An exciting way to experience a Kansas fall is sitting in a pop-up blind and photographing deer and turkeys on a woodland trail. Doing so may require some investigation beforehand – the same work and scouting needed for successful hunting. But it’s worth it when wild animals pass unknowingly just a few yards away, providing unforgettable memories and great photo opportunities.
Deer usually travel along noticeable trails in the same we drive on roadways. Find the best trails between feeding areas, such as corn, milo, or wheat fields, and bedding areas, normally thick cover where deer can bed safely, and set up where they’ll pass during daylight hours. I placed a pop-up tent blind in a brush patch with good travelways and waited only twice, for a total of five hours, to get the video shown here. I also saw a variety of other wildlife like birds and raccoons and watched as colorful leaves showered from trees in an autumn display.
It’s a long way from an armchair and “Dancing with the Stars." But taking the time to experience the outdoors in this way is a connection to nature that magazines and television can never provide. You feel the wind, smell the fall woods. A walk in pre-dawn darkness shows a skyful of bright stars you can almost touch. And there’s great reward when your plans go right, and relaxed wildlife provides a reality show just a few feet away.
Sure, it takes some work and effort. But it’s the kind of thing that keeps you young and fosters understanding about Life and the real world. We’re lucky that Kansas abounds with wild opportunities. Experience it, and bring it back home on film.