The crostini has made a name for itself in restaurants, at dinner parties, and on home date nights. The canvas of a blank French bread allows the chef to paint the diner’s palette with a full flavor experience all in one bite. Working with the crostini can open creative avenues without requiring much time or cooking experience, therefore making it one of my favorite ways to practice building complex and well-rounded flavor profiles I can then rotate into my cooking compilation.
Last week we had a gorgeous early spring day here in Central Pennsylvania. Not one of those almost too-warm afternoons that brings everyone into frenzy, but a pleasantly mild 50-some degrees, truly my favorite weather. I took the opportunity to head straight from work to scout for deer in the mountains.
Many folks shed hunt this time of year, which I somewhat do, but what I am really searching for is buck sign leftover from last fall's rut. During winter, the deer in this area herd up in thermal hemlock valleys which they don't frequent nearly as much during hunting season, so shed hunting does not benefit me substantially. Early spring prior to green-up is a tremendous time to be searching for new spots. I am looking for general areas with good deer concentrations, and next fall I will do stealth recon missions to verify there are bucks using the area and pinpoint stand locations. The combination of signs I look for are quite simple, yet require tuned-in observation to locate: convergence of deer trails, typically on benches, saddles, and other map features; with scrapes and rubs (preferably big) in the vicinity; and, food (acorns) and bedding within easy reach.
Fort Riley’s whitetail season going into full swing soon, starting with a youth and disabled veteran hunt on Sept. 3 and regular archery starting on Sept. 12 as well as muzzleloader season. Through the years, the natural resources staff at the base have built one of the premier hunting and fishing programs in the Midwest and serves as a prime example of how excellent habitat and wildlife populations can co-exist with demanding military operations.
Match these setups to the terrain and conditions on your own property for your best chance at a giant-racked trophy this season.
Period of the rut, weather, moon phase, hunter pressure, deer numbers…yeah, they all have an impact on when deer will move and when should hunt, but some days universally will be better than others. You need to be out there on those days.
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