Today will be the last time I hunt the 2013 deer season, becasue I work through Sunday when the season in WI ends. An assortment of thoughts on the past year:
A point my dad learned is that we get little out of hunting the first week or two of October. Here in Wisconsin the archery season starts in the middle of September and the first week or two can be a good time to hunt. But after a week or two the deer seem to disappear until the rut begins in the end of October. Dad wonders if we shouldn’t be muskie fishing for those weeks instead of hunting.
My biggest mistake this past year was to put all my stands up in the same old places. We had a large scrape line in a new spot and it did not occur to me to hunt there until it was too late. I was too set in my ways and old stands to move where the deer were. The buck I did shoot was from the only spot I had not hunted before this season, and the first time I sat there. Next year, I aim to forget about where I used to hunt, and will put my stands in the places that seem best on the lay of the land. I’m going to adapt to my circumstances better next year.
My time working in a bow shop has taught me a few things. More guys than you’d think want to hunt with less efficient traditional bows, traditional muzzleloaders, and bows during the gun season. To get to be an above average deer hunter is not terribly hard; merely prioritize becoming a good hunter and you may well surpass your neighbors in ability and success. DO NOT BUY A USED COMPOUND BOW!!!!! EVER!!
Gorilla Treestands must have gone out of business this year. This is a shame because their stands were arguably the best, and half the cost of the only remaining quality stand on the market: the Lone Wolf Alpha Hang-On II ($250).
The equipment for your favorite hobby should be the best you can get. Saving a few bucks is no excuse for getting less than the best. Don’t buy cheap stuff and then complain about your failures. If something is your favorite hobby, then prioritize your funds to pay for the best.
Aluminum treestands creak in the cold and are therefore useless.
Metal ladder-stands are horrifically awful. You need to be totally out of your mind to buy a stand that weighs near as much as you do. Three men are the minimum for moving a ladder stand. I’m shocked no one was hurt with the one I moved this year. Don’t hunt from ladder stands!
Having all of your equipment ready to go before the season is great. If something was not great for you this past year, then right now is the time to find its replacement. Now, if not sooner.
If you wait until the last minute to get something, don’t be surprised when the store is out becasue everyone else forgot too.
I’m up to four stands where the first time I hunted them was the time I shot a buck there. I doubt the coincidence. My property size is limited and all the spots will have been hunted quite soon. I wonder if the trick is to pick, say, a third of your property each year to avoid hunting, so the deer always have a place to feel unpressurized where you hunt.
More, bigger and better tools should mean that the jobs get done in half the time. With my new atv, do you suspect that I will spend half the time putting things like food plots in, or have twice as many food plots?