November is the month we are reminded to be thankful for all of our blessings. And as sportsmen in the Midwest, we have a long list. Firearms deer seasons are open across the region, with arguably the best white-tailed deer hunting in the country happening in the Midwest during November. Duck hunters re spreading out decoy sets this time of year, and upland bird hunters are burning boot leather all over the plains. Fishing is still hot on open water in the lower reaches of the region, while ice anglers are chomping at the bit to get out on the ice up north. When it comes to being blessed with outdoor opportunity, November is a special month to be thankful for.
Illinois – Firearms Deer
The Land of Lincoln has long been a top producer of trophy white-tailed bucks. The state doesn’t give hunters a large quantity of days to hunt with a firearm. The split season runs Nov. 17-19 and open again Nov. 30 – Dec. 3. What the state lacks in days to hunt, it makes up for in quality of deer. Giant bucks can be found anywhere in the state, but the west-central region, which I is home to Pike and Brown counties, is a top producer of record book bucks. There are a number of public hunting opportunities at Fish and Wildlife Areas along the Mississippi River and the Illinois River that all have the potential of producing giant bucks.
Iowa – Quail
The rush of the flush is speeds up a hunter’s heartbeat like few other outdoor experiences. It’s true, bobwhite quail numbers are far from what they used to be across much of the Midwest, but that doesn’t mean good hunting is gone. There are pockets of healthy quail populations in Iowa, especially in the southwest part of the state. A good bird dog helps locate coveys, but a simply walking field edge and brushy fencerows can produce excellent wing-shooting for the upland hunter without a canine companion. Quail season is open the entire month of November. Hunters may harvest 8 birds per day with a possession limit of 16.
Kansas – Ducks
With 27 species of ducks cruising through Kansas air space, hunters never know what may head for their decoys next. Mallards, northern pintails, teal, and gadwall are the most common. Duck season is open across Kansas throughout November, except in the Southeast Zone, where duck season doesn’t open until Nov. 11. Hunters can harvest six ducks, but there are limits to different species, so make sure you understand the regulations. The northeast corner of the state, along the Missouri River, offers excellent duck hunting. Cheyenne Bottoms, near Great Bend, is a famous waterfowl destination.
Minnesota – Pheasants
Minnesota may not be its neighbor to the west, but that doesn’t mean the southern portion of the state doesn’t have good pheasant hunting. The season is open the entire month of November, and the limit at the time is two roosters per day. Hunters must possess a Pheasant stamp and small game license. Shooting hours are 9 a.m. to sunset. Minnesota has a lot of public land and Walk-In land that holds pheasants. On the DNR website, you can search for WMAs by county and species. This tool will help you find a few pheasant spots close to home.
Wisconsin – Firearms Deer
Wisconsin is widely recognized a national powerhouse of white-tailed bucks. The state grows bruisers with numerous Boone & Crockett caliber bucks hitting the dirt each year. Most of those are taken during gun season. This year, gun season runs November 18 – 26. Buffalo County has long been known to be a big buck producing destination. Tiffany Wildlife Area and Big Swamp Wildlife Area are two pieces of public ground in Buffalo County. Both are capable of producing a buck of a lifetime.
See you down the trail…
Pic: Hunting for waterfowl and most other game species is open in November across the Midwest.