It’s hard to believe that it’s already this time of year again; the holiday season is staring us in the face and bowhunting seasons out West are winding down just as the eastern side of the country is amping up for the whitetail rut. While opportunities are fewer this time of year for us western bowhunters, they are far from over.
Utah’s extended archery still offers opportunities to pursue mule deer and a growing elk herd. There is still a lot of season left in the Dakotas, eastern Colorado tag holders will see some giant mule deer during the rut, Arizona has some great Coues and mule deer opportunities in December and January, Oregon offers a late season cow elk hunt if you can still see the bottom of your freezer and there are still other opportunities for a bowhunter looking to sniff out some late season action.
August and September are too short. It’s too early to hang up your bow for the year – time to add a base layer and get back out there!
If you’re a backcountry purist that has turned up your nose at the thought of sitting in a treestand for whitetails, you should seriously reconsider. As whitetails aggressively expand westward, seasons and tag limits for them have gotten longer and more plentiful.
Though you won’t be glassing from a bivy camp at 10,000 feet, you can still have a very exciting hunt. Idaho, Montana, Washington, Wyoming, the Dakotas and Colorado all have seasons for whitetail that extend deep into the fall—some well into the winter! I’ve spent some time chasing them around over the past few years and have enjoyed employing new tactics and learning about entirely different hunting methods—and the table fare is top notch!
Despite the fact that I still have a late season Wasatch tag, I find it is a reflective time of year for me. The hunts that I really treasure – the early season alpine hunts, have passed and it is the beginning of the ten months that I reflect on the mistakes I made on my hunts, what I am going to change and how I am going to improve for the following year.
Keep your subscription up-to–date for more tips and tactics to help you fill all of your tags in 2014. If you have a hunting buddy that isn’t a subscriber, maybe a Christmas gift subscription is in order. If your gear list needs a work-over, it’s time to start merging your gear need list with your Christmas wish list. Look through our gift guide in this issue, you may find a couple more items to add to it.
Application season is just around the corner. The MRS’s will be rolling out in the next several issues. I’m already planning my 2014 hunt calendar, but don’t forget there are still ample opportunities left in 2013. You can still have an adventure that could land you between the covers of a future issue of EBJ. You’re not going to fill any tags from the comfort of your couch!