Firearm deer season has arrived!
By the time this edition of the paper comes out, we’ll be smack in the middle of firearm deer season!
It’s hard to believe this is my third hunting season. I don’t feel like a veteran hunter — every deer sighting is exciting, and I’m still having a blast getting out into the woods and spending quality time with my grandpa, my hunting buddy.
I explained a little bit of my hunting history in the 2011 Hunting Guide, printed this fall, but for those of you who missed it, yes, I am a hunter. I began hunting the year after I graduated college (I was the only 22-year-old in my hunters safety class).
Although I started late, Grandpa has taught me a fair bit about firearms: how the different actions work, how to take them apart and clean them, and how to shoot. I still get confused when it comes to different gauges and calibers, but I can hit what I aim at — I tell myself that’s what counts.
Even though I started bow hunting on Oct. 1, almost two months ago, I was still extra excited for Nov. 15, the opening day of firearm season. First, while I’m a pretty good shot with a bow, a rifle gives you so much more maneuverability when it comes to range and what shots you can and can’t take. Second, you know, they make a big bang.
As I write this I’m filled with anticipation for my next weekend out, and I’m sure some of those who are reading this are doing so at deer camp — but I’m going to be a lump and remind everyone that excitement shouldn’t trump safety.
Safety harnesses should be worn in tree stands. Guns should be kept unloaded when you’re not in the woods. Hunter orange should be worn, and cell phones should be kept fully charged, just in case.
My mother, the EMT, also suggests that hunters write down their medical conditions and any medications they may be taking and keep the list in their wallet with their hunting licenses, in case the worst does happen and emergency personnel need that information.
Above all, remember that there are many, many people in the woods this time of year. Keep your safety and the safety of others in mind as you go out.
And to all my fellow hunters, be they novices or veterans — good luck! If you happen to plug Godzilla, take a picture and bring it in to the paper!