suck It Up Butter CupDeer Season Preperation
For many people across the country there may be a lingering misconception regarding hunters and hunting. One such misconception is that hunting is an easy in and an easy out and any person can go sit in the woods.
The idea that anyone can walk right out and set up and leave with a wild animal. However, people who believe this concept to be true are severely mistaken. Hunting far more than a short walk, climb a ladder and bring a rifle; there are countless other aspects that at one point or another need to be considered. For me, I personally enjoy the work put into the preparation, it really brings a sense of satisfaction in the end. By working with my own hands and time, I am truly given the full experience to learn and grow independently. Before ever thinking to walk out and hunt a buck, there a few things I learned the easy and hard way. As a beginner I have had to confirm and reconfirm I have all my needed preparations complete, as well as purchased and gathered the equipment needed. From here the simple concept of being confident in myself, knowing what to listen and look for while in the woods are all critical to the success of every single trip out!
I have had some odd luck and late starts, but a hunter ideally wants to get prepared for the beginning of the deer-hunting season. If you’re new, and not on private land or lease, I recommend you contact your local parks and wildlife organization to find the specific rules and regulations for that particular season, plus the dates for the season (it can be tricky! Don’t be fooled and slapped with a fine!), also check your state and zones bag limits. Here in the South, we don’t have to hope to draw tags thankfully. After you get familiar with this information, go ahead and get started on your hunter safety course even with the season a few months out, it can take some time! A combination hunting and fishing license if you are a resident is generally not expensive, cross state lines and guess again! In preparing for the season, I personally recommend getting started far in advance to find a hunting club or lease. When looking for a hunting club or lease, it is important to find an area that offers hardwoods and if possible a water source. Next up, a hunter has to scout and cover as much of the land as possible and get an eye on what’s the layout. Now that you have found the club or lease be sure to go over the club/leases private rules and regulations that may trump state laws. Also, time invested in reading once more.
I have been pumped to get my first year of minerals out, a huge investment to the future, one I’m excited to watch develop. So mineral sites, need setting up if you have an interest in developing the herd. I use various feeders to get the attention of my white-tailed friends preseason. It is critical to find the perfect place for your feeders and stands, no matter how deep into the woods you have to go or how many miles you cross at times. I have seen deer pass over feed just feet away from their paths like it was too much work to go over there. Stand placement is very important, one lesson I in fact learned HARD. Feeders need to be placed assembled, filled and powered up or hung. Don’t overlook how the bags of feed, feeders, salt licks, and bags of minerals (extremely dense) get to the woods. It’s not like they have legs, everything in my case has to be carried out lb by lb to my hidden hideaway. So with a face full of bugs, sweat soaked clothes and eyes watching for snakes, welcome to preseason prep. Talk about a little back pain at times. If you decide like I did to use calls or rattles, trying to get a head start is once again work and learning before the season. From bleat calls, grunt calls, and rattling antlers, it gets exciting! Trying to get them all figured out is like a puzzle at first! Fun at times!
It is also a good idea while you are preseason prepping to look for rubs and scrapes as the season approaches without disturbing the area as best possible. Some days may be a quick in and out for cam checks and refills. While other days may turn into hours on foot looking for new areas to set up. I remember seeing the same land in the summer, by the end of December, I had remapped it with my eyes, leaves had fallen and it was nothing like it appeared early season. Months go on, more loads of feed go out, new stands get hung, climbing sticks go on trees and miles get laid down preparing for the best day of the year! Ground blinds get set, trees get marked to climb later, as a bowhunter, shooting lanes are cleared and it goes on. It always goes on and the work continues yet there is NO guarantee to ever harvest a deer any season. It’s just not reality to expect to tag out or even for sure fill one tag. Hunting is called such as that is what it is…hunting, not killing! I am reaching a close and have not even began to detail the knowledge and education a hunter invests gaining that goes into the hunt in itself! Not even mentioning the time spent practicing if someone bowhunts. One step at a time! I’m still wobbling like a fresh walking toddler but we all had to first crawl at some point. So, sit back, you’re going to sweat, maybe cuss and cry but it’s worth those moments of hope and glimpse of possibility when you have that scope or sight locked in.
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