Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

WILTZ: A good road hunt is a shot worth taking

When Brian Maas, of Parkston, first let me know about the Sinkebeil wolf a few weeks ago, he sent me some photos that were not used with my column or in the stories that followed in newspapers, on television, and Facebook, etc. Pictured on one of those photos was the wolf lying next to a coyote and a fox. Jim Sinkebeil and Jim More bagged more than the wolf that morning.

If you think about it, there is no easier hunt than grabbing your varmint rifle and climbing into the pickup an hour before sunup on any given morning. Special dress, equipment, and a place to hunt are not an issue. I must caution that popping a coyote that is 200 yards out in a stubble field and then retrieving it is trespassing. Granted, most farmers, for the sake of calves and pheasants, want to see coyotes and foxes controlled. But it is still important to know the mindset of the property owners.

My last early morning road-hunting adventure was years ago. Against the snow, I spotted a fox along a fence line that was a quarter-mile out. I was shooting a Winchester Model 70 in .264 Magnum, as I didn’t own a more suitable rifle at the time. I aimed a few inches high and knocked him over. That big rifle did too much pelt damage, and the .223 I shoot today would have been vastly superior. As far as what’s best, the .243 Winchester is a better varmint caliber than any .22 caliber ever made. With our new governor going back to a bounty system, what I’m talking about today will become increasingly popular.

South Dakota Game, Fish, & Parks recently released the deer season dates for 2019. While the Black Hills season opens on the traditional Nov. 1 date, West River opens Nov. 16, while East River opens Nov. 23. This is a week later than usual, and I believe it will affect the harvest.

Why? Deer are more vulnerable during the rut. Typically, at least in my estimation, The West River season catches the rut, and the rut is winding down come East River hunting. With the season a week later, East River hunters might be pursuing bucks that are far more wary. Let me know your thoughts.

Walleye action through the ice is the ticket at Pickstown right now. Successful anglers have been using minnows on Rapala jiggin’ raps. See you next week, hopefully with a firsthand ice fishing report.