No, I am not talking about the swallows flying to Capistrano. It is the army of orange clad hunters heading off to their hallowed hunting ground for the most sacred of hunting days the state has to offer.
Travel any of the highways and byways this weekend and you will no doubt see plenty of trucks hauling camping gear, ATVs, treestands and all manner of outdoor gear as they head for the mountains. Store shelves will be barren of every box of ammunition in deer hunting calibers imaginable as everyone has stocked up for the big day.
The gun buck season starts Monday, November 21. This day is anticipated by over a hundred thousand hunters each year and has been for as far back as anyone can recall.
Hunters from far and wide have spent weeks preparing and getting ready for the season. Target practice, scouting, and preparing every single piece of hunting gear they will need to bag that big buck.
Some have prepared for the long haul with the trusty camper laden down with provisions for a week, or more, of life in the backwoods. For others it isn’t so much about the hunting, but the chance to sit around deer camp and reminisce about the hunts gone by and then to share in the enjoyment and congratulations as the next generation drag in their harvest.
For most it is all about the hunt and the harvest of that big buck. Still others are just in it for the meat. Many counties have open antlerless seasons that coincided with the antlered season so it is essentially the hunter’s choice as long as he has the appropriate tags.
Some counties have even opened a bear season that runs with the beginning of buck season. This makes for even more exciting hunting. These congruent seasons do more than just offer the hunters a variety of game to hunt; they, also, help to control the populations of both bruins and whitetails.
Check out the latest edition of Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary to see what species are open in the area you hunt. It might be that you can bag a true mixed bag of big game for Thanksgiving dinner.
So, if you are one of the throngs of hunters preparing to migrate to your happy hunting ground, be sure to check your list of all the important items you need and make sure that list includes the essential safety items, especially your blaze orange outer garments that have the required 400 square inches of coverage.
As you prepare to head into the woods Monday morning, be sure to keep safety first and foremost on your mind and always follow the number one rule in hunting any game. Always properly identify your target and what is beyond it.
Nothing ruins a great hunting trip like a hunting accident. You can rest assured that I will have my blaze orange on and have a good flashlight in hand when making my way into the woods on opening morning.
I am just as excited as anyone, and even though I know the woods I hunt like the back of my hand I want to make sure that I can return safely home to my family once my migratory hunting trip has come to a close.
To all you hunters out there good luck in the upcoming season, stay safe, and safe travels in your migration whether it be across the state or just a few miles from home.