Fall Fins and Feathers

Fall Fins and Feathers
Fall Fins and Feathers

For most outdoorsmen and women, October means hunting season, time to put the rods away and pull out the shotguns. A few of the more hard-core anglers will hold out until the days grow even shorter, and colder. Nothing says you can’t do both. In fact, early fall is a great time to double up on your outdoor opportunities.

First Light

Riding out to the back country for a morning of upland hunting? Many of those backwoods bird covers run along remote streams that receive less fishing pressure, especially in the fall. Rather than turning the dogs loose at first light, spend an hour drifting flies across an eddy pool or stripping streamers up a riffle. That will give the birds more time to move about, leaving more scent for the dogs to pick up later.

Mid Morning

Early season puddle duck hunts tend to be brief affairs with the action tapering off quickly as the sun and temperatures rise. No need to head right back to the launch. Pull out a fishing pole and make a few casts into the weedy shallows you’ve been hunting over all morning. With the fall turnover, predators like bass, pickerel and pick have moved back out of deep waters in search of abundant minnows, crayfish and aquatic insects that have hatched and grown over the summer. Plugs, spoons and live bait are all good options.

Late Morning

Skip the post-hunt brunch. Water and kennel the dogs, grab a quick snack and hit the farm ponds and creeks you’ve been hunting around all morning. Before the first killing frosts, terrestrial insects are still around in abundance, and hungry trout, bass and panfish lie in wait for any hapless hopper whose over enthusiastic jumping lands it in the shallows. Tossing live bait or hopper imitations are both good options.


Early Afternoon

The action may be a bit slower now, but any of the above still apply to kill an hour or two before the birds start moving and it’s time to put the dogs out again or paddle to the blind.


Dusk

Duck hunters will want to be in the blind, gun in hand at twilight, but upland hunters will probably be calling it a day, giving the birds a chance to move to roost. And the last hour is still the best hour for fishing. Who knows, you may catch a late hatch you can match with dry flies, or hit a farm pond feeding frenzy.


Recommended for You

Adam Heggenstaller takes over after 14 years with NRA Publications. News

Game & Fish Magazine Names New Editorial Director

G&F Online Staff - May 23, 2019

Adam Heggenstaller takes over after 14 years with NRA Publications.

How does one go about getting rid of chiggers and treating chigger bites? Your first line of defense is insect repellent with DEET to keep chiggers at bay. But when you do get a few chigger bites, use Chigarid to treat them. Hunting How-To

How to Treat Chigger Bites

Lynn Burkhead

How does one go about getting rid of chiggers and treating chigger bites? Your first line of...

While misunderstood by some, fishing bottom bouncers can be a very productive technique for walleyes in early summer. Walleye

How to Fish Bottom Bouncers for Walleye

Mark Sak - May 23, 2019

While misunderstood by some, fishing bottom bouncers can be a very productive technique for...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

As OSG's Lynn Burkhead looks on, Josh Neville shows off the cordless and corded versions of a new electric filet knife from Bubba Blades.

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Pro angler Jonathan VanDam showcases new offerings at ICAST 2019, including the ultra-thin, big bait boxes, LED-lighted boxes and backpack-able gear lockers. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Lure Lock Tackle Cases: No-Spill, No-Scent

Lure Lock Tackle Cases: No-Spill, No-Scent

Glenn Walker talks us through the soy-based technology that makes Lure Lock cases spill-proof and scent-proof. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers. Other Freshwater

3 Deadly Bait Rigs For Stripers

J.B. Kasper - April 21, 2005

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers.

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range Ammo

10 Best Long-Range Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures? Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?

See More Stories

More Stories

How a humble Virginia hunter bagged the biggest non-typical whitetail a bowhunter has ever seen. Whitetail

The Story Behind Brewster's World-Record Buck

Lynn Burkhead - October 17, 2019

How a humble Virginia hunter bagged the biggest non-typical whitetail a bowhunter has ever...

Predator hunters living in more open areas are in a unique position to enjoy coyote hunting at its Stories

Guns & Loads for Long-Range Coyote Hunting

Stephen D. Carpenteri - December 13, 2015

Predator hunters living in more open areas are in a unique position to enjoy coyote hunting at...

A father and daughter with their dogs on a dry ground mountain lion hunt get more than they bargain Stories

Arizona Mountain Lion Hunt Turns Into Dangerous Jaguar Encounter

Aaron Decker - November 30, 2011

A father and daughter with their dogs on a dry ground mountain lion hunt get more than they...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×