If I ever find a lamp, rub it and a genie pops out, one of my wishes will be to rip June, July and August off the calendar. What do the three months have to offer? Nothing but heat, humidity, hurricanes and a general sense of malaise.

Who needs 'em?

But I wouldn't jump from May to September. Rather, I'd replace June, July and August with three additional Octobers.

This is, without question and inarguably, the greatest month of the year.

Friday-night high-school football is the last remnant of lost decades when neighbors would congregate to share laughs, solve the world's problems and watch their kids play.

That melts into autumn Saturdays, when even the mundane chores of life are somehow made tolerable when there's a college game on the TV somewhere in the house.

And then, of course, there's NFL football all day Sunday and prime-time on Monday.

This pigskin feast is enjoyed under blue skies and the best weather of the year.

Throughout Louisiana, average October highs are in the 70s, and lows are in the 50s. The air is crisp, the leaves crunch and the excruciating misery of the summer is an echo not worth straining to hear.

Besides that, October is our driest month of the year, so there's seldom a chance of showers to put a pox on the perfection.

With only football and spectacular weather, October would still be a great month, but it leapfrogs to the level of brilliance by the fact that all those furry forest creatures that have captivated our thoughts and haunted our dreams throughout the eternal offseason are finally fair game.

You've shot enough clay pigeons to make a court at the French Open, and your bow target has more holes than it does target. Now it's time to get after the real thing.

Last year's unusually cold weather made for excellent hunting conditions, particularly for deer. Hunters benefitted by filling their freezers with venison.

That means fewer bucks and does will be around for the 2010-11 season, but those deer have had less competition for limited resources, so the does will be fat and the bucks will sport more-regal headgear.

Also, there won't be a shortage of fawns because the wet spring led to a nice green-up that provided plenty of summer forage. That bodes well for the future.

If the right buck walks within bow range this month, it'll be the best season of your life. If not, you'll still have the hope in your heart of what might be.

Either way, you'll spend hours in a tree in the Southern woods watching nature in all her resplendent glory.

Did I mention this is the greatest month of the year?