How the seasons are shaping up

Published 2:27 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Now the real hunting season is in, and the hunters are happy for several reasons.

The main of those reasons is the cool weather that came into our area with the opening of the firearms deer season. The night time temperatures were not close to freezing like we wanted them to be, but temperatures in the mid to upper 40s actually felt really nice.

On the day that our firearms deer season opened, the Florida archery season opened and they have to wait until Thanksgiving Day before they can legally bring out the big guns.

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I went down as far as Wewa on Tuesday, and they are glad that a significant hunting season is in as they are in as dry a time as they were before Tropical Storm Fay visited the area dropping about 18 inches of rainfall. We got 20 inches and more, and we are now as dry as we were before the storm also.

We do have a nice lake to fish in while they just have Dead Lakes. We do have a much larger area and deeper water than anyone in the panhandle of Florida has. They do have several beautiful rivers, but they are all very low. We are lucky to have the dam where it is.

Now to the harvest.

The folks that have taken the few big bucks so far this season have become tight lipped. They are not talking much or not so as one could tell anything about the location. When hunters are taking a big eight- or 10-point buck at the first of the season, his season is basically over.

The folks up at the state department really don’t want you to kill but one big buck and your other buck a small one. With a two-buck and 10-doe limit you can see that they had rather you kill does. If you are there for the meat, a doe will certainly taste better and won’t have that strong game taste or smell like a really big buck does.

There is no doubt that the weather will warm back up and the nights won’t be so cool and the afternoons will be almost hot. This is south Georgia and even that warm weather will give way to some more cool weather and work toward our first frost, which should not be that far off now.

Most hunters had rather hunt when it is cold, or at least cool for several reasons. One is the snakes have found a winter spot to live until the warmth of next spring brings them out.

Another thing is a heavy frost, or killing frost, that usually comes in November kills the tender browse in the woods and deer have to move more in order to find food and satisfy their hunger. The more a deer moves out in the wild the more of a chance you, the hunter, is going to see that deer.

The woods are still pretty thick and seeing a deer down in the woods is not as good right now as it will be after the winter causes the trees to drop the leaves. But then again it will be much harder for you to stay hidden in a treestand in a tree that had little or no leaves on it. So it goes both ways, putting things in your favor, but also putting things in the favor of the deer.

He will have to look for you on the ground as well as in the trees while he will almost surely be on the ground. That puts one more thing on your side. The more things you can get in your favor, the more success you will have in this or any other hunting season.

This afternoon, I was thinking about the Florida deer season staying in until the end of January, which is two weeks longer than ours. But you know we have been hunting for about five weeks when they start. I don’t think I would want to give up three weeks of hunting just to hunt the last two weeks of January.

If you are banking on those two weeks to be cold, you won’t win every year. Some years we have a warm end of January. Leave it like it is.

We may get it messed up like the dove season is.