Can’t pass up opening day
I got up early on Sept. 27, which with the next issue of New York Outdoor News in the works, would be a busy day. But it was also opening day of the Northern Zone archery season, and I can think of few times in my 30+ years of bowhunting that I’ve missed out on being in a treestand or ground blind at sunrise on this opener.
So I arose early, really early, and got a couple of hours of work done before heading out for about a 90-minute break. Whether to send an arrow on its way, or not, at an unsuspecting whitetail would be an in-the-moment decision. But more than likely, I would let all but a sizable buck pass if an opportunity presented itself.
It didn’t, and I was more than OK with that. Sometimes, you just have to hunt for the sake of hunting and opening days usually fit that bill.
It’s been a long, hot summer and things are starting to finally wind down. Not having hunted since spring turkey season, it simply felt good to be out there and it didn’t take long for my mind to wander in places it needed to go, which always seems to happen when I’m at peace in the outdoors.
Mostly I just thought about the deer season ahead and one mountain in particular that has been a buck producer for our hunting crew, the Iron Sight Gang, over the years. I also thought about the fact that for the second year in a row we’ll be without one of our main crew members. We lost Jack, who was 80 – but still very active – back in June, as well as my cousin Ed in the summer of 2021. Both were regulars in the hunting party and had favorite spots to be on the aforementioned mountain. I’ve come to accept the fact, now more than ever, that nothing ever stays the same in life, and in hunting.
As I sat in my treestand overlooking the corner of a small meadow I realized it had gotten light very quickly. In no time my 90 minutes was up and it was time to head back to the house, grab a cup of coffee and get back to work. None of the bucks I’ve been watching all summer, or any deer for that matter, had showed up but it sure felt good to be simply hunting again. And at least I didn’t miss opening day.