Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021

Unlike many opening days of Northern Zone, I went to bed and was unsettled all night. I felt like I used to feel on the night before opening day of Southern Zone when the season opened on a Monday. The excitement felt back then is still beyond explanation, even today. It’s something I fell very fortunate to have experienced, as I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge during those times. I learned what deer do under pressure, and I watched people and learned how to use pressure to my advantage. I’m glad Dad let me experience it with him. We had some great times in my younger years.

After a restless night, I hit the alarm at 4:30 a.m. and headed out the door at 6. When I arrived to the spot I wanted to park, a truck had already beaten me there. With more than hour before daylight, I couldn’t believe someone was already in the woods. It’s not often that I’m the second guy to get in the woods first thing in the morning. I also don’t like walking past people in the dark. It creates an awkward feeling.I wasn’t sure If I would walk by the guy or if I would never see him.

Dad and I hunted together today. I put him in a spot that was easy to access. I had a great feeling about the spot. There were huge scrapes on a a little flat, and the scrapes haven’t been opened yet, but I know they will be opened soon. I was hoping today would be the day.

After an hour’s walk, I arrived to the place I wanted to sit. My clothes were drenched in sweat, so I quickly changed out of them and put dry clothes on. This morning was the first time I really felt in the mode of hunting season. The morning chill found a home in my bones, and I enjoyed it, if even for just a few seconds. Fall had finally arrived, and I welcomed it. The temperature was hovering around 35. Although it didn’t frost, the morning air made it known that it will only be a matter of days.

Shortly after daylight, blue jays began cawing, and I had an uneasy feeling. With so many leaves still not the low stuff, it makes it almost impossible to hear anything, let alone see something. I glanced through the woods regularly throughout the day and never moved. Something in my gut told me to stay put. I threw all my cards on the table and went all-in. I was sure a buck was going to visit the scrape.

As th hours ticked off the clock, my hopes remained high. It was the first great hunting day of the season. Eventually, I gave in and headed back to the truck to make it there before it got dark. I picked my dad up on the way out, but not before jumping a few deer and watching their tails bounce like popcorn dancing in a microwave after exposing out of the bag. I enjoyed the scenery, even though I was not happy that they spotted me before I spotted them. As they zigzagged through the woods, I found myself wondering if any of them wore headgear suitable enough for me to want to find his shoulder with my crosshairs. I will never know for sure, but I think one of them was probably a solid candidate. I’ll see what tomorrow brings. The first frost of the year is forecasted for tonight. I’d guess that will get them moving tomorrow. Brian saw three does today shortly after daylight. Dad didn’t see any deer at all.

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