So You Don't Hunt Deer

Consider off season angling options and ride your ATV or SxS to get there. (Steve Hickoff photo)

There are 16 million deer hunters out there these days according to recent statistics. November is a month when many do it. That's cool. You don't? No worries. There are plenty of other activities outdoors this month and beyond.

Fall and Winter Fishing

Think casting for trout, bass or panfish is just a spring and summer activity? Check fishing regulations for both your state, and neighboring locations. Chances are you'll find extended seasons in there, possibly of a catch-and-release or "delayed harvest" nature as trout go. Take advantage of these to get your angling fix.

Tip: Consider pinching down hook barbs, even if regulations don't require it (many do). Barbless hook fishing allows for a quick catch-and-release. Sure, you may lose more on the jump, but hey, nobody's counting. It's all good.

Autumn Riding

Some four-wheeling enthusiasts don't hunt or fish. Again, that's no matter. Designated trails where riding is legal can and should be used to take advantage of warm late-fall weather. In areas where deer seasons might be underway, consider wearing blaze orange - either a hat or jacket - to stand out in the woods. Be seen. Stay safe.

Tip: Be sure to also stash food, water and extra warm clothing, as well as a survival kit when heading out during the months ending in "er" . . . Better yet, ride with another if not several people.

Small Game Information

Don't care for big game? Small game options for rabbit, squirrels, upland birds and so forth are also available. Almost all wild game cookbooks include sections on cooking such quarry well. Make it a project this fall and winter to include alternative hunts for legal "small" game.

Tip: Clean your kill quickly and get it in the cooler as fast as possible. This can help make your camp or home wild game meal all it might be. Hunt small game with specific recipes in mind. Introduce your friends and family to the process as well.

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