Late summer and early fall hunting seasons

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, August 31, 2016

For the most part, hunters endure summer, with very few things to hunt in summer months, waiting on September and October to roll around.

In early September (September 10 this year to be exact), is the start of archery (bow and arrow to me) season here in the western counties of North Carolina. Archery season is the only realistic chance to take a buck in velvet, something very few hunters do in this area.

Heat, sweat, and mosquitoes are my most common memories of early season bow hunting. But when you haven’t hunted for a while, just getting out there can be good enough. I’ve often said if I lived up north I would definitely have to ice fish, because there is no way I could go six months without fishin’, so I can relate.

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October is the start of cooler temperaturess, noticeably shorter days, and the start of a few more seasons. The first segment of archery season in the western counties runs till October 2, followed by two weeks of black powder (muzzle loader to me) season starting on October 3. Muzzle loader season was always one of my faves. I saw more bigger bucks then than the rest of the season combined, and also harvested my biggest buck then as well.

The first segment of bear season in the western counties opens October 17. There are some special regulations about hunting over unprocessed bait, but I’ll let you interpret it for yourself at I never did like hunting over bait, but the thoughts of getting a bear may would cause me to buckle, one time anyway.

I always wanted to get a bear, but the stories of hunting them with dogs in steep terrain was less than appealing to me. Now there are enough bears that one can have a realistic chance to get one from a stand.

I have October 17 in mind this year, as that is the start of grey and red squirrel season state wide. My daughter has been wanting to go hunting, and squirrel hunting is one of the best ways to get kids involved. On most days, you will see at least a few squirrels. You don’t have to sit still very long, and a little talking usually won’t ruin the hunt. We just need a Grandma to cook us squirrel dumplins, so which Grandma will it be?

If you get a chance, get a kid involved in the outdoors. If you don’t like the thoughts of hunting, you can just get them involved in shooting. Most kids love to shoot bow and arrows, BB guns, and .22 caliber rifles. And despite all the bad publicity hunting and guns may get, they are great tools to teach responsibility and values, and isn’t that a considerable part of what’s missing in society today?