What To Do After Deer Season

 

Sportsmen throughout the county face a difficult reality come January 2nd.  Deer season has just closed and now they must find some other activity to keep their interest throughout the long, cold winter.  Itís still too cold for most sane fishermen to take back to the water.  But there is still that longing to be spending time outdoors as opposed to being cramped up inside the house.  So what else can replace the excitement and enjoyment you were previously getting from deer hunting?

Several species of small game hunting offer the opportunity to hone your skills and place meat on the table.  Squirrel hunting can be enjoyable.  Most folks use squirrel hunting as a method for training younger hunters on proper gun safety and hunting ethics.  However, a select few actually use well-trained dogs to sniff out the squirrels.  As with any form of hunting, watching a quality dog go about his/her business offers a very rewarding addition to the hunt.  Without a dog, squirrel hunting can still be a very peaceful way to spend time in the woods.  Squirrel season ends on the last day of January.

Rabbit hunting also offers an opportunity to enjoy the thrill of dogs working.  Rabbit season runs through the end of February.  This form of hunting has always been quite enjoyable for me.  The thrill of hearing the dogs approaching always seems to get the blood flowing.  Rabbit hunting can also be a good venue for taking youngsters for some of their first hunting trips.  Itís not quite as tedious as deer hunting and talking is welcomed. 

Late winter also offers the season finale of the greatest of hunting seasons: duck season.  How could you not love waking up at 3 a.m. to go spend many freezing hours sloshing around in the swamp.  I realize it may not sound that appealing to many.  But for those who have seen a group of mallards circle their decoys numerous times before finally locking those wings and making their final approach itís simply incomparable.  Duck season stays in until January 24th this year.  If youíre going make sure you take plenty of warm, dry clothes and make special note of all the laws governing migratory waterfowl.   

            Despite the loss of deer season for the next nine months, there remains plenty of hunting opportunities to draw you back into the woods.  So get out and enjoy each season.  Just because the game may be smaller doesnít mean the hunt has to be any less enjoyable.