Squirrel hunting is more than just an after-deer or offseason chance to be in the woods. For many hunters, January is the prime month to hunt one of their favored game species. Many hunters actually cut their hunting teeth on squirrels and learned the ways of the woods, honing woodsmanship skills pursuing this often underestimated game species.
Dove hunters who think the best shooting of the year is finished about the time college football starts could be missing out if those fields of September gold are forgotten. Within the framework of federal migratory bird-hunting guidelines, South Carolina opens the last segment of dove season in mid-December for nearly a month so wing-shooters can take advantage of resident doves overwintering in South Carolina and migratory birds passing through around the end of the year.
January can be a cruel month for anglers, but for those willing to brave the weather, fishing for sheepshead on the reefs and wrecks off the Lowcountry coastline can be phenomenal. While fishermen targeting sheepshead inshore during spring and summer have it easy as far as weather is concerned, those who venture to nearshore reefs and wrecks during the winter have the edge when it comes to catching quality fish.
As the New Year arrives, fishermen along the Grand Strand have plenty to look forward to besides cold weather and college basketball on television, such as the striped bass that take up winter residence in the Little River section of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
The morning mist lifted off the still water as the sun began to peek over the horizon. Soft ripples revealed a beaver returning to his lodge. Three hunters were standing in knee-deep, icy cold water in a honey hole of flooded timber of a beaver pond on an unnamed tributary of Lake Greenwood. Ducks that thrive along the lake know the area and dive in at first light to begin day of feeding.
It's time to head just off Hilton Head and Beaufort to load up on winter sheepshead, which are swarming the reefs and wrecks right now.