By Mark Kenyon

“My season’s basically done.” … “I’m already looking forward to 2015.” … “I’m ready for ice fishing.”

I’ve heard it time and time again. Friends, family, folks on internet forums or Facebook, lamenting a deer hunting season that has passed them by. From the sounds of it, the 2014 season is pretty much done. But when I look at the calendar, I’m still seeing an entire month of hunting season ahead of me, and in some states even more. So what gives? Is it time to throw in the towel for the 2014 season?

In my opinion, absolutely not.

Sure, the early season opportunities are in the rear view, the peak of the rut is history and that pre-season optimism has by now dissipated. But guess what guys, there’s still time. I know that late season opportunities can be fleeting, especially if you don’t have a property where hunting pressure has been minimized or if you don’t have great food sources, but guess what, there’s still an opportunity. As long as hunting season is in, you have a chance.

For months and months and months, if you’re anything like me, you dream of hunting season and count down the days til it arrives. And now it’s here, but a huge number of hunters aren’t acting like it. It’s been a long season. Your luck has been down. It’s cold, it’s snowy, it’s windy, you’re not seeing deer. I know, I know. There are plenty of excuses, but two months from now, I can almost guarantee that you’ll be dying for a chance to get back after it. You have that opportunity right now, and next week, and the next. Don’t let those opportunities pass you by!

Try new tactics, try new areas, heck maybe even try a new state! Whatever you do, just don’t give up.

Last year I hunted somewhere around 80 times over the course of the season up through December 16. If you assume an average of 5 hours per sit, that’s an estimated 400 hours on stand, and I still had not tagged a buck. It was freezing cold, nasty, windy, and did I mention cold? I was ready to throw in the towel, curl up on the couch and hibernate for the winter. But guess what? I didn’t. Thanks to a little encouragement from my better half, I kept at it, I grinded it out, and I headed back to the woods. Because while the odds were against me, there was still a chance. And nine months out of the year, “a chance” is all I had dreamed of. Just hours later, on that mid December evening, the odds remarkably turned in my favor and I took advantage of that chance. (Click the photo below or HERE to see how that evening ended)

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I know you might think these last few weeks of the season are a wash, hopefully not, but I’m sure many of you feel that way. If that’s you, I’d encourage you to dig down a little deeper and keep on pushing. You might not end up filling another tag this season, but maybe you will. There’s still a chance, all you need to do is be out there and ready to grab ahold of it.

Get out there. Keep on grinding. And don’t you dare throw that towel in for the year.

Instead, hold that towel tight, swing it above your head, and celebrate the fact that it’s still hunting season and that is damn good news.