PREPARATION IS KING OF THE HUNT
Have weapons cleaned, land scouted, and permission granted well in advance
BY ERNIE MARTIN
October 11th, 2017
It’s preseason deer hunting and there is a long list of jobs that need to be done if you want to have a successful season this year. Don’t wait until the day before the season opens to try to get everything done. It is too risky and dangerous to wait until the last minute when it comes to hunting. Preparation for the season is key.
First and foremost is your weapon of choice. Whether it’s a bow, shotgun or rifle, you should have been practicing all summer. Perfect practice will lead to a perfect harvest. Your weapons must be cleaned, fired, and cleaned again to prevent any mishaps in the field. Always fire your weapon at a registered gun range or in a protected environment. It is important to constantly be aware of your surroundings when firing your weapon. Your hunter education book is a great resource for safety tips through the year. Refer to it and stay safe this season.
Now let’s talk about preparation in the field. Your food plots should be in the ground. Your cameras should be fixed to the trees and your deer stands hung in the correct position. If you are on hunting club land or private land, the previous steps are very necessary. If you are going to hunt on Eglin or state property, then most of your time will be spent scouting your areas for signs and natural food sources. Acorns and wild persimmons are part of the white tail deer diet. Finding the trees that are producing in these areas will ensure deer sightings during your scouting excursions.
If you hunt the Blackwater State Forest, then you already know that there are private land owners who have land adjoining state property. Locating trails from the bedding areas to the food source is paramount in having a successful hunt. Make sure that you do not trespass in any capacity onto private property – especially with a firearm. That is considered a felony offense and can ruin a great day of hunting. If you are hunting adjacent to private property, it wouldn’t hurt to seek out the land owner and ask for written permission to hunt on their property. You must have it in writing and in your possession while hunting on their land.
Let me remind you again that safety must always be a top priority while hunting. Please follow the rules, obey the signs and always have a clear line of sight when ring a weapon.
Until next time, God bless and good hunting.
This article originally appeared in the Sept/Oct 2017 issue of Hook & Trigger Magazine