By Mark Kenyon:

If luck is where preparation meets opportunity, then now is the time to make your luck. As a whitetail hunter, there may be no more important time of year than the summer. Why? Because it is the season of preparation. Of hanging treestand, setting trail cameras, planting fall food plots and glassing fields. It’s the time of year for trimming lanes, getting permission on new properties, brushing in ground blinds, and creating access paths. Summer is the time to make your luck.

With that being the case, I’ve been hard at it putting in the hours preparing for the 2013 deer season. Most recently that came in the form of a trip down to Southern Ohio. This trip was planned to put our eyes on a potential lease, scout the surrounding area, and possibly begin preparations on this property if the opportunity presented itself.

On the day we headed down to Southern Ohio we spent several hours exploring the ins and out of the lease property. This piece of ground is 90 acres, with a mix of tillable, thick cutover timber, and grassy ridge lines. I was immediately impressed with the topography of the land and the cover available for the deer.

After putting in our time hiking the area, we next needed to get in the vehicle and scout out nearby ag fields to see what kind of bucks were in the area. After an hour and a half of cruising and glassing we ended the night with big smiles on our faces. We saw numerous Pope & Young bucks in the surrounding bean fields and got some great footage to boot.

With our hopes confirmed, we decided that the property itself and the bucks in the area looked worth our time and energy. We confirmed plans to pick up the lease, and then got right to work the next day. The first task was extensive studing of maps, followed by another thorough walking of the property with the goal of identifying bedding areas, travel corridors to food sources, and last year’s rut sign.

We eventually found what we were looking for, and decided to hang a stand while we were at it. This stand is located on the upper 3rd of a large ridge, where a saddle crosses the ridge and creates a funnel of sorts for deer movement.

With a little bit of muscle and sweat we had all of our tree steps in, and a hang-on strapped 20 ft up overlooking a terrific travel corridor, and a bedding area off in the distance.

Before heading out for the day we located a few more areas that we’d like to hang stands in later, and then finally popped up a trail camera. If the stars align, we’ll return later in the summer to check our camera and hang a few more stands. After a successful trip to Ohio and some hard work, my hopes are high and the countdown to our next trip down south has already begun. The 2013 Ohio season should be a good one.

I’ve always been one to say that I’d rather be lucky than good. But I say that full well realizing that we create our own luck. We’re putting in the preparation, hoping for an opportunity and praying for luck.

So if you’re not already planning on it, might I suggest you get to work making some luck this week?

The camo worn in these photos is all from Sitka Gear, and their early season garments work terrific for summer prep and scouting! If you’re interested in seeing more from Sitka, visit