Overseas for the Oct. 1 opener

Mike RaykoviczOkay, I’ve done it. I’ve scouted my hunting area, hung my stands, brushed them in and set my trail cameras. All is in readiness for my return to the states. By the time this is published I’ll be in Rome and then Florence, Italy. From there it’s on to Nice, France to spend a week with a friend. I plan on being back here in the Southern Tier by Oct. 5 and I have to tell myself there is more than enough time to arrow a nice buck.

I'll admit I had to do a lot of looking, but I did manage to find a single apple tree bearing fruit on the farm I hunt in Pennsylvania, and there are a few acorns on the oak tree near my stand here in New York. With other trees devoid of apples and acorns I’m hoping – make that expecting – both locations will act as magnets for deer. The farm I’m hunting has no corn this year; rather, the fields are green with newly planted clover. Just about every hunter knows deer can’t resist young clover shoots and that could be a problem since the fields are so large the deer can pop out anywhere.

A few years ago I was perched in a treestand overlooking a clover field and was scanning the field moving my head from side to side. I turned to my left and saw nothing. I turned to my right and view was the same. Just as I turned my head left again I caught sight of a doe and two fawns running out of the woods, stopping in the middle of the field. They began feeding. If I hesitated for more than a second or two before turning my head when I was looking right I wouldn’t have seen the deer enter the field so quickly. One second there was nothing; in an instant there were three deer. If I hadn’t actually seen them enter the field I would swear they just dropped out of the sky. This is why I’m constantly on the alert. I have a friend who brings a book to read while he’s in his stand and he regularly gets deer. I, however, am always scanning the woods in front of me for any telltale movement that would betray an approaching whitetail. To each his own, I suppose.

I’ve never missed an opening day of archery season in my life but this year will be an exception. I know we’ll have a fine time on our trip overseas and that I’ll enjoy every minute of it, but rest assured I’ll also be keeping an eye on the calendar and counting down to the day we get back.   

Categories: New York – Mike Raykovicz

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