Scrounge Hunt for All Kinds of Game
What Hunters Learn by Scrounge Hunting
Editor’s Note: You’ll find this time of the year in February just right for hunting doves, rabbits, squirrels, snipe, woodcock, quail and predators in many states. Change-of-pace hunting can help you remember why you’ve always enjoyed hunting.
In my boyhood days, every Saturday February, three or four of my buddies and I would go to the woods near our homes hunting. We didn’t specialize in what we hunted. We hunted for anything that would hop up that we could clean and take home for a family dinner. We’d slip through the woods and try and find any critter or bird we could to bag it with our shotguns. Then at lunchtime and at the end of the day, we’d meet back at camp and tell stories about the game we’d taken and show off what we’d bagged.
In later years, my dad, my brother and I would go to the Tombigbee River swamp in west/central Alabama to scrounge hunt three or four times a year. In a day of hunting, the three of us often would come in with two or three rabbits, six or eight squirrels, one or two quail, snipe or woodcock and an occasional duck or two when in season.
We enjoyed this type of hunting and particularly the surprise we experienced when we kicked up a rabbit, jumped a squirrel or flushed some birds. We had to think fast, shoot quick and accurately mark the spot where the game fell, since we rarely had a dog to retrieve the birds or the animals.
Through this form of hunting, I learned…
* where squirrels lived,
* how to approach the area where I wanted to hunt squirrels,
* how to stalk bushytails,
* how to get close enough to squirrels to take them with my shotgun,
* how to find rabbit habitat,
* how to look for rabbits in the bed,
* how to flush cottontails,
* how to take rabbits on the run,
* where the woodcock and snipe called home,
* how to ready for the shot at woodcock and snipe,
* how to pick up these birds in my sight pattern quickly and efficiently,
* how to judge the lead on woodcock and snipe,
* how to take the shot,
* how to recover the woodcock and snipe I’d taken,
* how to effectively scout for ducks and determine where they roosted, if we scrounge hunted during duck season,
* where the ducks loafed,
* where the ducks fed in the middle of the day,
* where the ducks went during an ice-up,
* how to jump shoot ducks,
* how to take ducks coming to feed and to roost, and
* how to pass-shoot ducks between their feeding, loafing and roosting sites.
Scrounge hunting with no particular species on the agenda taught me about adapting my hunting according to the terrain and habitat. I soon learned what to hunt where and why. Have you taken part in a scrounge hunt lately where applying your hunting skills to the terrain and the habitat and taking what the land offers dictates the species you hunt?
Tomorrow: Why Scrounge Hunt