Deer season here in Louisiana is off to a rocky start for some hunters. To date, I have seen one legal buck. But I have seen other deer, turkeys and bears. As the weather changes, we might experience a change in deer activity on our leases.

Be sure you should have permission to hunt on any private land. Just because there is a culvert in a ditch, a gate left open, no fence along a road, or a place no one else is hunting, you cannot hunt there without permission from the landowner, renter, or lessee. If you want to hunt, you have to pay.

Don't put yourself in a bind by being somewhere you're not supposed to be. When in doubt, check with your state conservation/wildlife and fisheries department for specific rules, regulations and requirements.

I have not heard of any great numbers of ducks being seen or hunted. I reckon the unknown strategy of Ducks Unlimited's work in the states above us has kept many a duck from coming down. It probably will take something just short of a two-week freeze to get the duck population near here. A federal duck stamp is required if you hunt ducks and geese.

Christmas will be here before we know it. For your outdoor person, look at a couple of useful and neat gifts. Does your hunter often complain of seeing deer, but can't “put horns on him”? How about a good pair of binoculars?

A good pair of glasses will allow you to see many more things, more easily than you will see with your naked eye. You will also see better with two eyes rather than looking through a rifle scope.

Look at it this way. You have made your morning hunt and are walking back to camp or to your ATV. You walk across an old logging road and there is someone looking at you on 9 power with the safety off the 06. Try a pair of field glasses. You will be amazed at what you've been missing.

Of course, a good pair of field glasses can be used year-round. It is an item covered by the phrase “you get what you pay for.” Buy the very best binoculars you can possibly afford. Expect to pay $200 to $700 for a fairly good pair of field glasses.

Look for fixed-power glasses with a minimum of 40 mm objective lens, 50 mm being about the largest. Look for the power range of 8X or 10X. My personal choice is a pair of Steiner 10X50 Nighthunters.

Look for warranty information. Pay close attention to the binocular's rating of water-resistant or waterproof. Go with waterproof, because they will have better O-rings and sealing.

Haul your binoculars with you in such a fashion that you will learn how to use them. You will be amazed what is out there. There are some really good “binocs” on the market, so pick carefully.

Another useful item for the outdoor person or, for that matter, anyone else is the multi-purpose tool commonly referred to as the “Leatherman tool.” I have a “Bucktool.” My wife, Margaret Ann, has a “Gerber” apparatus, and my son, Ruff, has the original “Leatherman tool.” All are high-quality stainless steel tools.

It is unbelievable what can be accomplished with them. Why, with one of these and a 4-inch crescent wrench in your pocket, you can handle most small emergencies.

There are many of these tools on the market. Look for “Made in America” and its warranty. Expect to pay $50 to $75.

Keep the Christmas spirit. Keep Christ in Christmas. The most striking and the most universal feature of Christmas is the use of evergreens in churches and homes. Among ancient Romans, evergreens were an emblem of peace, joy and victory. The early Christians placed them in their windows to indicate that Christ had entered the home. Holly and ivy, along with pine, and fir are called evergreens because they never change color. They are ever-green, ever-alive, even in the midst of winter.

Under Christian thought and sentiment, holly became widely used in church celebrations. Holly was considered as the burning bush, or a symbol of Mary whose being glows with the Holy Spirit. The red berries represented the blood drops from the thorns in the crown of Jesus. Our forefathers called the procuring these evergreens, “Bringing home Christmas!”

If you get a chance, take a kid hunting or fishing. For that matter, take anyone. One doesn't have to kill to enjoy the outdoors. Some of the best friends and meals are made “at the camp.”