|A pack of beagles ready to hunt rabbits in the woods|
A large selection of game hunting seasons are set to open around Thanksgiving in time for traditional and annual holiday hunts. Big game hunting for white-tailed deer runs until New Year’s Day, while many small game seasons will continue all winter. An abbreviated dove and duck season will be open for Thanksgiving week before closing again on Saturday, November 30. Quail season kicks off on November 25 and rabbit season begins on November 28. Open season on common snipe and woodcock round out the small game options for hunters willing to spend time walking in the woods in search of these more elusive game birds.
Thanksgiving is a time to gather friends and family together and give thanks with fellowship. Cooking and eating turkey is likely the number one pastime, followed by watching football and perhaps even doing a little Christmas shopping. So not everyone looks to ‘turkey day’ as a time to get outdoors and hunt, but for a certain segment of Lowcountry folks it is just another part of the tradition. A hunt can be a solitary affair, perhaps walking down a brushy fire line with a dog in hopes of flushing game, or looking upward in the pines for a squirrel to shoot.
Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy watching canines work, but not everyone owns a hunting dog. Thanksgiving is a time to pool resources and join together for specialty hunts such as a rabbit hunt. It takes a cold-nosed tracking beagle to find the scent of a cottontail and then to give chase, all the while howling back at the hunters to be ready to shoot. Beagle owners have to run their dogs before the season is in, to train them and to get them in shape. If you have a friend that is willing to bring some beagles in order to hunt rabbits, I highly recommend it. A rabbit hunt includes lots of time spent in the woods, and other educational wildlife encounters are almost a certainty.
To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.
To view past blog entries about Thanksgiving click on 2017 Dove Hunts - 2014 Harvest - Camp Chef - Quail Season Opening Day - Mixed Bag - Lady Hunter tags 10-point buck - 2009 Driven Deer Hunt - 2012 Driven Deer Hunt