Some of the best hunts can also be the most boring. Think showing up a for a five-day deer hunt then tagging out in the first 10 minutes. If you’re hunting with friends and everyone arrived at hunting camp in one vehicle, then you’re really stuck. After you’ve taken a thousand photos of your animal and responded to every question on social media about the hunt, here are four ways to fill the void while others try to match your luck.
The fall crappie bite is hard to beat in the southern U.S. As long as you can find a few submerged trees, fishing from the bank is often fruitful. And lucky for the boatless that many lakes sit at lower levels during the fall and winter, making these beds easy to locate.
Trout fishing is another good venture for whiling away the days of punched tags. Again, southern streams that lack sheets of ice are ideal. Big browns and rainbows are lying in the bottom of deep holes with their mouths open. A few fresh trout on the grill is a nice addition to the red meat you’ve likely been eating every night.
For those us hunting in the Great North, it’s ice fishing. Similar to sitting in a shooting house, hunker down with a bottle of bourbon and a few sandwiches for a day’s sit on the ice. Walleye, muskie and pike may or may not take the bait, but it beats watching the squiggly version A Christmas Story on repeat in a stuffy cabin or rundown motel room.
Following a pack of stub-legged beagles through a thicket is near the pinnacle of fun. Even if the rabbits have crawled into an unreachable hole for the day, watching the dogs work is worth the effort. We’d advise you to find someone else with beagles and a piece of land. Your hunting buddies will appreciate you not raising a ruckus while they’re trying to tag out.
Grab a predator or prey call and go sit on the biggest field you can find that won’t mess up the rest of your hunting party. Using the Kojo coyote decoy from Montana Decoy will give the wary canines a visual to your calling. Keep your eyes on a swivel the entire time without much movement of your head or body. If you have a bipod, go ahead and extend the legs to have your rifle at the ready.
Shooting squirrels is much like hunting predators except knock the intensity down about eight levels and the chance of success up. Go sit on a ridge or oak flat. Keep the sun on your back and watch and listen. The winter is when the squirrel rut is at its peak and they will be on the move.