What a fabulous couple of weeks of weather we have had. Not the usual 95 degrees and 90 percent humidity we usually experience this time of year. It has been nice and comfortable for two weeks. Nice and cool at night also. Good sleeping weather.
This is the week that the town of Sparta, Ill., will see its population more than double. This is the week that shotgun enthusiasts from all over the world will meet to test their skills in the art of trapshooting. Probably the percentage would be something like 80 percent United States and the rest from foreign countries.
It is the week of the Grand American National Trapshooting competition. It features 11 days of different events of 100 or 200 birds that test the shooters’ skills. Princeton is represented by Wayne Hassler who has been shooting trap for many years. Hassler has entered in this competition for several years now, and he loves the competition. I went to watch him two years ago, and he shot a 98 and 99 in two events. I asked him if that would stand up. He told me no; there were four or five in his flight that shot 100s. I was amazed at the number of sharpshooters in the competition. I just hope this week will be his best ever.
We are into August now, and it won’t be too much longer until the various hunting seasons will start. Deer archery will start Oct. 1 and go to Jan. 19. Youth deer firearm is Oct. 12-13. Fall turkey shotgun is Oct. 19-27. First firearm deer starts Nov. 22-24. Second is Dec. 5-8. Muzzleloading first will be Dec. 5-8. Second will be Dec. 13-15.
My trusty mailman tells me the crappie are hitting good now. I went last week to a pond to try my luck at bass. I was accompanied by PHS student Drew Pranka, who came along with me to give me some hints. I sure needed some help because he boated three bass before I got my first cast. We had a great time together until my battery went dead. I was certainly happy the bass cooperated.
I happened to watch a program on TV the other night about the origin of the national parks. It was very interesting to find out the efforts of Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir and others, and the struggles they went through to get these American treasures under federal control so we all can enjoy them. I know the Grand Canyon is totally awe inspiring. Going to see the giant sequoias is still on my bucket list.
If any of you get a nice stringer of fish, give me a call, and I’ll put it in the paper. I won’t ask you the location.
Condolences to the family of Walt Windt, longtime athletic director at Princeton High School.
Lee Wahlgren is the BCR outdoor columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.