Hunting season is open for real

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 reading this. Depending on where you are in the state and when this program airs, 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 doves to come by, out in the timber trying to call in 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 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. Antelope, elk and deer hunters, blue, ruffed and sharp-tailed grouse hunters, dove, small game and sandhill crane hunters will all be out in the field this weekend, 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.

Most of the rifle seasons for big game won’t open for a while, so there’s another round of opening days still to come. But if you’re primarily a rifle hunter, don’t let the fact that your big game season hasn’t opened yet keep you out of the field.

Pick up the shotgun and go after one of the grouse species. Or try to bring home a dove or two before they all decide they’d rather be in South America. If you’d rather shoot a rifle, grab the .22 and go get a few cottontails.

Don’t let the first week of hunting season pass you by. Even if it’s only for a day, or maybe just a morning, jump in the truck and go try to get a grouse, a dove, or even an antelope, deer or elk with your bow. It won’t matter if you bring anything home or not. You’ll be glad you went, but if you stay home, you’ll be wishing you’d gone hunting.