OutdoorHub Editor: Keenan Crow 08.03.20
We’re in the middle of some odd times, and it’s likely you’ve had some hunting trips postponed, or squashed altogether. What now? Are you scrambling to get a hunt together so you have SOMETHING on the books for the fall? And what about all these social distancing guidelines we’re told to follow?
Well, if you’re on the hunt for fall pursuits that abide by said guidelines, take a look at the list below of my favorite ways you can social distance this fall:
We’ll kick this list off with one of my favorite fall pursuits – upland hunting. If you’ve never had the opportunity to go before, I highly encourage you to find a friend who bird hunts and ask if you can tag along on a hunt this fall. Chances are they won’t mind, and will even appreciate the extra gun to help knock these elusive birds out of their flight. And once you flush your first grouse, or watch a bird dog slam on point, you’ll be hopelessly hooked like the rest of us.
The best part – at least in my opinion – is the physical toll you face each hunt.
Busting through grouse covers while carrying a shotgun is definitely no walk in the park, but it is great exercise, and helps firm up the legs and those “shooting muscles” before other hunting seasons kick into gear.
September is creeping closer, and I can only imagine the level of excitement all you elk hunters out there are feeling.
Living in the mid-west, I spend most of my time in the fall waiting on whitetails, but elk hunting sits right at the top of my bucket list hunts. Notice I said ‘waiting’ on whitetails instead of ‘chasing,’ because sitting stationary in a treestand for hours just doesn’t feel a whole lot like chasing to me. The thing about elk hunting that appeals to me the most is actually being on the ground with these animals, trying to beat them with the odds stacked against you.
Hunting speed goats with my bow is another spot and stalk type hunt that’s near the top of my bucket list hunts.
If you’re looking for a fun challenge, look no further than an archery antelope hunt. These springy critters are great fun to chase, and Montana is chock full of over-the-counter opportunities for bowhunters. On top of that, Montana also has a plethora of public land to hunt. The hunts are fast paced with multiple stalks per day and you’re not limited to hunting at first light and last light like many other game animals.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a whitetailer through and through, but I envy those of you who can run up to the mountains and glass for high country mule deer on any given day or night.
Perhaps it’s the similar spot and stalk method used for elk and antelope that attracts me to mule deer hunting, but I also believe it’s the challenge of it all that excites me the most. Not to say the other pursuits mentioned on this list are any less of a challenge, but this hunt will definitely require some extra time spent behind your bow firming up your accuracy and practicing for a wide variety of shots from all angles and trajectories.
There’s not a lot of people who will willingly wake up early in the morning, throw on a pair of waders and go sit in a marsh blind. So that makes waterfowl hunting the perfect social distancing activity.
Why Texas? Well, why not?
Texas is part of the Central Flyway, and in turn gets used by a wide range of waterfowl species. Most waterfowl are migratory. As seasons change, waterfowl populations move to new areas to meet their biological needs. In general, waterfowl typically spend late spring and summer breeding, nesting, and raising young in northern latitudes and during fall and winter move to southern latitudes with warmer climates.
Here’s a list of common waterfowl species in Texas:
- American Wigeon
- Blue-winged Teal
- Green-winged Teal
- Mottled Duck
- Northern Pintail
- Northern Shoveler
- Wood Duck
- Common Merganser
- Hooded Merganser
- Ring-Necked Duck
- Ruddy Duck
- Lesser Scaup
- Canada Goose
- Lesser Snow Goose
- Ross’ Goose
- White-Fronted Goose
If you really want to get some space between you and civilization this fall, get yourself a rooftop tent for your truck or SUV.
Not only does it make camping more comfortable and less stressful, but it also makes it as easy as stopping your truck wherever you want to setup camp, and that’s essentially it! With a rooftop tent on your vehicle, you can be completely setup and start camping in anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.
The versatility is really a game changer, especially if you want to keep your hunt camp completely mobile. Just pack everything up in your truck, zip and snap your tent down, and you’re off to the next spot!