As a change of pace from the usual Outdoors column, here’s a collection of tips for a wide variety of species that might help on your future hunts.

Antelope: These animals are most active and least wary just after dawn and the last hour or to before dark. Use these times to glass prime feeding areas and you can often stalk much closer than you could under a bright midday sun.

Turkeys: When hunting turkeys with a decoy, make sure there’s a rise in terrain, an open field, or some other layout preventing another hunter from sneaking up at shooting at the decoy with you in the line of fire.

Deer: Try a staggered two-man still hunt. Have one hunter work slowly through cover with the wind blowing crossways. Then have a second hunter walk 75 to 125 yards downwind and slightly behind.

The first hunter may jump a buck and get a shot, or the deer may circle back downwind, offering the trailing hunter a chance. Be sure to wear plenty of blaze orange and know your safe shooting lanes.

Ducks: It’s often possible to determine whether ducks are worth calling to by how they are flying. Birds that are high up, flying fast and in a straight line know where they are going and aren’t likely to come to your decoys or your calls. Lower flying birds that look more wavering or indecisive in their flight, however, can often be lured into shotgun range with a good spread and skillful calling.

Turkeys: If you break up a flock of turkeys in fall but misplaced your calls, try whistling at a high pitch three to five times, like you were calling a dog. Young birds are particularly susceptible to this “kee-kee” call, which they make to regroup with each other when separated.

Deer: Sometimes it’s best to let the weather dictate your hunting strategy. If it’s dry and the leaves are crackly underfoot, take a stand. You’ll make too much noise trying to stalk hunt.

If a light mist or snow is falling, easing slowly along is often a productive tactic. When a major snowstorm has blown in, put on drives — deer will be bedded and you’ll need to push them out.

Ducks: On most rivers, 4-6 miles is a good distance for a float hunt of about a half day. Always err on the side of too short of a float rather than too long. You don’t want to be caught out on the river after dark.

Rabbits: For the most part, it’s best to avoid open areas when going after rabbits. The thicker the cover is, the better your chances of jumping this quarry.

Search for brier patches, clusters of brush, abandoned farm machinery overgrown with weeds, deadfalls wrapped in grapevines and honeysuckle-covered fences. Those are the areas where cottontails like to hang out.

Quail: It’s a mistake to assume that all quail flush in one simultaneous covey rise. Usually, a few stragglers get up late. Save a shell and these quail may present the best opportunity of all when there are no other birds to distract you. Of course there are very few quail these days in the Shenandoah Valley, but in southeastern regions you can still find a few of these wonderful gamebirds.

Ducks: When you first spot ducks far off, use the highball or hail call — loud, high pitched rapid quacks. This gets the ducks’ attention and turns them toward you. Once they spot the spread of decoys, scale back to softer, contented hen sounds.

Woodcock: When you jump up a woodcock, don’t fire your gun as the bird is rising. An easier shot will come if you wait until the bird levels off and starts to fly away horizontally. At the point where it changes direction it will be virtually motionless.

Elk: In late season, forget the big, well-known meadows that appear on topo maps. These have been pounded hard by other hunters since opening day. Instead, search for tiny open pockets with a bit of grass or forbs left on high, hard-to-reach ridges or tucked away in otherwise thick patches of dense black timber. Most elk are hunted in western states, but Virginia is slowly building a herd of these great game animals and limited hunting is already occurring.

Award-winning outdoors writer Gerald Almy is a Maurertown resident