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5 Things We All Love About Michigan's Firearm Deer Opener

Facebook, Michigan Buck Pole

Michigan's firearm deer opener is a holiday, and this is what we all love about it!

Michigan's firearm deer season opener is quickly upon us and we're thinking about what makes November 15 such a great day that many Michiganders look forward to every year.

So we've compiled a list of five of the best things we love about this day.

5. The Anticipation


"It's like Christmas....with guns!" You'll often hear Michigan hunters using this quote from the Jeff Daniels classic hunting movie "Escanaba in da Moonlight" to describe November 15.

And it's very true and probably why we love the day before the season almost as much as the day itself. It's a nostalgic feeling that is closest compared to ripping into presents on Christmas morning as a child.

As an adult, it's hard to find that feeling again, but I always seem to find it as November 15 approaches every year. Especially since you never know what will happen when the sun rises and the deer start to move. Sitting in the pre-dawn darkness waiting for it to get light enough to shoot is the most exciting time of the year for me.

4. Deer Camp


For many, it's a tradition every year to pack up the truck and head north to hunt Michigan's north woods. It's a treat to visit Northern Michigan at any time, but there's something special about hitting U.S. 131 or I-75 and watching cities give way to the north woods in November.

If you're lucky, you'll be a remote spot without cell phone signal where you can disconnect from the outside world and spend several days just hunting and enjoying time with family and friends.

Go ahead and stay up late the day before and tell some old hunting stories and play some games, but don't drink too much the night before. Remember, you have to get up early if you want to bag that big buck!

3. Playing Hooky

Facebook, Commemorative Bucks of Michigan

It doesn't matter if it is work or school, but skipping out on responsibilities is a big part of Michigan's firearm opener tradition.

I actually remember being disappointed in school when the opener fell on a weekend and I didn't get to take a day off. As an adult, it's pretty much the same thing, only with work instead.

Even a bad opening morning is better than a great day at school or work right?

I always hear people saying the season should be changed to always open on a Saturday, but I think we'd lose a little bit of tradition if it came to that. Part of the fun is having an excuse to get away from all the stress of the real world, even if it's only for a day.

2. Friends and Family

Facebook, Michigan Buck Pole

Like most holidays, the Michigan firearm opener is a day best celebrated in the company of family and friends. Considering that opening morning is usually the most successful day of the season for firearms hunters, there is no better day to make some great memories and spend some time with friends and loved ones.

For me, I don't even necessarily need to get a deer myself on this day for it to be successful. Seeing any friend or family member connect instantly makes the day a success for me.

1. A Successful Hunt

Travis Smola

Successfully harvesting a deer anytime is great, especially in a high-pressure state like Michigan. But if you're like me, you know there's just something special about harvesting a deer on opening morning.

There's something utterly satisfying about putting together a plan for the opener and having it all come to fruition just as you'd planned on the first day.

Many hunters have had their most memorable hunts come on this day. I shot my first two bucks on this day only minutes apart. One of them is still my second-largest. My dad shot his largest buck on this day. And I downed my third-largest buck on this day just two years ago.

Is there any better feeling than rolling into town on November 15 for lunch with a buck in the back of your vehicle? I didn't think so!

November 15th truly is a holiday for the state of Michigan and there are many things to look forward to about this day. What are your favorite things about opening day?

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5 Things We All Love About Michigan's Firearm Deer Opener