Let’s face it, January can be a tough month to get through now that the most exciting part of the hunting season has passed. With all the fun of pursuing whitetails and Christmas being gone, it can seem like a gloomy month.

But there’s no need to worry as the days are slowly getting longer. It gives you a few more minutes of daylight every week to get outdoors and pursue those adventures you enjoy so much.

Besides, the Farmer’s Almanac predicts we’re going to have a fairly mild winter so why not be outdoors doing some nature-based things? The temps have been hovering in the mid to upper thirties for most of winter so far, which is ideal weather to be out and about much unlike when it drops into the twenties.

Those are the temperatures you want if you are a late-season flintlock deer hunter who enjoys dressing in true mountain man garb and carries a full stocked flintlock rifle in hand while pursuing whitetails. You’re the one who hopes the snow remains soft underfoot so that you can slip silently within range for a decent shot.

Then, you align your sights behind the front shoulder, gently caresses the trigger to cause the flint to drop, which sparks and ignites the powder which causes the rifle to roar to life and emit a large cloud of grayish white smoke. Eventually, that clears and reveals that success is at hand when you see the whitetail laying on the ground motionless.

By now you’re grinning ear-to-ear as you’ve challenged yourself to go one-on-one with a whitetail in the purest form of hunting and you came out successful. A few seconds later as you make your way over to it, something takes place that will have you out here in the woods almost everyday during the month of January.

Yep, as you follow the worn trail in the snow over to the deer, a flash of brown antler tines sticking above the snow catches your eye. Immediately your heart rate picks up, and your hands tremble slightly as you reach down and grasp a large four-point shed. You stand admiring your discovery which is about like finding a needle in a haystack.

Lo and behold without you even knowing it, the shed antler addiction takes hold of you and will have you out there searching for the matching side. Finding only one antler is just the start as it leads to a search to find the match, which often ends up with other antlers being found resulting in a continuous hunt. Probably it provides much of the same excitement as you would garner from the fall whitetail season.

On the other hand, you may just tag your deer and head back home to hang it. Of course, there’s a good possibility you’ll cross a river somewhere on your way back, which you’re sure to glance at out of natural instinct being that you’re an outdoorsman. There it is, something is out place along the stream bank which causes you to slow down and take a second look.

Should of known, you say to yourself as you realize it’s someone trout fishing. Usually I’d have been doing that myself but I’ve been busy muzzleloader hunting instead.

But tomorrow’s weather forecast calls for more fair weather so you know you’ll be hitting the stream in the morning. In the back of your mind you’re thinking, “I can’t believe people think that January is a slow, boring month.”

David Orlowski is a writer, hunter, fisherman and outdoor enthusiast from Potter County. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association.