Today is the day some Virginia hunters have been waiting for all year, rifle season. The firearms season gives us a chance to give our bows and muzzleloaders a break and allows us to dust off the ole’ trusty rifle. Whether you are using a .243 or a .308, rifle season can sometimes help his relax a bit in our hunting pursuits. I’ve always enjoyed the ‘spot and stalk’ technique while rifle hunting. Given the land I’ve been able to hunt on, which is mostly open pastures and freshly chopped cornfields, it’s always been fun to spot deer from hundreds yards away and slowly creep into shooting range. If you’re lucky the deer will never see you or the bullet coming. This year I plan on setting up in some heavily trafficked fence rows overlooking wide open pastures with shooting lanes from 50 to 400 yards and maybe even further if I feel comfortable with the shot.
Unfortunately I have not been able to do as much whitetail hunting as I have in the recent years on account of an extremely busy work schedule and my newfound passion of fly-fishing for native brook trout. Don’t get me wrong; I haven’t given up hunting by any means. I’ve spent a lot of time in the woods I’ll be hunting this year and have seen deer activity every time I’ve stepped foot on the properties. Last week was a sight to see, it was literally like clock work. Everyday about 15 minutes before 5:30 sunset I would see the does begin making their way out of the woods and into the pastures to graze. Not far behind them have been several different shooter bucks, each of them keeping their distance from each other. They have already begun chasing, sniffing and scraping, this leads me to believe that peak of the rut looks like it will be falling right in line with rifle season. Keep in mind that I can only speak for the southwestern portion of the state, rut activity may be completely opposite in northern and eastern Virginia. The weather is seemingly on cue with historical November temperatures (high 50’s/low 30’s) and it doesn’t look like we’re expecting any large amounts of snow accumulations in the near future.
I hope everyone is having a great hunting season thus far and I only wish for it to get better as the season continues. Safe shooting and good luck!