Now that spring gobbler season is over for another year, what is there to do for the outdoorsman until the fall hunting seasons begin? Other than mowing the lawn and taking care of the honey-do list, there are still a lot of things to enjoy in the outdoors in the summer.
Fishing: You can fish the lakes for Bass, Muskie and Crappie, pound the streams for trout or take a canoe down the river for Smallies. Who doesn't love fishing?
Groundhog Hunting: A fun way to spend those summer days while keeping your shooting skills honed. Some go all out and have special rigs for whistle pigs. Flat-shooting rifles in calibers such as .223, .22-250 or .220 Swift with heavy bull barrels, bi-pods, high-magnification scopes and even shooting benches. But you don't need all that. Just use the rifle that you use for deer hunting. Ask farmers and many will be happy to let you rid them of the nuisance hogs that cause them headaches with their digging. Be courteous of their land and be mindful of barns, livestock and homes.
Bowfishing combines the best of both worlds. Find a lake or river with Carp and you can have a ball. You don't need to break the bank on equipment either. A few fiberglass bowfishing arrows, quick-release tips and a bowfishing reel are all you need. Next time you come across an old recurve at a yard sale for a few bucks, consider it for bowfishing. Most shots are fast and close, so instinctive shooting is best... but you can use your normal hunting rig if need be.
Wild Hog Hunting can be some of the best times you can have with your camos on. I live in Pennsylvania and obviously we don't have wild hogs here so that leaves two options for someone like me.
1.) Pay a lot of money to hunt a preserve (which are usually wild hogs trapped from other states and transported)
2.) You can spend about that same amount of money and head somewhere like Florida that has an overabundance of hogs. There are so many hogs in Florida, they don't even have a limit on how many you can take, nor require you to buy a hunting license to pursue them. Do some research online, make some calls, and you might find an area that is overrun with pigs and open to public hunting. For the price of a preserve hunt, which would only allow you one or two pigs, use that money for an airline ticket south and take as many as you want. Don't forget, it's Florida! Make a family vacation out of it. Spend a few days with the family at Disney, or Key West and maybe they wont mind that you spend a few days hog hunting.
Coyote Hunting. Most people don't think of predator hunting until January or February but they are out there all year long. Sure, it may be a little tougher calling them in since there is so much food available now and no breeding season this time of year, but it can be done. The only downside, really, is that their coats won't be as full and thick as they are in winter.
Other things to do... but I don't
Mushroom hunting can be fun...I guess. I don't eat mushrooms and I couldn't tell a good one from a poisonous one, to a gift left by a wild critter, but there are a lot of people out there that go in search of the fungi. Only pepperoni on my pizza, thank you!
Rattlesnake hunting. Okay, there are some brave souls out there that actually go in search of rattlesnakes. Some just catch and release while others gain a permit to take them and turn them into supper. No thank you! Just the mere sight of a snake makes me shriek like a schoolgirl. I will leave that up to folks that don't have an extreme fear of dying. Again, only pepperoni on my pizza, please!
So get outdoors this summer and enjoy the opportunities that await you. It sure beats mowing the lawn.