It doesn’t matter what else is going on in the world, the excitement of opening day of whitetail deer season is upon us. Whether you are looking for that first buck as a new hunter, the meat doe to fill the freezer, the first buck that comes along, or you are big or empty chasing that dream buck of a lifetime. Opening day is statistically the best day to harvest a deer. We have compiled our list of items, techniques and tactics to plan for opening day success.
A month before opening day, I lay out my entire pack and all of the gear that I am going to carry with me on opening day in my pack as well as in my vehicle that will go along with me on my hunts. Laying out my gear in preparation for opening morning allows me to look through all of my gear and check each piece to make sure it is working order, batteries are replaced, straps are checked and gear is packed up in preparation for opening day.
In my truck is a pack frame, ropes, gambrels, a block and tackle, knives, game bags and everything I need to bring a white-tailed deer out of the field and get him cooled as quickly as possible for transport to the game check station and ultimately hung in the tree and cooled down.
My basic pack carries ammo, my license, two knives, binoculars, flashlight, headlamp, toilet paper, scent, gloves, field dressing gloves, calls, rattling antlers, hand warmers and cameras. On the morning of my hunts, I pack my Yeti Flip with drinks and my lunch and I can easily carry it right into to my blind or stand for the day.
Practice for Success
I know some tremendous shots and I know some great shots and I know some folks who really could use a little more practice.. While I know that I am a very good shot, it is only because every year, I spend the time to put a lot of rounds through my rifles to make sure that when it comes to the rifles that I am going to use are set and tweaked just right so when I have that monarch buck in my sites, I have all of the confidence that I need to make an exceptional shot whether that shot is from 50 yards out to 400 yards.
Plan for Opening Morning
Doing the scouting and the legwork to be in the right place at the right time is paramount to opening day success on a whitetail deer hunt. Creating a plan and sticking to that plan gives you the best opportunity for success. An old hunting partner used to say to me, “There is more places where they isn’t then places where they is?” We used to laugh and laugh at that statement but the reality is that statement is always true. Doing your homework allows you to place yourself in the right spot at the right time.
Planning takes a little bit of knowledge of what you are seeing on trail cams, what you are seeing in your scouting and knowledge about how deer will react when pressured from other hunters. Working with OnXmaps you can see property lines, topographic information and aerial photos which allow you to make a determination of where deer will travel when pressured.
This time is also used to make sure that you have all of our paperwork in order, your hunting license, hunter education card and tags all together so they are ready to go with you on opening day. This is also a good time to read and review this years hunting regulation books to make sure you are aware of any changes to the hunting laws.
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By Kevin Paulson – HuntingLife.com