Ah, November – sunset at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge

No question, November is my favorite month of the year. It’s a time of several weeks or so of vacation, with times taken out for covering the opening weekend of pheasant season and whatever other outdoors event that’s both fun and worthy of an outdoors page feature.

From time to time this November I’ll be blogging on how the month is going.

So far, so great.

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Many of my November days are spent hunting ducks with Hank in the morning and sitting in a blind hoping to arrow a buck in the afternoon.

At least once a November, though, I spend the afternoon inside the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge burning a few hundred digital frames at rutting whitetails and assorted waterfowl.

Sandhill cranes against a brilliant sunset at the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, a favored photography stop in November.

One of those afternoons happened when I noticed the solid clouds of morning and early afternoon began to break at about 3 p.m. A connoisseur of great sunsets, I figured the clouds would be nicely fragmented by sundown…and they were.

For about an hour I cruised slowly , taking photos of some nice whitetail bucks distracted by raging hormones and tamed by never being legally hunted.

Never hunted, the rutting whitetail bucks at the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge offer great opportunities for photographers.

Finally, I ended up pushing the refuge’s speed limit to make it to the legendary Big Salt Marsh just in time for one of the better sunsets of my life. Flocks of sandhill cranes silhouetted against the brilliant colors added greatly to the photography and experience.

You can expect to see a column, and a lot more photos, about the day on a coming Outdoors page and on kansas.com/outdoors.