Keep Hunting During the Summer
deer and spring & fall turkey seem to dominate the spotlight for most
hunters. They daydream of dropping temperatures
and foliage changes in the fall, or the thaw and warmth of spring which are sure
signs that hunting season is approaching quickly. But when temperatures rise in
the summer and you’re between hunting seasons, how can an avid hunter stay
active in the field? Here are several
types of animals that are sure to give a great chase.
Coyotes can be very illusive but it is important to remember they are a predatory animal and can be very dangerous if cornered or wounded. Coyotes are a popular game for many hunters and their numbers have exploded over the past 20 years. Typically coyotes are “called” into range using either manual or electronic predator audio calls, from companies like Primos or FoxPro. Once in range, they are taken by a high powered rifle in calibers such as: .223, .243, 30-30, .308, 6.5mm Creedmoor, etc. As you can see, there is a wide variety of rifles that can be used, however the key is accuracy and moderate knockdown power. Many hunters will equip their rifle with a bipod or tripod to stabilize the shot and maximize the opportunity. Coyotes don’t always offer a second shot.
Hog Hunting also referred to as “feral hogs” has become extremely prevalent over the past 20 or more years. Hogs reproduce large litters at a fairly rapid rate and have grossly over populated specific areas of the U.S. The SCWDS estimates the feral hog population in the south central and southeast states to be over 9 million and growing. At 6 months maturity, sows produce 1.5 liters per/year and on average have (6) piglets in a liter. Hunting hogs can be accomplished from the ground or the air, as an increasing number of guide services are offering aerial hunting services with helicopters. States located all along the southern areas of the U.S. are begging hunters to help with overpopulation issues, so feral hog hunts are easy to find. Hog hunters use a variety of weapons ranging from rifles, shotguns, handguns, archery and even spears.
Prairie Dogs are a popular target for hunters that have a steady hand and sharp eye. Prairie dogs reproduce once per/year and only have 2 to 3 pups per birth, but there appear to be an endless supply of them inside a prairie dog town. A hunter will find them in open prairies of many states throughout the central part of the U.S. Referred to as varmint hunting, popular rifle calibers used are: .223, .204 Ruger, .22-250, .220 swift, as well as several others. As you can see, there are a wide variety of calibers that will do the job. The other important component is the rifle scope, as the yardage can range from 100 to 600 yards or more with an average between 200-300 yards. Prairie Dogs cause serious management issues for farmers and ranchers, so hunting them helps with population control and varmint management.
“Chicken of the Trees” Squirrels offers a worthy opponent for the avid hunter. They are tricky to stalk and the illusive dance to get them to expose themselves from behind a branch can be the best part of the hunt. Early mornings tend to produce slightly more activity as they forage for food and bedding, but squirrels are normally active from daylight to dusk. Squirrels are a GREAT hunting experience for the kids and grandkids, primarily because the caliber of rifle can be small enough for a child to handle, such as .22LR, .17HMR, .22WMR, etc. These rifles do not kick hard and allow kids to concentrate on the shot. Squirrels are a fun way to get out with the kids and spend time in the woods.