Outdoors: September offers something for nearly everyone

Published 9:16 am Friday, August 29, 2008

We have once again seen our summer whisk by without looking back, and we are preparing to jump headlong into fall. This isn’t all bad unless you are a firm believer that there should be no seasonal changes. If this is the case then you are definitely living in the wrong area of the country.

I usually always welcome the fall weather with its cool crisp nights, some of which we have already been experiencing. If you are an avid outdoorsman then this is truly your season. Hunting and fishing will soon share the billing and another plus is that the bugs seem to be a little more reluctant to show themselves. It’s just a great time to be outdoors whether you fish, hunt, bike, hike or just take a nice leisurely walk, it‘s a great time of the year.

Fall fishing can sometimes be feast or famine depending on the circumstances. Some of the biggest fish that I have caught were taken in the fall. The walleye fishing this time of year can be great but it can also be tough depending on lake “turnover” and being in the right place at the right time is key, which can actually be said about almost any fish story.

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I have always enjoyed spending some time fishing for muskies in the fall and it’s a great time to catch that “wall hanger.” There are different approaches to fishing for the “great toothed one” this time of year and an article I read not too long ago pretty much summed it up. The writer said that he looked for underwater weeds that still existed along flats or points on a lake. He also said fish could be found in the extreme shallows by rocks or submerged logs and they’ll be in as little as 1-foot of water.

This is not exactly a revelation to me because it’s where I have pretty much found these fish at almost any time of year. The interesting part was that he said he’d had his best luck from late August to late September when most so-called experts will say October till ice-over is the best. I really think that when you’ve had luck in the past is going to determine when you think is the “perfect” time to fish them. I do like trolling for muskies in shallow water and in the fall there are less weeds so that can sometimes make finding them a little bit easier.

I always look at fishing after Labor Day as an opportunity to take advantage of the less crowded accesses and lakes. There are times when the same lake that was full of skiers and boaters just a week or two ago is almost your own private fishing hole. This is the time of year that fishermen can cash in on the hunting fever that overtakes a lot of us after the Labor Day weekend.

If you are an avid hunter don’t put the fishing poles totally away when hunting starts because you may be missing out. This is the time of year when a sportsman can actually have the best of both worlds.

Following are some of the dates for this years hunting seasons in Minnesota:

09/01-10/12: Bear season

09/01-10/30: Morning dove season

09/01-11/04: Snipe and rail hunting season

09/06- 09/22: Early Canada goose season

09/13-12/31: Deer hunt, archery season

09/13-11/30: Sharptailed grouse season

09/13-02/28: Small game — rabbits, squirrels season

09/13: Small game opener

09/20-11/03: Woodcock season

09/20: Youth waterfowl hunt

10/04-10/19/: Moose hunt — northeast season

10/04: Waterfowl season opener

10/11-01/01: Pheasant season

10/11-10/12: Deer hunt — early antlerless deer season

10/15-10/19: Fall Turkey hunt — first season

10/18-10/22: Prairie chicken season

10/19-10/20: Deer hunt – Camp Ripley archery hunt — first season

10/22-10/26: Fall turkey hunt — second season

10/25-03/15: Badger, opossum and raccoon season

10/25-03/15: Fox — gray and red fox season

11/01-01/04: Furbearer trapping — otter — southeast zone

11/01-05/15: Furbearer trapping — beaver — south zone

11/01-02/28: Furbearer trapping — mink and muskrat-south zone

11/08: Deer hunt, firearm opener

11/08-11/14: Deer hunt — firearm – Zone 3A

11/08-11/23: Deer hunt — firearm – Zone 1A

11/08-11/16: Deer hunt — firearm – Zone 2A

11/22-11/30: Deer hunt — firearm – Zone 3B

11/29-12/14: Deer hunt — muzzleloader season

Until next time, play safe, good fishin’ and enjoy the outdoors.

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