Yes, Pennsylvania archery season is just around the corner
I’m not generally one to put the cart before the horse, but who’s ready for bow season? I know I’m looking forward to those cool evening sits, surrounded by colorful foliage in the deer woods, knowing something magical can happen at any time. But am I truly ready? Not just yet – but I’ll get there.
I’m easing into my late-summer routine. My trail camera network is out doing its thing, and I’m trying not to be overly intrusive on the properties I intend to hunt. Sure, nothing beats “boots-on-the-ground” scouting, but I try to take a low-key approach as much as possible, checking cameras just once a month during the summer season. Besides, the bucks’ patterns often change come September anyway, and there’s no sense in blowing up the woodlot before we even get started.
I’ve attended a few archery shoots thus far, and the score sheets indicate I still have room for improvement, so my evening shooting sessions are likely to increase throughout the month of August. I like for my bow to become a natural extension of my body, something I don’t even need to think about as a result of repeated practice, attention to form and established muscle memory. The process takes time, but by the end of September, I’ll hopefully be shooting “lights-out.”
A family drive following a rainstorm one evening last week presented what looks like a healthy crop of fawns this year. We counted 18 does/fawns within a three-mile radius of our house. We only saw two bucks, but that wasn’t surprising since the sun still hadn’t dipped behind the tree line, and the little ones are always more eager to be up and moving earlier than the big boys. The fawns’ mothers need to protectively comply with their antics, even if the bucks prefer to loaf around in the shade until dusk.
Tree stand adjustments have begun, too, with annual strap checks to those already hung on private land, and a necessary rebuild of the wooden lean-on stand I have out back. Treated lumber will last better than the plywood I previously used for the stand’s platform – now it’s solid. Lanes still need to be trimmed, and there are portable stands I can’t yet hang on public land, but that time will come, too.
My library of hunting catalogs continues to show up in the mail on a daily basis, and the archery editions have me browsing through even more gear that I don’t need. (It was a very weird experience to receive a combined “Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s” catalog this year, but I suppose it’s a reflection of how things change over time.)
In a few weeks, I’ll go through my hunting gear and re-wash it in scent-free detergent, even though I know it was meticulously stowed following late-season last year. It doesn’t hurt to be very careful with scent control.
Besides, it’s all part of the routine – one that kills time until the main event. Though I know I’m not quite ready just yet, I’ll be ready when it counts. August means the season is just around the corner, and the excitement continues to build.