The only break I get from the wife about spending a day out scouting is if I bring home some nice pine cones. They seem to be on the ground all year round, is there a time of year that they drop. I was at the big pine information center this weekend in the angeles natl. forrest and they had around 6 or 7 varieties of pine cones on display all of which I'd seen that day while scouting the hills but none of them in the were in all that great of shape.
Don't know about what time of year they fall, but I do know they go in three years cycles... ###One years as the little pollen deal-bob, another year as a green pine cone, and finally the third year, theyopen up releasing their seeds. ###I think I remember that some pines actually require a fire to cause the the cones to open up enough for the seeds to eject... ###Hope this helps some...
A few years ago our family was camping for Labor Day weekend at Big Trees State Park by Arnold, CA. Boy were those sugar pine cons dropping then. The reason they were dropping was that the squirreles were chewing them off. The cones were fresh and must have weighed 5+ lb and the were coming down from waaayy up in the trees. You needed a hardhat in the forest then. At that time I decided that the most dangerous animal in the forest was not bear or snakes but the darn squirrels.
I hope I just have the legal ones Yotegetter. The sugar pine cones are the ones I'm looking for I found last year they averaged 18-20" long. the weird thing is I find them one or two at a time and they are surounded by a hundred or so of the smaller variety. ###
Anyway, my experience on when to find the good ones is about the same time deer season starts (or early fall). It appears to me that most of the time pine cones don't fall on their own, unless there have been some horrific winds. Pine cones come down when the squirrels chew them down. You have to beat them to the green ones, and dry them yourself.