To Bag the Trophy, Learn From the Runner-Up
by ZZ Troutski
Yes, the summer is sizzling and, yes, there is boredom in the hunting world. Although bushytails have been brought up as a way to have some extra added sport while waiting for the whitetail, elk, moose and all those popular game to come back around – there are other creatures out there that can help the avid sportsman/woman escape the summertime blues.
Although they have made a name for themselves with various popular TV shows, the prairie dog can also be helpful when it comes to relieving boredom. In fact, they provide a seriously great way to hone or keep up those marksmanship skills that will be needed when the cold air begins to blow once again.
East of the Rockies where the sage is prevalent and the newly-seeded pastures are playing home to colonies of prairie dogs, the hunter can find a true learning experience. It’s a fact that the prairie dog offers a bit of frustration and annoyance to the rancher or the landowner because of the holes they like to dig. Livestock can end up with broken bones while treading on this type of rodent golf course; not to mention, the livestock has to deal with getting the nutrition they need because the little doggies are eating like there’s no tomorrow.
Landowners aplenty allow hunters to take the prairie dog out of their way, and many hunters have answered the call to help. It’s odd when you look up the various hunts, or the YouTube videos that are available from the prairie dog field, because of the determination used to bring them down. With some hunters carrying heavy bolt-action rifles, if you didn’t know better you would say they were hunting a mammoth beast that was larger than the Yeti.
But that’s where the fun comes in. When the sun is shining over that mighty prairie and the wind is whistling through the tall grasses, waiting for that little varmint to ‘pop’ out and say hello can pass the time. And, the marksmanship is most definitely honed.
Although the hunting of the wolves ban has now been lifted in some spots, with other states getting ready to do so, the coyote is actually more fun to take a run at. Coyotes are definitely able to be hunted during the summer (even though they seem like the winter-type game), and year-round seasons for the coyote are available in most every state.
The pelt of the coyote may be thin, but the traditional calls sill bring the coyote to the hunter like the fly to the spider. Using this prey to stop the summertime blues allows hunters to master both hand and electronic calls. And by hunting in the early morning hours, you may just be able to beat the heat. Best idea? Hunt the coyote at night. Far more cool and far more profitable.
There have been a slew of articles in regards to the wild hog; with most of them focusing on the real pain and panic that overcrowding issues have created in the state of Texas. Wild sow can have more than fifteen babes in a litter, and by breeding almost three times a year, this is one creature that is in dire need of the skills that the hunter brings to the table. Shotes are popular for that tasty BBQ; and the very cool, mean-looking tusks are a thrill for hunters to have in the den.
If a woodchuck could chuck wood… Even after all this time that poem is still a mystery, but the actual creature is no mystery to the hunter. Woodchucks, groundhogs – these are the pests that can truly improve the hunter’s overall game. Being able to use all different kinds of rifles and ammo; not to mention the optics that the hunter wishes to learn and feel comfortable with when the big game comes back, is what hunting these little mites can help out with.
Seeing as that hunters must practice long shooting when working in this area, skills can be brought up more than a few notches when hunting for the always overabundant woodchuck.
Either way, no matter what you choose, don’t let the summertime blues get you down. This is the time of year to work on going from novice to master, so that when the trophy with antlers that seem to span from sea to shining sea shows up – you’re more than ready to take him down.
Source: Sportsmans Life / Baret News Wire