Labor Day is a good excuse to go hunting

I hope you’ve had a chance to get out in the field this weekend, and with luck, you’re out there now. There isn’t much that’ll improve your mood for another week at work like a good hunt on a weekend.

In my opinion, everybody should go hunting each weekend of the hunting season. You don’t have to go after elk or deer every time. Change it up a little. Hunt doves on the first weekend, then try to get a blue grouse or two the next. Later in the fall, you can start working duck and goose hunts into the rotation. If you mix it up, it’ll keep things fresh and give you more to talk about around the water cooler on Monday morning.

I’ve had some great hunts on three-day weekends, whether they came from a holiday or a vacation day. A normal weekend isn’t long enough to really get into a hunt, but just one more day off can make all the difference.

All the archers I know live for Labor Day weekend. There isn’t much open for rifle hunters this early in the season, but if bowhunting’s not your style, you can always pick up the shotgun. Blue and ruffed grouse and doves are all fair game right now. And you can also hunt geese in the Pacific Flyway.

Don’t waste this three-day weekend. We won’t get another one until … well, there’s one in October, but only if your office lets you out for Columbus Day.

The only thing I have against Labor Day is the heat. It’s still pretty warm this time of the season, and that can be a real drag for hunting.

Especially if you bowhunt in an area where there are snakes. A few years ago, I drove out to a walk-in area north of Burns. I parked the truck, then I went around to the passenger side to get my bow. When I got to the front of the truck, I literally came an inch from stepping on a coiled rattler. It was just cool enough that morning that the buzz-worm couldn’t even flick his tongue, let alone try to strike, but my nervous system didn’t get the memo. Before I knew it, I was ten feet away from that snake.

It ruined my hunt. I spent the rest of the morning paying more attention to the ground than to the antelope I had come to hunt. I finally gave up and went home.

But at least I got out. And I got a bunch of cool pictures and a good story out of it.

Get outside and enjoy this Labor Day. Just watch out for snakes.