Hunting season is fully open

Welcome to hunting season. Some have been open since mid-August, and bear season opened before that. But from here through the rest of the year, hunting season’s open for real.

If you’re really serious about hunting, you’re probably not listening to this. Depending on where you are in the state, the sun’s either up already or sunrise isn’t far away. If you’re a die-hard hunter, you’re probably already hunkered down in a field waiting for the geese to come in, out in the timber trying to bring down a big bull elk or walking through the prairie hoping to kick up a sharp-tailed grouse.

But not all of us can take the day off to go hunting on an opening day that falls on a weekday. You can bet there’ll be a bunch of people out in the fields and forests this weekend, though. But there’s a whole lot of country out there. You shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a place where you won’t be competing with a bunch of other guys, even if you’re hunting on public land.

If you’re hunting on a general license for elk or deer, it’s not too hard to find an area that’s open now. There are a whole lot more deer areas open for rifle hunting than there are for elk, but there are still quite a few of each.

One quick note about the fire danger this year. It’s high. Really, really high. Unless we get a ton of snow, and maybe quite a bit of rain, too, it’s going to stay high. The national forests throughout the state are prohibiting open fires or anything that could set the forest ablaze, so take that into consideration. You can still have a gas grill that has a shutoff valve, but be sure you have a fire extinguisher and a shovel, too.

And if you have a license for an area that’s been closed due to the Mullen Fire, you might be able to get a refund or possibly hold your license over until next year. The fire danger’s high, folks. Be careful.

But you can still go hunting. Get out there and make good use of this hunting season.

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