Saturday was a beautiful day — great weather for the start of November. It didn’t feel like deer hunting weather, but I had deer hunting on my mind as I prepared stands for the upcoming opener on Saturday.
I went down to Red Wing with my two oldest boys, Joe and Andy, and my friend Bernie Schwab and his son, Chris. Chris is too young to hunt, but will be sitting with Bernie on opening morning.
Our first job was to set up Joe’s stand on a new piece of property we first discovered while turkey hunting in the spring. We saw several deer while out in the woods and Joe said he wanted to hunt there in the fall. So, we talked to the landowner and got permission.
I dropped Joe and Andy off for some scouting two weeks ago while I went turkey hunting on another farm. They saw several deer, including a nice buck. We put Joe’s stand up in the area where he saw the buck. It’s on one side of a ravine, with a trail going along the ravine near his stand and another trail crossing the ravine nearby. I think he’ll see something there if he sits long enough.
Next, we went to a farm that Andy and I will be hunting. The landowner is very nice and asked if he could hunt with us this year. Of course, we said yes and brought a stand down for him. The stand was made by one of my co-workers at The Catholic Spirit, Jim Graham. He also built the stand we set up for Joe. First, we checked out a ground blind where Andy will sit. Bernie’s son, Dan, shot a deer from that stand last year and got a shot at one the year before, but did not recover it. We know it will produce if Andy sits there all morning.
Then came the hardest task of the day — fixing a tripod stand that I’ll be using. The July storm that hit the area knocked off a large tree branch that fell onto the stand, damaging the shooting rail. With some hard work and prayer, we were able to fix it. We have shot deer from that spot the last two years and there is lots of deer sign there this year. I’m optimistic.
Finally, we went to another property to set up a ground blind for Bernie and Chris. We were having trouble finding a good spot, then I discovered a heavily used trail in the woods that crosses a ravine. So, they set up a ground blind nearby. We went to the property next door to drop off a chair at Dan’s stand and then went home. All in all, it was a fun and productive trip. We’re all ready to go for Saturday.
Here’s the best part — the weather is supposed to turn cold at the end of the week. By Saturday, highs will only be in the 30s. I have always seen more deer on days like this. In fact, they may move throughout the day. If we can dress warm enough, we all should have a good chance of seeing deer.
Fortunately, I already have practice sitting out in the cold. It was very cold the first day of my fishing trip on Lake of the Woods last week. I was able to dress warm enough for that. I doubt that Saturday will be any worse. Hopefully, the deer will find the weather to their liking.