With the regular, nine-day, gun deer season winding down to Sunday’s closing, some hunters, deer conservationists, photographers and admirers will to call it a year and begin waiting for next September and November.
That’s unnecessary. There are many great days ahead, days when the weather may be even more conducive to these activities, or offer different conditions (snow, ice, cold), too.
Here’s a list of just the deer seasons yet to be enjoyed: bow deer hunting continues until early January. Even before that, there’s a 10-day muzzleloader season, a four-day antlerless season, and a week of Holiday hunting in some regions. Some metro units remain open longer, too.
When online studying the recent gun deer season, move down on the pages and observe, too, the bow hunters’ successes.
Bow hunters have been recording bucks and antlerless deer at a record pace in some areas with 79,093 reported as of last week. About 30,372 were antlerless, while 45,721 were bucks. Crossbowers have taken 677 more bucks than traditional archers.
As weather cools still more, remember the panfish seem to taste better when caught through the ice, but be careful. Even before ice fishing is “open” listen to the open water walleye anglers who live for November. Many of them can be found taking a day or two away from the gun deer season to launch a boat or ride along with another angler.
The same holds true for duck hunters who know that colder, more inclement weather can mean trophy walleyes. More record walleyes are taken in November than in most other months. Don’t be afraid to alternate with a rod and rifle.
Pheasants have less cover each day. Birds are still being released by the department on public lands. Go into the corners, farther away places other hunters avoid. Be aware, too, that there is a good chance of heavier birds, longer tail feathers and noisier birds.
Turkeys, too, are aplenty. Tags are still available. Where they feed is more limited each week. It’s somewhat like deer hunting, but relying more on calls. Even the jakes and jennies are heavier now.
The time for feeding small and large birds is upon us. Feeders may have noticed that backyard birds are a bit scarce right now. Part of the reason is they really don’t need us as much as we need them. Further, with the excellent growing season this past spring, summer and fall, there is more natural food. Robins and bluebirds continue to be visitors at crabapple trees and wherever small fruits are found. Bald eagles are more spread out, searching for offal left in fields.
Provide some protection from the wind for these birds, water for drinking, and a few specialty foods and the feeders should fill up faster.
Some of those protected and hunted species make excellent subjects for Christmas cards, either as the card itself or as a photo inserted into a card. A mild suggestion is to keep the cards natural and remove any thoughts of dead animals as the main subject. In most cases, natural scenes are best, too, absent of feeders and building backgrounds.
There is so much hype surrounding gun deer season many think there is nothing else. Cherish the last day of the season and move on to what follows closure of the nine-day tradition.