Friday, December 19, 2008

Highlights of the 2008 hunting season

© By Othmar Vohringer

On December ten the deer hunting season in my home region of British Columbia closed. Waterfowl fall/winter season is still open to December 23, small game (snowshoe hares) to April 30, 2009 and coyotes are open to March 31, 2009.

As far as deer hunting goes it’s been a very strange season. I have seen lots of deer sign but very little deer movement. Hunters here in British Columbia agree that this had been one of the toughest seasons for deer hunters in a long time. The jury is not out yet what made deer move more at night then during daylight ours but we think it had to do with the strange weather patterns we had all through fall and early winter. Whatever the case may have been, my observation was that most deer movement occurred during the early and late daytime hours, before and after legal shooting light.

Despite that my hunting season was spiced with a few memorable highlight. It all started on pre-season scouting trip with my wife to a nearby area that traditionally holds a lot of deer. In scouting and wildlife photography I wrote about that trip and the wildlife encounters we had. It was this trip just a few days prior to hunting season that my hopes up for a successful deer hunting season.

But as every hunter knows things do rarely stay the same as they appear at first. This became very clear to me on the opening day of the deer hunting season and the drastic weather change that shut deer movement down.

Despite the disappointment on opening day I had some great experiences, such as on September 18, a sunny warm day. My wife and loaded the boat and drove to Nicola lake. About an hour into fishing and my wife caught her first rainbow trout with her own fishing tackle, which she just previously purchased. The fish was not the only thing that got hooked that day. My wife is now hooked on fishing too.

A few days later I sat in my office and driving everybody crazy with my duck calling rehearsals, after more then 19 I decided that perhaps it is time to go duck hunting again. This was followed my and unforgettable day in the duck marsh.

When my wife’s cousins husband phoned up to tell me that he would like to come hunting, it was time to get ready for our annual deer hunting camp with relatives and friends. The weather forecast looked perfect. A cold weather front moving in from the coast was bound to get the rut started. Once again I looked forward to continue my quest of a big antlered mule deer buck.

Not long after our annual hunting camp I went back out again to look at a new hunting area. A local man had told me that he had seen a few huge bucks in that area. Since this are was close to our house I thought that it couldn’t hurt to drive there and have a look around. Sure enough, the second day of hunting this new area I run into a huge buck. What became of that encounter and the lesson I learned is described in detail in my field notes.

Looking back at this years hunting season it was all in all a memorable season with many highlights, new experiences and learned lessons. While I didn’t get the deer I wanted I still managed to fill the freezer with waterfowl and upland birds. The fishing was good, and one of the rainbow trout I caught may yet turn out to be a true trophy. I have entered it into the trophy-fishing contest and I am just waiting to get the juries verdict. When I get the news you will read the results here on this blog.

Othmar Vohringer Outdoors
Founding Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit

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Live to Hunt.... said...

Sounds like a wonderful hunting season Othmar, congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Any day in the outdoors makes it a good season and I am already looking forward to next season.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Thanks for the comments. What made this season extra special for me was that my wife joined me on a fishing trip and is now my new fishing partner and that after all the years I didn’t hunt waterfowl I discovered the fun and joy of it again.

But as Tick pointed out quite rightly. Any day spent in the great outdoors makes for a good season.

Othmar Vohringer Outdoors
Founding Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit

Adam said...

The memories we make each hunting season are always fun to sit around the fire and talk about. I'm glad you had a great season full of memories Othmar.

SimplyOutdoors said...

It does sound like a great hunting season Othmar. And of course memories are something that can't be taken away.

Phillip said...

Sounds like a good season, but before you hang up the deer rifle, think about heading down, across the border for some CA hogs!

There's a lot of things to hate about CA, but year-round hog hunting is hard to beat.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Your right Jeff, the memories and what we learn about wildlife and nature are a huge part of what makes hunting.

Phillip I would love to come south for a hog hunt, maybe I will one day, but right now I am stuck here due to heavy snow (closed roads) and preparing for my upcoming seminars. Besides turkey hunting I am looking forward to head out in the spring and give seminars on hunting shows. It’s a great way to meet hunters and talk about our favorite subject – hunting.

Othmar Vohringer Outdoors
Founding Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit

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