8 Tips and Tricks For Opening Day Of Gun Season
Despite where we are all from, how long our state’s season lasts, how old we are, or how many deer we have filled the freezer with, we all have the magic of opening day in common. Whether you have seen 30 opening days, or this is your first one, it is always a day to be excited for just like a toddler on Christmas morning. Nevertheless, despite all of the excitement, deer season is serious business. And more importantly, opening day of gun season is no time to mess around.
Many states throughout the USA have a very short, jam packed gun season date range, lasting only several days to a week or two long. This is not much time, as most hunters know, sometimes you can go a few sits without seeing a soul. Therefore, it is important to be as prepared as possible for opening day of gun season and that preparation starts now. Utilizing this limited time as best as possible is going to be your best bet for landing that buck you have been eyeing, and we have developed 8 tips and tricks to help you score a monster.
1. Make A Wish List
Just like you did at Christmas time when you were young, make a list of necessary things to feel comfortable and confident for opening day. Whether it is new trail cams, a new gun, new wool socks, or even a new gun case, start searching for your necessary items as early as possible. Be sure to include packing items as well, such as food, camp gear, hot chocolate, and all of the items that will make you the most successful hunter possible.
2. Plan For Warmth
As a Michigan-based company, warmth is nothing to mess around with. And as hunters, we want to stay out all day. There is nothing worse than having to head back to camp because you need another pair of socks, or your other insulated boots. Therefore, put together a layering plan. Layers are everything when it comes to all-day hunts and staying comfortable. Consider having an insulated layer, a soft layer, and a sweat-wicking layer for optimal warmth and easy access to take on and off.
3. Plan Your Approach To The Woods
It is worth the extra effort to strategically plan your walk out to your spot. Saving both noise and confusion will be worth it in the long run when you don’t scare a deer away by walking through their bedding areas because you didn’t scout during the daylight. Know your area, and plan how you are going to approach getting to your spot.
4. Understand The Wind
Like we have stated in many past articles, wind is so important to understand, but, is not a defining factor in whether to hunt or not Whether you are hunting from a ground blind, portable blind, or tree stand, be ready to have a plan B incase the wind is not in your favor. It is always good to have several options that are angled differently to optimize your chances of success.
5. Hunt A Smaller Area
Most deer concentrate on sticking to a square mile or less for their “home” territory. Even in the midst of large state land, deer claim their territory and stick to it. Therefore, try hunting a smaller area. Pick 50-100 acres to scout, understand, and plot stands or ground blinds through your hunting area of choice. If you are finding bedding areas and funnels throughout your small area, your chances of scoring one are very high.
6. Skip Lunch And Stay Put… All. Day. Long.
Many hunters will go in to camp, and grab a quick bite to eat before heading back out for the night hunt. However, this can cause deer movement due to noise and activity. Therefore, sit tight and eat your sandwich while waiting for the big ones. You might be surprised by the movement you witness.
7. Locate Escape Routes
Make sure you are scouting before opening day and locating all of the important areas such as travel funnels, thickets, and bedding areas. If you want to land a big whitetail, it is important you understand how they operate. Therefore, make a plan to go our before opening day, and act as if you are hunting. Think about where the deer run and mark these important areas on your HuntWise app to easily locate them when opening day finally comes.
8. Make Sure You Are “Sighted In”
There is no worse feeling than feeling prepared and ready for opening day, and then missing your first deer because your sight was “off”. Whether your using a rifle or muzzleloader, practice in the off season and understand your distances. It doesn’t matter if your practice shot goes well or it is awful, at least you will know and be ready for the opening-day opportunities.
Overall, you can’t control whether or not you see a monster buck. But you can control if you are prepared and understand your land. Be ready to see a monster buck, and start preparing now to optimize your success later. Good luck hunters, and shoot straight.