By Cody Altizer
Today was the opening day of Virginia’s early archery season (October 6). For the past 7 years I have been fortunate enough to be able to climb a tree at least once on opening day (except 2010, when I bow hunted the Illinois opener), and this year was… different. Yes, I could have hunted opening day, but read on below to find out the three reasons why I didn’t.
Conditions Weren’t Right
I wanted so badly to climb up in a tree this morning. Virginia opens their season the first Saturday of October every year, regardless of what day that is, so I had to wait an entire extra week than most states to even be able to hunt. However, as badly I was wanted to hunt, I had to resist the urge to hunt just for the sake of hunting because the conditions just weren’t ideal.
I normally don’t hunt a lot of mornings during October for fear of pushing deer off food sources, but I normally hunt opening day anyway because it’s a great opportunity to slip into a stand and harvest a doe. However, this year I didn’t have the conditions I wanted for the stand I was going to hunt. Morning temperatures were going to be in the middle 50s with a SSW wind. Just terrible for the stand I had in mind. Plus, if you factor in the fact that I’ll have the right wind come Monday (10/8) morning with lows in the low 30s with a slight chance of flurries in the same spot, it makes a whole lot of sense to wait until conditions are perfect.
Giving My Brother First Shot
While I chose to pass on a morning hunt because of less than ideal conditions, the exact opposite could be said for this afternoon. Had I wanted, I had a perfect wind to hunt one of my food plots that was likely flooded with deer this afternoon. We had a nice, steady West wind with falling temperatures and cooling thermals that is just darn near perfect for the stand set up we use to hunt this food plot.
That being said, I wanted my brother to have first crack at the many does (and hopefully bucks) that visit this food plot routinely. This particular food plot is in its second year of existence, and has proven to be extremely beneficial to our deer herd. Further, it’s just a lot of fun to hunt because you get to watch does and fawns and bucks of different ages filter past your stand and chow down on delicious clover all afternoon. I was fortunate enough to sit over this food plot several times last year and enjoy the situation described above, but my brother didn’t get that opportunity. Monday afternoon, however, with temperatures in the middle 50’s he’ll be perched 21 feet off the ground on the edge of a 1 acre food plot that’s fenced in on the east edge with Egyptian wheat and lined on the west edge with clover and oats. Here’s to wishing my brother good luck!
The Florida Gators Were On
As much as I love bowhunting, I equally love spending an afternoon during the fall watching the Florida Gators play on CBS. There are things in life more important than bowhunting, and watching the Gators man-handle LSU in The Swamp is one of them. Go Gators.
– Cody Altizer