East Tennessee Outdoors… News for the week of November 4, 2020

Published 8:49 pm Monday, November 2, 2020

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I am not a big fan of cold weather. I do realize, however, that the cold weather brings some of the best fishing and hunting of the year, and I put up with it because of that.

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With temperatures dipping at night and the days growing shorter, darker, and colder, it is easy to see that winter is almost here.

It’s time to enjoy the mountains while you can.

The Rut

It’s that golden time of year, and I am not talking about the color of the leaves. It is that time of year when whitetail deer go into their rut cycle.

When the October and November temperatures dip, it seems to trigger something in the whitetail bucks that causes their neck to swell, and their caution to fly away like the wind.

They start leaving scrapes and rubs all through the mountains as they look for whitetail does.

Bucks let their guard down this time of year and start following these does through the mountains until they are able to mate with the doe.

It is the perfect time to take a buck. They are out during the days, and they are worried more about their love life than they are about being seen by you.

If this year is like every other year, most of the whitetail bucks killed during the season will be killed from now until November 13.

When that big buck comes slipping down your favorite deer trail, it will not matter that it is cold outside.

What will matter is how well you can shoot. Be sure to get out and take some good meat for the freezer.

2020 Youth Whitetail Season

The first of this year’s youth whitetail deer seasons came to a close on November 1, 2020, and many 6-16 year-olds are happy today because they took their first deer.

Nothing is more special and more exciting than a young person bringing home a deer harvest. It gives hunting a future and instills the love for the pursuit of another generation of whitetail hunters.

If you have a photo of your son’s or daughter’s first deer that was killed this year, send it to me by email at dannyblevins@yahoo.com. You can send the photos as attachments.

Cold Danger

As the temperature drops the dangers in the mountains increase. Keep a close eye out this year and don’t put yourself in a situation where you may get hypothermia or frostbite.

They can be deadly. At the very least, you could lose a limb and at the most, you could lose your life from these cold-weather problems.

I have been hypothermic one time in my life, and it was an experience I will never forget. It taught me to plan for the weather and to be vigilant in watching the weather.

I was fishing in upstate New York on the Niagara River. The salmon were running, our poles were bending and neither my fishing partner nor I noticed the temperature dropping and the rain turning to sleet and then snow.

Before we knew it, we were soaked in wet clothes and were shaking uncontrollably.

When we started slurring our speech, our guide realized we were in the first stages of hypothermia and made us get off the water.

It was the coldest I have ever been, but it taught me to respect the weather, dress in layers and if there is any possibility of wet weather, take the appropriate rain or snow gear.

I realized later that we could have died, and I am thankful I learned these lessons without losing a limb or my life.

Prepare for the wet and cold. When in doubt, take more clothes than what you are going to need. You can always shed a few layers.

Get out and enjoy our outdoors, but stay safe during the coming fall and winter months. No outdoor activity is worth your life.

Happy hunting and fishing and may God bless you all.