The Wait by Lyndon Combs
The time passes slowly for some of us waiting for deer season to open. Some can afford to visit large game ranches that offer hunting almost year round, but for many like me it is a brief period of the year when we can have a chance to take a deer. A window of opportunity that is gone all too quickly for me.
If you’re lucky you get to mount a nice trophy on the wall, and put meat in the freezer. I could I guess turn to some old ways and pay no attention to the laws, but that can have severe consequences for a hunter, and it hurts the overall eco-system in the area. The only real relief is the hunting open year round such as coyote, ground hog, and other species that are not protected by seasons. Yes this allows for some kind of hunting, and time in the field, but let’s face it nothing matches going after a white tailed deer. The entire sport of hunting is a lesson in patience, but that last twenty – four hours before the opening of the first day of deer season is nerve raking for me, and the last hour sitting in the truck waiting for the last half hour before sunrise is the slowest ticking hour of the year.
The whole year is a ticking down process to the few days in November when deer are legal to harvest, and the scouting never stops. I scout before, during, and after the season. Nothing can be more important than knowing the patterns of the game you hunt, and the biological needs of those animals such as water, and food sources. The more you know about the deer the better hunter you will become. I am always watching the patterns of the deer. If you don’t know where to find them you can’t harvest them. I have known many hunters who go out and start scouting the last weeks of October, but they don’t have consistent luck in the field because come opening day those deer will no doubt be pressured into other areas.
By watching during the season as you’re in the field you learn the places that the deer flee to when put under pressure, and just after the season you find the places that deer hide during the last days of season. This is very helpful in the course of the season, and year round scouting allows for the testing of different scents, so you know what works, and what is nothing more than a waste of money. I personally swear by Buck Nip it works year round for bucks.
The time out of season is also a good time to learn the distance you will be taking most shots at the deer in the area, and then practice shooting, and if you load your own ammunition work out a load for your rifle that gives the best performance. This information is very important and not only makes you a better shot, but makes you a better hunter. This is also a prime time to teach proven methods to young hunters who will be carrying on the tradition of hunting, and all shooting sports. Nothing teaches better than hands on time in the field so take the kids with you into the woods to build a better foundation for the future of hunting, and to help with conservation matters that are best learned young.
The best way to think of this is removing all the variables that can hinder you ability to harvest a deer quickly, and as humanely as possible. This is no different than any other sport, you need to know your equipment, the goals, and where the game is going to be played realizing they have the home court advantage and you need to remove as much that advantage as possible. You need to know as much as the deer know to outsmart them. Don’t go into the field handicapped by your own un-preparedness, work for the harvest in the fall. Another thing that can help you be more successful during the season is to think of yourself as a farmer. Help the deer to be healthy, and grow as big as possible. Plant foods plots, and help provide for the species in every way you can all year round. Don’t just worry about them when it is time to harvest. It not only makes you a better hunter, but it helps with the wait for opening day.