Today is Sunday, June 25, 2017

Rifle season opens Saturday

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One cold, opening morning in Louisiana

Swap your smoke poles for your rifles. Our rifle season opens this Saturday, Nov. 19 and runs all the way through, until January 8.

Then, if you have access and permission to hunt private land, you get some more time to hunt does, Jan. 9-13. Remember, this year, for the first time, if a male deer has antlers that protrude above the hairline, you must check him in as a buck. The limit here, in Unit L, is two bucks for the entire year and three does per day.

Saturday morning, if the weather suits me, I'll be in a ladder stand somewhere or perhaps even a ground blind.

This year, for the first time, I bought a ground blind and have it setup and brushed in a thicket that will fill up with deer as the pressure around me, drives them into hiding. Could get interesting.

The bucks are still interested in the does so even if you are seeing family units composed of does and young, keep a sharp eye peeled for the straggler. My buck tags are full so, I am strictly doe hunting.

And, this year, I'll be shooting my old Savage, Model 99 with a rotary magazine. I believe, I have had that rifle for about 40 years.

This year, after the season, I'm going to have some work done on it by a master gunsmith/engraver/artist.

He is going to fancy up the stock for me and make a showpiece out of it. I'd like to see the deer in one pile that rifle has killed.

Mostly, I doe hunt. I have quite a few families that I supply with deer meat each year. I kill them, gut them, drag them out and check them in. After that, it is up to them to process the meat.

Does are usually somewhat smaller and easier for me to drag out. Besides, we badly need to kill does in this area.

I hope, come Saturday, it is bright sunny and cold. I hope we have a heavy frost and it stays cool enough for deer to move on into the morning.

One of the advantages of peripheral neuropathy is, I can't tell when my feet get cold. They feel cold to me, all the time. I'm still hunting in tennis shoes. If the wind has to blow, I hope it is from the northwest.

If you hunt as I do, with archery, muzzleloading and centerfire rifle, you and I have well over 100 days to hunt.

Except for the four days of the two, young sportsmen hunts, we have been able to hunt from September 24 thru January 8.

And this year, we have Jan. 9-13 to hunt if we have access to private land. That should suit everybody.

Here in Wilson County, the deer herd is in great shape except for being a little larger than we would like.

That is why it is important to thin the doe population. I am not a trophy hunter any more.

Unless it is truly large buck or one that makes me mad, I don't usually shoot bucks. I certainly have no problem with hunters that do.

My philosophy for other hunters is, if it legal and you want to kill it, go right ahead. I have no problem with that.

However, I do wish you would keep in mind, we need to kill some does. Also, here is a secret. A dead doe, laying on the ground near your stand, is the finest scent and sight attractor you can use for drawing a buck in.

So good luck, be sure of your target and what is behind it.

Wear your 500 square inches of blaze orange and for sure, if you are hunting from an elevated stand, wear a good, fall restraint device, (fancy word for a safety harness.)

And be careful climbing up and down. That is the most dangerous part.

And send me a picture if you get one.

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John L. Sloan, Outdoors, Sloan
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