Monday, September 24, 2007
Doug Skinner, South Jersey Outdoors
Bow season in my area opened the first Saturday of September. I've been out in the woods just two times since then. The reason is that the weather has been so ideal for fishing that climbing a tree to get eaten alive by bugs has seemed less intriguing.
Have no fear, I haven't given up on the woods totally. I went scouting my favorite spots last Sunday and am pleased to report that deer activity seems to be up from last year. In my area the harvest was relatively small, especially in terms of the buck harvest. I found some heavily traveled deer trails that lead to a farm field behind my house.
The situation is almost perfect. Before the deer can chow down on the clover at the edge of the field they walk through a stretch of white oaks and the acorns have been pouring off the trees in this cooler weather. I think this is my year. I just have to get myself to put down the fishing rod and pick up the bow.
On my first excursion I saw two bucks, neither came within a comfortable range, but even if they had I wouldn't be able to take a shot legally. Part of the stipulation for this early bow season is that in order to take a buck I must harvest a doe first. Once the regular season starts in October, everything will be fair game.
I get so excited for bow season. There are few things better than sitting in the tree when the weather is cool, but not cold, and the woods are still. The anticipation of a good hunt is enough to keep me warm when things start to get even colder, but until then I will enjoy the mild evenings and my chance at packed freezer.