When the offseason comes and there is no more hunting until next season, we all feel that slight sense of sadness. However, we spend the first several weeks after hunting season scouting, followed by shed hunting and more scouting. However, by the first part of April, both shed hunting and scouting is not worth your time. Spring has arrived, so plants are growing and as such, scouting becomes more difficult and most sheds have already been found or become next to impossible to find as undergrowth begins to take over. You follow that up with an important thing to think about, does start dropping their fawns anywhere from mid April - June depending on the doe, the weather and most importantly when they became pregnant. So walking through the woods at this time of year is not a great idea as could push a doe in the process of giving birth, or worse come across a doe that just gave birth. ( NOTE) Does can become very aggressive just after giving birth in an attempt to protect their young. Never approach a doe that clearly has recently given birth or is in the process of doing so. I was hiking one year scoping out fishing spots and came across a doe which I didn't know was there and she became aggressive quickly and I had to slowly back out of the area. Once you see a doe 15 yards in front of you getting up on her back legs ready to box with you, you have a whole new respect for them. So as spring moves along, attempt to stay away from areas that does might be.
So as these hunting activities from early spring come to a close, I begin another passion of mine, fishing. I have been fishing as long as I can remember, and it is my second passion to hunting. I could go fishing every day, as I could hunt. Early spring brings upon us trout season, I do a lot of fishing for native brown and brook trout, but I also hit the streams for opening days of the rivers for the stocked fish as well. Last week, I headed out to one stream I fish pretty often for whatever is biting so to speak, I was really looking for brown trout and I ended up not catching anything until I was walking back along the river and I saw I large fish swimming along in 3 feet of water along the bank. I quickly point the fish out to Amber and threw my Panther Martin downstream in front of the fish about 15 - 20 feet. Just a few spins of the reel and bam! Fish on! As it turned out, it was probably one of the largest rainbow trout I have caught; it was a hatchery fish a long way away from anywhere they stock. He did a lot of swimming. The fish is pictured below.
Like most fishermen I am far from picky, I just love enjoying the outdoors and wetting a line. I start my year out trout fishing, following it up by summer time fishing for whatever is biting in local streams and reservoirs. I also attempt to do a little fishing in the Chesapeake Bay if I find a location and the time to go do so. I then move my fishing late summer to fishing in the ocean while on vacation in Ocean City. I fish for a little bit of everything from March until, sometimes November. It just depends on hunting, the weather, and what is biting where.
This is one of my secondary passions to hunting. What are yours? What do you do in the offseason to pass time besides get ready for next season? We would love to hear from you!