By Mark Kenyon
I’ve been on the road now for seven hours and already two things are clear; my parents did not gift me with the genetic makeup to be a successful long-haul trucker and I’m ridiculously excited to kick off the 2016 hunting season, despite this 24 hour highway marathon.
As many of you are aware, this road-trip of mine is no joy-ride, it’s a means to an end and that end is getting to Montana for my first whitetail hunt of the year. It seems like only yesterday I got the hair-brained idea to try a public land whitetail trip in a state I’d never hunted, thousands of miles from home – but now here I am, half a back-end-breaking long drive away from making it a reality. And in that time between the idea and now being on the doorstep of that hunt, lots has happened. Planning, packing, studying maps, dreaming, worrying, studying maps, more packing, more studying – you get the picture. But I’ll leave most of that story for another time.
For now I just want to explain what’s happening from here. I’m currently sitting on the curb in front of a Pilot Travel Center and have about seven more hours of driving ahead of me today. Tomorrow it will be another early morning with hopes of knocking out a final 8-10 hours, getting me to my Montana destination by early afternoon with enough time to hunt that evening.
The plan for night #1? Observation.
While my wife and I were on our “work-cation” in Montana back in July I had an opportunity to drive-by scout this area twice, and during those drives I located a great summer food source and saw a large number of deer leaving a nearby area of cover on public land and feeding out into these fields. Within that group were a couple bucks that I think I’d be interested in getting a shot at. So with this limited intel and some additional map study-work, I’ve decided that on Night #1 I’m going to sneak into an easy-to-access spot where I can quickly hang a stand and watch this area of cover on the edge of that green field. The goal will simply be to confirm exactly where these deer are traveling through and hopefully pinpoint a new tree to set up closer to the action. From there it’s simply going to be a game of observe and adjust. Although “simple” is probably something it won’t end up being.
I’ll be expanding on my game-plan and Plan’s B, C and D in future posts – but here’s what you should be keeping an eye out for in the coming days. First, this year I’m going to try posting a journal entry after every single day that I hunt, in which I’ll describe my thought-process and plan for that hunt, as well as the conditions and events that transpired over the course of that day. So, check back here on Wired To Hunt often for those updates over the course of the next 8 days.
Follow Along On Social
I’ll also be sharing my story across social media, with some planned live Facebook video check-ins throughout the week, photos and videos on Snapchat (username: wiredtohunt.com) and Instagram, and updates and photos through our Facebook page and Twitter as well. So be sure to follow Wired To Hunt across all those platforms too.
Finally, I’m going to ask you to join me in crossing all your fingers and toes, cause let’s be honest, I’m probably going to need some luck to pull this one off. So here’s to a new adventure, living out of the back of a pickup truck for 10 days, driving stupid-long distances to hunt a species that lives right out my backdoor, and not feeling one bit foolish about that.