Here are 10 things that go through a deer hunter's mind as the season approaches.
As the season rapidly approaches (and in some states it's already open!), here are 10 likely things that cross every deer hunter's mind.
While this isn't an exhaustive list, we all agree that these sneak into our heads at least once, whether we voice them out loud or not.
Nonetheless, deer hunting is a passion for all of us and letting it occupy our mind is not something we should be ashamed of.
1. How many vacation days should I take off?
Whether you hunt private or public land, there's always the matter of getting out of work. Some people take a week and some people take two weeks, depending on how many days they can spare.
If you're like me, you only take one or two and tack it on to either side of the weekend, giving you a four-to-five day weekend. Sure, we wouldn't mind taking all our vacation during deer hunting season, but our family and spouses don't always agree.
2. How much money can I spend on deer-related gear?
I have to imagine this question is asked between significant others at least once a year, if not more. It can add up right?
How much can I spend on that new grunt call or pair of hunting boots? Or, how much money can I afford to resupply new arrows, ammo, or hunting clothes? They're all valid questions. Bowhunters can spend all kinds of money each year upgrading gear if they wanted to. Unfortunately, it adds up quickly.
3. How many new treestands do I need?
It seems like each year we think of a new spot to place a stand. It might be because we secured some new property, or maybe just that the stand we hung last year didn't pan out the way we expected. It is a pain to move stands during the season, so why not buy one or two more?
4. I need to pull trail camera SD cards.
It's tempting to pull cards every weekend, especially during deer season. However, it's not always the best idea.
We tend to leave a lot of ground scent going to and from our cameras, thus communicating to the deer (especially mature deer) in the area that a human is in their home range. It doesn't mean we don't dwell over it each night, and sometimes we even give in because we want to catch that mature buck moving in daylight.
5. I need to shoot my bow.
It's supposed to be every archer's mantra: Practice, practice, practice! You can never shoot your bow too much.
In fact, we oftentimes spend so much time and money preparing everything else for deer season, that we forget to shoot our bows as much as we should.
The worst scenario is when bowhunting season arrives and we get a shot, only to miss and be left wondering what went wrong. I need to constantly remind myself of this fact, but I'm sure many of you can relate.
6. I need to clean and sight in my rifle.
After a deer season, so many of us place our rifle in the safe without a good cleaning, and it doesn't move all year long.
However, we take it out for a new season, take it into the field, and expect it to be in perfect shape. It's always good to clean your gun before each season and shoot it a couple of times before the opener. We all know this, except we don't always do it, so it inevitably enters our mind.
7. My freezer is low on venison.
For me, my freezer begins to look empty this time of year. I get antsy to go hunting because I want to restock and provide for my family.
Whether you prefer to take big bucks, young bucks, or does for venison, it doesn't matter. We enjoy the convenience of going to the freezer and pulling out a tenderloin or roast, so we almost always think of it leading up to the season.
8. I need to plant food plots.
As fall approaches this goes through many of our minds. Not everyone plants food plots, but a lot of hunters do. Each year we pray for rain, hoping we can time the planting of our plots so that they will be ready in the fall.
We think about what we want to plant as food sources for the deer along with all the fertilizer, lime, and sweat equity required to make the plots look full and lush.
9. Which hunt will I get drawn for?
Not everyone applies for out-of-state or drawn hunts; I recognize that. But for those that do, the anticipation builds this time of year. I constantly check my email to see if I got picked or drew a certain big game tag, which could make a big difference in the overall plans during the season.
10. Is it cold yet?
In the south especially, we constantly check our weather foreacasts to see when a cold front is moving in, which will hopefully get the deer moving.
Even though scientific research has helped debunk the idea that weather fronts drastically impact deer movement, we still fell it our duty to be in the woods during a cold snap.
No matter your hunting strategy we still enjoy cooler weather because it just makes it seem more like deer season.
Plus, nobody likes mosquitoes and sweating while they're hunting.
We believe this list represents what a lot of deer hunters are thinking this time of year. Maybe you've thought these things too, or maybe you have other things on your mind. Either way, if it's deer hunting-related, then you know the season is nearly here.