Just the other day I was looking at my work calendar and I noticed I didn’t have any appointments scheduled for the month of November yet. I realize we are still seven months away (ONLY SEVEN MONTHS?!?!?!), but I think about this month every day of the year. It’s an important month for deer hunters as I am sure you know.
Upon noticing my empty schedule, I took the time to fill it up while I had the chance. By fill it up I mean that I made a month long note that I would be off every day. Being in the construction industry like I am, the month of November can often suddenly fill up with panicked contractors attempting to take care of minor issues before the weather turns too cold (like pouring foundations).
If I can take a minute I’d like to discuss a particular pet peeve I have. Why is it that there always has to be a rush at work during the most important time of the year for deer hunters? Is there any way to avoid this I wonder? Most of the people I work with hunt as well, and we all have to suffer through the same work related responsibilities and often miss some of the best hunting days as a result. ARGH!
This year I am ahead of the game. I’ve planned ahead. Work? “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
My time off actually begins at the end of October because muzzleloader season begins in New Hampshire on October 29th. That’s a Saturday, but I’ll need to take off the following week and a half until New Hampshire Rifle season begins on Wednesday, November 9th. I’ll continue with my days off through Friday the 11th, at which point I will shoot a 237 pound, ten pointer to close out my first block of time off.
The action picks up the very next day on Saturday, November 12th when Vermont Rifle season opens. After my lack of success last year I’m dead set on redeeming myself with a rather large buck. The highest success rates for Vermont rifle hunters take place on opening weekend, but that’s not my style. I like to drag out the season. To that end, I have set aside the next fourteen days, starting on Monday, November 14th to spend time in the woods looking for Mr. Big and pulling burrowed deer ticks out of my skin.
I already know what you’re thinking. You are wondering why I need to block off all that time. Am I really that bad of a hunter? Well, yes I am. But just in case I get lucky and shoot that 200 pound Vermont four pointer I’ve always dreamed about early on during my time off, I have a backup plan. I’ll use that time to go back to New Hampshire to bow hunt since their season runs for three months straight. If I’m lucky I’ll catch the tail end of the rut over there and sink an arrow in Mr. Big #3 for the year (keep in mind I’ve already shot a doe with my bow in NH during my spare time in October, so it’s buck only from then on).
But just in case I get lucky again, I will still have ample time to fulfill my goal of shooting many gray squirrels and trying a few different squirrel recipes. Maybe I’ll even bring my son along. He’ll be five years old by then and should be able to sit still for twice as long as he could when we went squirrel hunting last year. He’s a planner as well. A few days ago he informed me why we didn’t see any squirrels when we went hunting last year. “Daddy, I think next time we go squirrel hunting we should not use the four wheeler. I think that scared all the squirrels away. But if we do that, how will we get to our hunting spot?” he asked.
“We can’t do that. I can’t walk that far – you’ll have to carry me!”
“Think again, Pal.”
Obviously, we still have a few kinks to work out in our squirrel hunting plan, but having an entire month off to nail down the specifics will really help the planning process. There are other items I’ll have to take care of as well, such as butchering the meat, eating the meat, multiple trips to the taxidermist, etc. That’s why it’s important to take off a full month.
November 28th through the 30th will serve as flex days. I’ll no doubt be tired from hunting for a month straight and will require some time to rest up from my vacation before heading back to work where I’ll have a lot of heavy duty thinking to do about my previous month off. On the other hand, it’s possible that I won’t be all that tired, so I could use that time to continue hunting with a bow in New Hampshire since their bow season WILL STILL BE OPEN. I’m still planning to have all my tags filled by then but you never know. That’s why they are called flex days.
I couldn’t be any more excited for this November - a month off, three giant bucks, a crockpot full of squirrels, and lots of great memories made. It all sounds too good to be true, which it is, but a guy can dream, right?
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