The spot has been eating at me all winter and summer. It’s a place I stumbled onto during last season but never had a chance to hunt for various reasons. In fact, I’ve never hunted it, but today I hiked in on the wet leaves to scout out the area to prepare for the New Hampshire archery opener this Tuesday. It took me twenty-five minutes at a steady walk to get there and Google Earth tells me it’s six-tenths of a mile as the crow flies. It’s not quick to get to, but I like that.
Mr. Big frequents the area, I know it. I have pictures of him from previous seasons, but I don’t have any trail cameras set up this year so the contest is old school. Just a gut feeling I have and the excitement of a new location. It’s me versus him. In the evening, he will walk down off the evergreen ridge behind the swamp where he was bedded all day. The swamp is about 100 yards long and fifty yards across at its widest point and wet enough so it’s not passable through the middle; he’ll have to walk around one side or the other on his way eat each evening.
My stand will be situated in a tree on the uphill side of the swamp at the base of the drainage that feeds it. From the tracks I saw this afternoon the deer appear to be filtering around the edge and not using one specific trail. That will make the game a little trickier; though using the edge of the swamp as a natural funnel to my advantage should help.
There are nut bearing oaks and beeches nearby, but from what I saw today the crop is not as heavy as last year. Still, there are enough there to serve as a waypoint for a big buck on his nightly travels. Between the nuts, the swamp, and the bedding location I’m confident I’m zeroing in on his daily routine. He has no idea what’s about to hit him…
On the other hand, I can see myself growing bored with the long waits and packing my climber in and out each time, so I may just sit close to the truck and shoot a doe. It’s been known to happen on occasion.
The anticipation for the season opener this week is palpable. For those of you fortunate enough to get out this week and enjoy God's creation, I wish you the best. Shoot straight, be safe, and remember to have fun!
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