Montana always has a short Summer and early Fall. Just after the start of Dove season, the leaves begin to fall. It is not uncommon to get a frost or snow in mid-September, or sooner. This means that any deciduous, leafed trees and shrubs, will shed their leaves.
For lawn farmers, leaves this can mean mulch. Raking up the leaves and burying them into the garden makes wonderful soil. Other grass experts simply mow them up to add nutrient to their lawn or soil.
The problem is not the leaves, it is what is lurking amongst them. Land mines! If you have a dog, or other defecating critter, piles, pellets, patties, scat, poop, turds, crap, or whatever your favorite word is, stealth fully waits to ambush you.
This is the time of year to make sure that you are wearing boots, or shoes, when travelling around your leafy property. Bare foot encounters can be deadly.
No matter how well you look, there will always be a land mine lurking, with your name on it.
Make sure to wear gloves when raking and bagging. Land mines can go off when they are moved. Mowing will also discover hidden mines. Your mower tires will quickly stick to every hidden mine. The aroma will follow you as on your lawn grooming journey. Make a pit stop next to the garden hose to quickly spray it off. If the mower blades contact a land mine, shrapnel will be dispersed over a wider area. These smaller mine lets can be just as deadly.
The best thing that I can suggest is to make a thorough, daily Poop Patrol. Critters tend to go in the same general area, so be most cautious there. Sadly, there is always that random Widow Maker that is in a place least expected. Leaves also tend to stick to piles, so anticipate this camouflage. Take the critter along when clearing your yard. They tend to stop and relocate their past poop places.
Recycling dog mines is not a good idea for food gardens. Parasites, bacteria, and other cooties can be a problem. If you want to recycle it for nonfood use, it will need to age in a mulch bin for at least 6 months or so. Digging a Poo Hole and using enzymes works well. Just chucking the waste int the hedge or over the fence is not smart. These mines can go off later in the form of insects, germs, and other sanitation problems. Many people bag and dump the waste into their trash.
Despite taking all the proper precautions and staying alert, S–t Happens!