enjoying the sounds of nature and the ever-changing palate of the seasons. Truly, nature goes wild in the autumn with colors that cover most of the spectrum. This combined with the mild temperatures of that time of year make for a truly enjoyable experience.

There have been times when in a tree stand, I’ve found that I just admire the graceful passage of a deer at a distance, browsing on foliage, unaware of my presence. The sight of a spotted fawn, hesitant and nervous, passing beneath me, made me hold my breath for fear of scaring it.

Yes, hunting isn’t always about bringing home a harvest from the fields and woods, for the memories are truly the richest reward of the sport.

Below, I offer a glimpse of a golden autumn in the woods…