SNYDER: Some great hunting will soon be flying our way

  • York County is the epicenter of a sportsman’s dream.
  • Within a short drive, hunters and fishermen have an abundance of opportunities.
  • Mid-Atlantic waterfowl hunters are about to experience a magical time.

Sometimes we forget how good we have it.

York County is the epicenter of a sportsman’s dream. If you can’t find what you like to hunt or catch within the county’s borders, chances are, your quarry can be found within a short drive.

Migrating mallards will soon offer regional waterfowl hunters some great opportunities.

For example, we have great deer hunting right here in York County. But if you want the thrill of remote “camp” hunting, just pack your bags and head a few hours north. Citizens of most other states can only dream of the experience the “big woods” offer.

Or, if you're an angler and have mastered the county’s top-notch bass fisheries, you can head in the opposite direction and fish an unimaginable amount of saltwater. The Chesapeake Bay is less than an hour away, and you can wet a line in the Atlantic in less than three hours.

With choices such as these, it's easy to see this is a great time of the year for the traveling sportsman. But for waterfowl hunters, it’s about to be a magical time. We’ve got some of the world’s most sought-after species heading our way.

Better duck and goose hunting than what we have right here in the mid-Atlantic region can't be found anywhere in the world. It’s a Mecca for waterfowl hunters.

The late H.L. Mencken, a prolific writer from Baltimore, once called the Chesapeake Bay a “great protein factory.” The water is teeming with life. It's exactly the kind of life that draws millions of hungry migrating ducks.

When the Bay was in its prime shape more than a century ago, the sun would virtually disappear as thousands of ducks and geese filled the sky on their southbound journey.

Unfortunately, the mid-day sun rarely turns to dusk anymore as flock upon flock of migrating birds enter the region, but more than a million ducks and geese still make the mid-Atlantic area their home for at least a few days each fall.

Canada geese, mallards, pintails, gadwalls, canvasbacks, black ducks, you name it, they'll all be here soon. In all, more than 20 waterfowl species migrate through the region each year. If you're in the right spot when they come through, you're in for a world-class treat.

One of the best aspects of waterfowl hunting is the fact it takes place on or near the water. It’s a perfect hybrid opportunity for those of us who hate to make choices. If you can’t decide whether to go fishing or grab your gun and head into the woods, just go duck hunting. It's the best of both worlds.

Actually, you don’t have to make a decision. Many hunters “cast and blast.” They spend half of their time blasting the birds in the sky and the other half casting into the fall’s ripe waters. It truly is a sportsman’s dream that you can only get a few other places on this earth.

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It’s time to get ready. Fall will be here in a month and the birds are already flying.

Some of the best hunting in the world is flying our way.

Andy Snyder writes about the outdoors for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at