Friday, January 2, 2015

Begin Crafting Your 2015 Outdoor Journal

Good friends share stories by the fire after a day spent outdoors    

Each and every year the outdoorsmen of the Lowcountry get to write a new chapter in their sporting journal. Some factors that frame our outdoor pursuits each calendar year are related to work and family commitments, but setting some goals can help to make the most of any free time. Success can come in many forms and whether hunting or fishing, sometimes the outdoor experience can outweigh any harvest.
Think the last day of deer season after the New Year’s Day hunt means that your pursuit of a trophy buck will be put on hold. Not a chance, because as many dedicated deer hunters know, scouting can often provide the intelligence necessary to cross paths with a mature buck. Any time after the New Year, bucks begin to cast their antlers, and so sportsmen should be out hunting for shed antlers.

Finding a shed antler equates to turning up an important clue regarding the mysterious whereabouts of a buck. A great place to look for sheds is in food plots that are planted with winter crops, the kind of green growth that attracts white-tailed deer well after corn piles are left unattended. Once the pressure of hunting season shuts off on January 2, don’t be surprised if deer return to old haunts and become more visible. The only question is if these clues are seen by a hunter with an agenda in 2015.

There certainly will be plenty of fishing options in the New Year for those more inclined to get on the water and wet a line. The up and down rollercoaster of winter weather these days means that there will always be sunny and warm days to go saltwater fishing. Anglers can study the weather before heading out to target spotted seatrout or sheepshead, and a redfish can be rounded up 365 days a year.

This outdoor enthusiast has immediate plans to spend time behind a brace of pointing dogs in search of bobwhite quail. Watching the weather for the coldest possible conditions will be a part of the routine for January and February. Small game hunting for squirrels and rabbits will always be an option when the opportunity arises. In each of these endeavors, the wild game meat will provide sustenance against the chill of winter.

To view this entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

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