Outdoors in Whitehall with Gene Terry: Snow throws hunters a curveball

S now does a crazy thing when you get it during hunting season. It drives all the hunters crazy with wanting to be out in the woods stalking that buck. The only trouble with this year’s first snow fall, it was too much. Ten inches of heavy slippery snow fell where we hunt causing all kinds of difficulties.

The fore most is, it was too deep and slippery to walk very without working up a sweat. In most cases for those who wanted to get way back in the woods it was even too deep in most places for even an ATV.

Snow also is a deer hunter’s helper. It tells you where the deer are traveling and mostly how recent a deer just went by. The only trouble with this year is that there were no deer to go by at all. Three days after the snow fall and still no tracks in the woods. Most hunters were blaming themselves for not seeing deer figuring they lose that certain touch of sneaking, tracking and scissoring over hill and dale to catch that wieldy buck napping. The truth is there are very few deer to be had. Snow actually confirms that.

If this snow lightens up and has a crust on it walk on, makes ideal conditions to hunt rabbits. Now nobody I know of hunts rabbits anymore especially during deer season but it’s a lot of fun! If you have a beagle dog that’s even more exciting. Nothing like hearing a beagle chase a cotton tail.

Cottontails will make a circle when pursued by a beagle. Hearing the beagle coming around gets you ready. Not so much ready to shoot the rabbit but to catch the dog afterwards. Beagles once they hear a shot, off they go again after another rabbit. Many a rabbit hunter had to return the next day after leaving his coat there for the dog. The dog was used to the master’s smell and after being tired from running rabbit all day would return to were they started and lay on the coat fully exhausted until his owner returned to pick him up. It happens quite often. Lots for fun though.

Deer seasons in the northern zone on Sunday, Dec. 4. A week of muzzleloading season ends on Dec. 11 in most areas (not inWashingtonCounty). Deer of either sex may be taken (why I don’t know). Southern Zone regular deer season also ends on Dec. 11. Southern zone black powder season ends on Dec. 20. If you have permits left over, you can use those during the black powder season.

Lots of deer hunting still left out there, now if only the deer would come out of hiding where they have been all fine, we might even see some.

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