Fall: The Time for Hunting and Fishing

Although Atlanta is undoubtedly the best city in America, living in a city commonly allows for one to lose sight of the natural restorer, the outdoors. Despite the naysayers, Atlanta has some great outdoor opportunities, including many a 30-minute hike that can leave you feeling like you are in the Smoky Mountains. The only downside is that you can still hear the sad and constant drone of highways. Less than two hours of driving can bring you to rivers, mountains, and large agricultural fields. Let’s take a look at some of the various opportunities available this fall.

The first real hunting season (squirrel began in August) began Labor Day weekend with dove. During the two weeks leading up to the season, it seemed like every other day the UPS man was bringing in packages filled with boxes of shells to my family’s front door. Coincidentally, my right index finger was twitching constantly. When the weekend came, the men in my family gathered our shotguns and drove two hours south on both Saturday and Monday. We sat through the hot sunshine and the rain, but we were shooting constantly. I did the same the two following weekends and it looks like my diet will  consist heavily of dove this fall. It was a great way to start the fall, and I look forward to the many weekends of hunting to come this year. If you have never gone hunting, I strongly recommend that you start with dove. Practice with a shotgun before at the local range, and then go out to the nearest harvested cornfield. Dove hunts are coordinated on a regular basis during the season, so do some research and find a farmer looking to make some extra cash. It is about 100 dollars, depending on the farmer, to rent a stand for a day. If you’re lucky, someone with connections will invite you. I would love to help anyone figure out where to hunt if anyone needs help. The first dove season already ended, but the second dove season starts on October 13, followed by deer season on October 20 and everything else not long after. Check out the seasons and regulations at www.georgiawildlife.com/hunting/regulations.

As the water cools down with the beginning of fall, the trout will start being more out and about, and it will be time to pick up the old fly rod and head to the river. Georgia has many fly-fishing opportunities, but the Chattahoochee is not the best place to go. The Chattahoochee River has some small trout, but I am told that the Soque River produces legendary brown trout reaching record lengths over 20 inches. Don’t trust me, trust Google. Also, there are many rivers in north Georgia that I’ll have to check out and report back on. When my weekend clears up from hunting trips, I will be sure to grab my rod and bring reviews of the Georgia rivers. I spent the summer fly-fishing the world-class Green River of Wyoming, and I am going to try my best to catch bigger fish here down South in order to show that the South is always the best for anything.

So grab some buds and grab your gun or rod and head to the nearest field or river, respectively. Some casual hunting or fishing is sure to brighten up your week and let you forget, if only for a few hours, all of the work you have to do.