Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Extend your hunting season

© By Othmar Vohringer

When I visit other blogs and hunting forums I occurs to me, that ones deer hunting season ends most hunters consider it a done deal until the spring when turkey season opens up. Granted the whitetail deer is the most popular game animal. But the hunting season does not have to come to an end when deer season ends.

No matter where you live in North America you are able to hunt all the way through winter and into the spring right up to turkey season. As hunters we are also wildlife managers. With that I mean that hunters are the wildlife agencies most important toll to manage wildlife populations in a healthy and sustainable balance. With that said we should take advantage of all hunting opportunities.

North America has a huge over population of coyotes. No matter where you live coyotes are plentiful to the point where they are considered a nuisance. Not as wildly distributed but equally successful are wild and feral hogs. A resent study has shown that the wild and feral pigs are the fasted growing game species. These animals multiply so quickly that many jurisdictions regard hogs a problem animal and want them eradicated.

So far wildlife agencies have not had much look in persuading hunters to take care of this problem and thus are faced with the only other solution available. Wildlife agencies are left with no other choice but to hire professional animal control people. These professionals trap, poison and “hunt” coyotes and pigs from helicopters.

What upsets me personally about this drastic wildlife control measures is that:

The media jumps on these mass slaughter events and calls these pest control operations “hunters” and with that thoughtless remark gives us real hunters a bad rap in the public opinion. But more upsetting then that is the fact that the animals that are killed in these eradication operations are wasted. The killed animals are often left where they dropped dead to rot.

After deer hunting season is over don’t put your guns away. There is still a hunting season going on. Coyote hunting is great fun and you do an important service to the community. Coyote hunting is also a good way to open doors to land that has been denied to you in the past. With the calving season coming up many farmers are worried and wonder how many of the newborn calves will end up becoming coyote food.

Knocking on a farmer’s door and offer him to thin the coyote population out on his land might just be the ticket to gain permission to hunt deer too. It worked for me in the past. As a side benefit, coyote fur prizes have gone up over the last two years. A few prime pelts will pay for more then just a box of ammunition. In the current economical crises this has great appeal too.

Wild hog hunting is a great challenge and again farmers are glad when you offer to shoot a few hogs of his land that cause havoc on his cropland. Wild and feral hog provide some of the best pork you will ever eat. The way I see it. As hunters and wildlife managers we should step up to the plate and control wildlife populations even if it is not our favorite game animal. Extending our hunting seasons beyond deer season keeps us in good shooting condition and our hunting skills honed and gives relief to the off season boredom that seems to plague so many hunters. I know several places near our home that are overcrowded with coyotes and I will be heading out this week to talk to a few cattle rangers in the area, I already brushed up on my coyote calling skills.

Othmar Vohringer Outdoors
Founding Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit

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The Rabid Outdoorsman said...

I agree . . . I hunt coyotes all winter. Challenging, fun and keeps your hunting skill sharp all year long.

Check out http://www.varmintal.com/ to get started!

Othmar Vohringer said...

I agree with you. Varmint Al’s website is a wonderful coyote hunting resource and one I frequently visit if I need guidance and tips on improving my song dog hunting skills.


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