November 7, 2013

November is a special month for outdoorsmen

John Newcom Outdoors Columnist

---- — The leaves have been changing color and falling for a while now. I have done enough raking and bagging of leaves to last me until next year. I enjoy hunting much more than raking leaves and I suspect most of you do too.

November is truly a uniquely special month. It seems that almost every species of animal that you can hunt has a season open this month.

I know that if you are a deer hunter then you know that this month offers the best hunting of the season. The peak rut usually begins around the opening of firearms season and this can be a exciting time to be in the woods.

You have to get out and be there because each and every outing can be amazing. The animals just get fired up this time of the year and it seems that you can see something new on every trip.

November offers us 30 days of hope, hope that your first deer walks out at the right time, hope that your trophy comes along and surprises you on an unexpected hunt, and the hope of many great memories that will last you the next 365 days until November comes around again. The rest of the year is either the appetizer or the dessert, but November is the main course.

Rabbit hunters love this month as season opens. I have spent many days in the field busting brush and walking old rail lines chasing this small game animal. I cannot tell you how often I had hunted them as a child, but most of my early memories until teenage years hunting in the outdoors revolved around rabbit hunting.

A few of my fondest memories of my old Basset Hound were when I took him hunting on my grandparents old farm. He wasn’t the fastest, but he never gave up and I had more fun watching him than actually shooting the rabbits. I spent many days hunting with friends and although most of us rarely go after this small game anymore, we still try to go hunting together when we can. I know that each year I try to make myself go rabbit hunting once or twice and each year I want to do it more often.

Deer, rabbit, squirrel, pheasant and more are available to hunt this month. The one that is not is turkey. The fall season shut down in late October and reopens in December. I still have hopes of taking a nice turkey this fall. Hope, I guess, that is why we go out. The hope for collecting game. The hope for bagging a trophy. The hope for memories to look back on when the time comes that we can no longer venture out into the wild. The hope of what there is to come, the promise of an even better day than our best day before. The idea that we had fun and did things the ethical way in case this is our last season. November is special so treat each day as if it were your last and enjoy.

Be safe and good hunting!

John Newcom is an outdoors columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached through the sports department at 574-732-5180 or