THREE CAST-AND-BLAST HUNTS FOR EVERYONE TO ENJOY
by Brad Fitzpatrick
Like to hunt? Like to fish? Why not do both in the same trip! Here are three great cast-and-blast hunts from around the country.
I enjoy hunting and fishing, and I really enjoy a trip that allows me to do both things in one spot. Cast-and-blast hunts are a great way to get the most out of your field experience, and you’ll pack your freezer with delicious wild game and nutritious fish fillets all at once. Here are three great cast-and-blast trips that everyone can enjoy.
1. Minnesota walleye and grouse
Autumn is a great time to be in northern Minnesota, when the leaves are changing and temperatures have cooled enough to slow down the biting insects. Minnesota is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” so it’s a superb place to catch a wide variety of game fish—pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, and more. The Boundary Waters area offers lots of fishing options, and with so much water it’s easy to find a secluded spot away from the crowds. But don’t forget to bring your shotgun—Minnesota is home to a large number of ruffed grouse, and with or without a dog it’s possible to bag your limit in the vast public land areas in the northern part of the state. This is an affordable hunt, too—there are several lodges in and around the Superior and Chippewa National Forests that can provide you with a place to sleep, a canoe, and even expert advice on where to find birds and fish. www.anchorinnresort.com
2. Texas ducks and redfish
In December, the weather has usually turned cold up north—a perfect excuse to head down to the coast of Texas for some fantastic duck hunting and excellent near-shore fishing. The waters around Matagorda Island are loaded with migrating ducks this time of year, and you can expect to find redheads, pintails, wigeon, teal, gadwall, and a variety of other migrating ducks around this barrier island. Once you bag your limit of ducks in the morning, head out for an afternoon on angling action as you target redfish, speckled sea trout, flounder and more along the island. At that time of the year big “bull” reds are grouped up in the waters surrounding Matagorda, and they love to eat shrimp and other live bait. www.bayflatslodge.com
3. Idaho elk and wild trout
The Seven Devils Mountains are beautiful, but when the leaves begin to change and the temperature drops, bull elk begin bugling in the remote canyons—an unforgettable experience. It’s a great time to be in the wilderness with your bow, and if you have an elk tag, the odds of success are high if you know where to hunt. (Hint: an outfitting team like Heaven’s Gate Outfitters has the horses, the gear, and the knowledge to get you into remote camps surrounded by big bulls, and your odds of success will increase.) After you’ve filled your tag or between hunts, head out to the many Salmon River tributaries or one of the region’s alpine lakes to catch a creel full of wild cutthroat and rainbow trout, which are fun to target and make great table fare.