Early archery season worth a shot, weather or not
Bowhunters, myself included, can be a fickle bunch. Take New York state archery hunters, for instance. For years we lobbied hard for an earlier opening to the archery deer season, and DEC finally bumped it up from mid-October to an Oct. 1 kickoff.
And once that was in place, we moaned about the warm weather that typically lingers well into October. Many of us – again, myself included – didn’t take advantage of the earlier start and instead stayed home, awaiting cooler weather that usually arrived mid-month.
Now, as we approach another archery season, we simply don’t know what to expect. With very few exceptions across New York state, it has been a record wet year, so much so that if the rainy weather continues, it could impede access to some of our hunting spots. It doesn’t take much for a creek to rise to the point that it may be impossible to cross to head into a favorite stand. Take it from a guy who took an opening-day dunking during the firearms season. It made for a cold, uncomfortable half day in the stand until I finally surrendered.
So as we head into another season and an Oct. 1 start, chances are there will be warm weather, at least warmer than we’d like to see. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get out there at least a few times, particularly if the wind is right, and we won’t be hampering our efforts later in the season when the temperatures cool and the action heats up.
It’s never an unproductive outing, in my mind. You can do some early-season reconnaissance, get an idea of the mast crop in your area, and get a feel for what’s happening with the deer movement in your hunting area. And, warm weather or not, the early archery season offers a great opportunity to pattern a buck – sometimes a big buck – on a food source and fill a tag earlier than you might expect.
So if the wind is right, get out there and hunt early, maybe even often. At the very least, you may glean some important information that can help you later in the season. And you may get a surprise in the form of a fine buck strolling under your stand.