Hunting seasons coming on fast

By Darrin Clark • Last Updated 3:45 pm on Monday, September 12, 2011

Within a week so many different hunting seasons are opening that it’s a real quandary to figure out what to hunt and where.
Sept. 15 seems to be the magic day for many hunters, so I suppose the best thing to do is simply make a quick choice and hit the woods or fields.
Some examples?
The rabbit season opens Sept. 15 and continues on until March 31. This is one of my favorite hunts, particularly when I have an opportunity to get up north to the swamps and hunt those snowshoe rabbits. You know, those giant critters that have feet about as large as my own. Of course, when winter comes they tend to turn white and become more difficult to spot. You can actually walk right past one and not even notice it, but having a dog along solves that problem.
The ruffed grouse season also kicks in on the 15th. It too is statewide and runs through Nov. 14 plus a late season comes on in December. The areas in which I normally hunt have fewer grouse each season, or so it seems. This seems to be a statewide concern as well.
Ah, the squirrel season also opens Sept. 15, and it runs through March 1. It is also one of my favorite hunts, as I can simply be lazy and sit on a log and wait for those rodents to appear. We can hunt fox, gray or even the black ones, and when prepared properly they are great table fare. My only quarrel with a squirrel is skinning and cleaning it, but once done the frying pan is always waiting.
The fall wild turkey season also kicks in Sept. 15. During the fall season it is OK to take a turkey of any sex, so with the number of birds lurking across the state it seems to be a “gimmee” for nearly all hunters. My only advice here is to please pick up a copy of the fall Michigan Wild Turkey Hunting Digest, just to be certain you understand where you can and can’t be hunting legally, and with what as well.
For those who like to pursue the “timber doodles,” better known as woodcock, that season begins Sept. 24 and continues through Nov. 7. I’ve hunted them a few times, but my 12-year-old son usually shot one before I could get my shotgun out of port arms!
Of course a lot of other things are happening as well, or about to happen, such as pheasant season in October, and of course the many deer hunts becoming available soon. Archery deer season will kick in Oct. 1, and I know some hunters who are scouting now and practicing almost religiously. Well, that’s been one of my favorite hunts since I was a youngster, so I know how they feel.
Now, I must apologize for my lack of knowledge about the duck or goose seasons. Those are hunts I’ve seldom participated in, so I’ll leave those to the experts and to the DNR reports.
As a parting shot, don’t forget the Pheasant Forever Annual Banquet that’s coming up the evening of Sept. 17 at the Holland Lake Golf Course facility. I’m not certain as to the number of tickets remaining, but one may call Larry Engel at (989) 831-5843 for information and tickets. The Montcalm County Pheasants Forever chapter is one of the best in the state, and it deserves our support.
Now, concerning all those Sept. 15 opening hunts, oil up your dog and feed your rifle lots of carbohydrates, so they’ll be in shape when the day arrives. Good hunting!

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