Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's that time again

My truck's all loaded up for Michigan's 2007 archery opener, and I'm now finally sitting down to write this blog entry.

I should have been in bed hours ago but that's how it goes for me on the eve of any opening day.

Inventory of gear is meticulously gone over because I'm getting to be an old fart and if I zoom through it I'm certain to forget something. And when you're out on stand in a Sanilac County farm field a couple hundred yards from the truck, it'll stay forgotten, misplaced or laying on the backseat or at home unless it's something you can't live without, such as your release or rounds for your rifle.

So I tend to use this time as a meditation period and reflect on what tactics I want to employ depending on what season it is, and, of course, to load up my calls, scents and utility items. Remember it's a very sorry hunter indeed who ventures out into the woods without toilet paper.

To the novice and uninterested this date, Oct. 1, is overlooked as the opening day of deer season. Most only think of Nov. 15, the first day of rifle. As my friend Brian from Tai Kwon Do replied when I told him I might miss a few days of class once the season begins and he said, "Yep, only another month away."

"Uh. No, it's this Monday," I corrected him.

For me, I really don't get as fired up for Nov. 15 unless I'm hunting a private land plot and I'm like the only person there.

Nov. 15 is usually looked upon by this hunter as a drag because it brings out the yahoos and amateurs. Or "Kmart hunters" as my neighbor once called them.

But it's only two weeks and then they resign themselves back to their recliners and I get my woods back.

Nevertheless, I do not care to digress into negatives on such a glorious day.

While I was driving back from my 12-Step meeting tonight, I was thinking of how few items get me as high as being on stand with a stiff autumn wind in my face taking in the leafy splendor of golds and reds. Then on top this, add in having the opportunity of taking the long-coveted whitetail brute. It really doesn't get any better. The allure of the bars never even came close to matching this thrill.

There is no more waiting. The 90 days of craziness are only hours away. By the time many of you -- if any -- read this I will have already completed the opening-day watch at the perch of my ladder stand.

That is if it didn't get lifted over the past few days.

* * *

Henry Update

The loyal and dedicated bird dog I've walked behind for 14 years is making good progress.

In fact, he is bolting from the pen when I open the gate for his nightly walks much like the old days. I expect he will be ready for a short encounter as early as next week.

I have come to accept the operation he recently had might have slowed him more than originally thought. But as the vet said: "If he doesn't have hunting, what does he have?" Which is what I've told fellow hunters and family for years. Hunting is what he was bred to do. This is his lifeblood.

* * *

Hunting Mag vs. Blog

I would like to keep those interested abreast of what I'm thinking for my mag and this blog.

It would appear as I go along this course that eventually I may move my operations over to this site permanently. But it won't be for some time yet.

For sure, the more timely updates will be logged here as in the past with more indepth features and photos slotted for the mag.

The main reason is simple. I need to get on board with this technology myself.

What happens is if I need to make changes, the process is long and convoluted.

For example, I had written out an itinerary on the mag for the upcoming season of what hunts I would be doing and when, but my wife's work schedule interfered and I had to make alterations.

So instead of bear hunting in the U.P. as was planned for these last couple days, I won't be going until this upcoming weekend. Which is why I'm bowhunting in Sanilac County today.

Anyway, I see where I need to be more hands on, and please look for the revamped itinerary on the magazine site in the next week or so.

(To check out my online magazine, log on to


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