With pronghorn season in the books, I’ve been a busy bee preparing for my upcoming deer season. I will be hunting both whitetail and mule deer in six different states. Trail cameras have been out for months, treestands are hung and ground blinds are brushed in. I’ve pounded my Rinehart 3-D targets from an array of distances. My Browning Hell’s Canyon Speed clothing is washed and stored away. I’ve memorized the location of every item in my Badlands pack. I’m ready.
The hard thing to do right now is simply sit back and wait. I find myself wanting to go into the woods and check my trail cameras just one more time, head back out to the range even though I’ve already executed 15 perfect shots for the day, and tinker with my bow accessories just a little. Sound at all familiar? The good news — I don’t cave to my desires. Why? Because I’ve found that shooting too much in the days leading up to a season opener is a mistake. You’re full of energy and excitement, and if you’re not careful, you’ll end up talking yourself into changing something. If you’ve spent the offseason preparing and perfecting your shot sequence, then trust it. Yes, I still shot everyday, even on those days that I hunt, but I only shoot between five and 15 arrows. I make each of those arrows perfect, focusing on the form I’ve spent a lifetime developing and not stressing if I drop a single arrow outside the 10 ring.
In the week leading up to the season opener, I stay out of the woods. I know what my deer are doing because I’ve looked at countless trail camera photos and have put in the hands-on recon time. I know the stands or blinds where the action is happening, and I don’t need to go in and spook deer, especially this early in the season.
Being a gear nut, I love to test and tinker, but the time for that has passed. Unless something on your bow breaks, don’t change a thing at this point. You should have confidence in your sight, rest, stabilizer, quiver, string, arrows, broadheads, and the like.