The Outdoorsmen’s Guide to the Off Season

contributed by Seldom Lavergne

Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge – let’s face it, July is just not a good month for Outdoorsmen.   It’s too hot to fish, the Fish and Wildlife Department “protects” most game species through the whole summer, and the heat makes falcons particularly testy and difficult to wrangle.  But the thing that separates true Outdoorsmen from suburban tenderfoots, is the ability to Outdoor at any time of the year, any place on the planet, under any political landscape.

Here are some often overlooked sources of Outdooring that you can avail yourself of during the off season.

Pastures

How many times have you spent all day on the lake in July and come back empty handed?  Fish do not like hot weather.  In the summertime they retreat to deep water and hibernate until mid-December when they all come out to spawn.  During this time they are very lethargic and generally unresponsive to live or artificial bait.  Cows on the other hand, do not mind the hot weather in the least.  They continue aggressive feeding patterns throughout the whole summer, making local pasture land prime real estate for fishing enthusiasts.    I can tell you that I have never left a summer grazing location without landing a 1200-pounder.  I usually bait up with chicken livers soaked in vanilla extract, but I have caught a few aggressive yearlings on a top-water Scum Frog.  Not only is the fishing better on summer pasture, but they are also completely unregulated by the fish and wildlife department.  That being said, I usually hold myself to a gentleman’s daily bag limit of two.

Mythological Creatures

Also unregulated by any government.  I can tell you I have never been asked by a game warden about my Bigfoot tags.  This is convenient because it is rumored that the Bigfoot rut runs through mid to late summer, making them the perfect cure for the summer hunting itch.  I am 78% sure that I caught a Chupacabra in a live trap last summer but by the time I got back the next morning to check the trap, he had escaped and left no trace of having been trapped – simply ingenious creatures.  I’m also so sure that I saw a Minataur two years ago that I claimed an income tax deduction for the expenses I incurred on that hunt.  While there are no regulations for taking down this beast, it is generally accepted that hunters should not attempt to take down large mammals (mythological or otherwise) with rim-fire ammunition, and that particular day I was only equipped with such.

While this is not an exhaustive list, it should help cure the Outdoor fever most of us get this time of year.  I’ll leave you with the words of my Grandpapa, passed down to him from our ancestors, the official motto of Nova Scotia.

Si vous n’est pas à l’extérieur, vous êtes à l’intérieur.

That is, “If you ain’t Outdoors, you’re indoors.”

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  1. #1 by Scud Langley on September 20, 2012 - 12:23 pm

    Coincidentally, the Southeast Texas Fellowship of Sasquatch Enthusiasts United recently hosted our biannual “End of Summer Sasquatch Rundown and Jamboree”. Both gentlemen involved declared it was the best one this year.

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