By Jeff Dennis
For the hunter who is relying on some holiday time off to hit the woods in search of game, part of the excitement comes with all the hunting options that are in play. When driving one’s auto, a dashboard indicator comes on every now and then, perhaps the low windshield fluid light, but that one light hardly catches your attention. But when all the dashboard icons light up, the driver gets a little more excited about what is about to happen. Hunters get the same thrill (perhaps with a more positive cant) in November when they get to enjoy quail, dove, duck, hog and deer seasons simultaneously.
Quail preserve season begins in October each year, but the preponderance of warm weather hasn’t offered much comfort for bird dogs and those whowalk the woodlands. November mornings tend to be cooler, so time your outing to wrap by lunch and leave the warm afternoon hours to other pursuits. Since quail season stretches until the end of February, early season hunts serve to knock the rust off your upland routine, which has been dormant since March.
Waterfowlers were back in action during the month of September hunting for Canada geese and teal, but the entire menu of species will be available November 19-26. Duck hunters must be vigilant in their scouting if warm temperatures in the Atlantic flyway continue the trend for a late migration. A six-duck limit is still attainable daily by starting with some wood ducks in the bag and then hoping to finish with some solid wingshooting on any migratory ducks.
Holiday dove hunts will be in effect from November 12 through November 26 and these bird hunts offer the kind of traditions that make hunting rich in heritage. A typical Saturday afternoon dove hunt can be accented with a meal either before going in the field or after. College football games are more meaningful now and smartphones will be utilized to keep up with all the action while camped out in a cornfield. Don’t forget about bragging rights for the top gun and all those who harvest a 12-dove limit.
Still hunting for deer and hog involves stealth and planning. Archery enthusiasts put in lots of time on their deer stands, showing a special devotion for the hunt. Enter the field at dawn or closer to dusk and keep watchful for big game movement … but also for the non-game residents of the Lowcountry. Driven hunts with dogs will bring large groups of hunters together for one sole purpose, in a demonstration of unity that is their hallmark. Not everyone will harvest an animal, but the meat will be shared equally and thus the dividend is that all are rewarded.
There is one remaining dashboard light in November that toys with adding chaos to the hunting sessions and that is the fishing indicator. Whether you are a freshwater or saltwater angler, any Indian summer days will have the fish biting and a fish fry is a popular recreation for many. In review, match your discipline with you schedule during November and you will surely gain an appreciation for each endeavor.