Finding the time - Balancing waterfowl hunting with deer season

It is different for hunters across the country, but around here there are eleven months out of the year that lead up to one – the magic month of October. Sure hunting seasons are open during the other months, but October has it all. Ducks, geese and archery deer mean every day is an opportunity to live the life. 110525-WHF-300x194 Fall is the time we live for. Sometimes it's hard to find the time to do all that you want to do though. Photo from our friends at Delta Waterfowl. The hardest part of the month is finding the time for all of the other things going on like getting the kids to school and work. It’s no secret that Hard Core hunters use more vacation days during this month than any other time of year. “I feel like if we’re not in field, duck blind or woods in October, then we’re wasting precious time,” said Brandie Sigler. One of the hardest things to balance is time between waterfowl and deer hunting. It always seems that when I choose to hunt deer, there will be huge flocks of geese moving around my fields and vice versa. One thing in my favor is that my farm is generally an evening spot for deer hunting, so mornings are usually free for waterfowl. “One of the main reasons we go to Canada in September to film is that because once October gets here, we’re to busy hunting to deal with that,” said Randy Hill. Finding the balance One of the main reasons Hard Core created the Work-To-Field bag was for October, said Hard Core's Mike Galloway. DSC_0002-300x199 Sometimes when you're out goose hunting, you'll find evidence of deer activity. “Once October rolls around, guys want to get as much time in the stand or in the blind as possible,” he said. “We wanted a product that allows a hunter to go from work, get changed and be ready to hunt without wasting precious time.” The same can be said for the Hard Core Deluxe Wader bag. It allows a hunter to change from wet waders into dry cloths, all without the normal hassles of stepping out of wet waders at the back of the truck. If you’re lucky enough to get in a quick morning hunt before heading into work, anything that helps make things easier has got to help! Many of us hunt both waterfowl and deer and quite often, the seasons overlap. How do you choose? “If I have the day, I will waterfowl hunt in the morning and deer hunt in the evening,” Galloway said. “So I very rarely hunt ducks in the evening or deer in the morning, if the seasons are overlapping.” It seems, for me at least, that I’ll often see a ton of geese or ducks when I’m deer hunting and vice versa. I usually note the times and use that information for scouting and planning future hunts. It helps that I often see geese flying after legal shooting hours have passed. That makes it a little easier to take when I see huge flocks. EK000119-300x225 Trail cameras are great tools. Quite often you'll see more than just deer activity too! If you could only hunt both, right? Well actually you can. In many states, it is legal to use archery equipment to hunt waterfowl. I remember the first time I used my Hoyt bow to take a goose. I was hunting deer in the late afternoon from a ground blind on the edge of a cut cornfield. The deer had been coming out from one spot every night and I had positioned the blind just off the side from the area they were coming out of. The deer were holding in a large swamp on the edge of the field and the interior of the swamp was too thick to use a treestand, so the ground blind was the prudent choice. As luck would have it, the cornfield was a goose magnet and I had hunted it often. It was a clear evening and very still. I sat in the blind scanning for deer when I heard the telltale honks of a large approaching flock. The birds came in and landed 30 yards from my blind. The swamp sat low in the field and the birds were pretty even with me. It didn’t take a lot of thought past knowing it was legal to use a bow. I drew back and released, catching the bird right at the neck. I have successfully used archery equipment for geese on other occasions. It has actually proven to be a good way to get permission to hunt a couple of local golf courses. They might not care for shotguns, but they don’t care for geese either. A silent, low-profile method was eagerly approved by the course managers. Shooting geese with a bow is a great way to practice accuracy and patience for bowhunting deer too. It’s Not Easy. Finding a way to balance the time between waterfowl hunting and deer hunting isn’t easy, but on those magical days when you can pull it off, it simply rocks! I have had more than one day where we took a limit of ducks in the morning and then filled a deer tag in the evening. Those are the kinds of days we live for. They are what makes months like October magical. Let us know how you find the time. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for news, updates and contests. Share your successful hunting pictures with us too! By Derrek Sigler