The Hunter’s Calendar
Kids Outdoor Outpost - February 2023
Joe Schuster | January 30, 2023
Many deer hunters see the calendar in phases. Take the Fourth of July, for example. Bowhunters will mark that as a time to take the bow to an archery shop and get it tuned. You may consider adding some new arrows or broadheads to replace those lost or shot up last season.
As July moves to August, the heat of a Georgia summer will crank up, making it a real effort to plant food plots and begin to pray for rain. As Labor Day looms, the search for dove buckets and chairs, boxes of 12’s and 20’s and locating a good field kicks in.
The opening day of bow season is the following Saturday, and many are both excited at the prospect of getting a glimpse of a good one seen on a trail cam.
As the intense heat continues into September, the sun sets earlier each day, and with it, shorter daylight hours. Testosterone in bucks increase and antlers shed their velvet and harden. The bucks that were seen in a group on trail cams are now separated as they look to set up their territorial boundaries. Hunters begin to think about the rut and possible stand sites.
Along that journey, the greens of summer drift slowly into hues highlighting the brilliance of the fall as nature shows one last push of incredible color. Many deer hunters spend hours on the stand and watch as leaves begin their final journey to the ground.
As season now rolls into December, hunters fortunate enough to put their tag (most digitally) on a deer, eagerly drive to their processor and are rewarded with some protein-rich venison. Mounts are either coming back or going to taxidermists. Then, the bleakness of winter sets in.
Extended bow season hunters in select counties find it harder to conceal themselves, and many climb higher above the forest floor in the attempt to disguise their presence. It’s a gray landscape with maybe only some privet hedges of green to offer a bit of color.
Hunting at this time of year is usually hit with some cold and wet weather.
As January comes to a close, small-game hunting offers a chance to be in the woods until the last day of the season on Feb. 28. Those hunters may even find a shed antler or two as they kick around in search of some rabbit or squirrel to add to a pot of stew. At that point, many hunters still stroll around the woods and look for a stray feather or a three-toed track indicating the presence of turkey. On private land, the turkey opener this year is on April 1, with the public opener on April 8, and the conclusion on both private and public is on May 15.
That leaves about a month and a half to get out on our many streams, ponds and lakes to wet a line and hook some lips before the Fourth of July is again circled on the calendar. As the seasons roll back and forth, I encourage you to take in all of the majesty of the outdoors and consider yourself fortunate to be there!
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