Anticipation of Gun Season

Anticipation of Gun Season
As a young hunter, little built so much anticipation as the opening day of gun season. The memories made will fill the room of deer camp for years to come. The author shot his first buck in Pennsylvania, 15 years.

Many hunters wait all year for the start of deer season. For a lot of us, it’s more than just the single “opener,” but rather the entire season as a whole. It’s a three-month timeframe in which we prepare for the other nine months of the year. However, each November brings the opener of many gun seasons for deer. Whether you are a diehard bowhunter or a one-weekend-a-year hunter, there is something suspenseful and magical about the opener of gun season.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I am an extreme bowhunter, rarely taking a gun out anymore, and if I do, it’s usually for “a walk.” However, I am not the kind of guy who will say “I hate gun season,” even though it definitely is frustrating. Hunting public land here in Missouri during gun season is no treat. I cringe at every shot thinking it may be one of the bucks I’ve hunted all year. But I’ll admit, that’s completely selfish of me to say, especially on public land. But you hunt so hard and scout all year so the thought of losing one to an army of orange is, without a doubt, painful.

Hunting public land a lot, gives me time to reflect, not only on the season at hand, but on my life as a hunter. I grew up in Pennsylvania, and although Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and the like may want to lay claim to it, I feel like that state has one of the deepest deer hunting traditions. I mean we still have a “Blue Law” from over 300 years ago that bans Sunday hunting for almost everything except crows, coyotes and foxes. That’s not an exaggeration either, just Google it.

As a kid growing up, my family was filled with hunters (and still is today). Every Thanksgiving dinner revolved around a few minutes of prayer and thanks, 15 to 30 minutes of eating (depending on the number of return trips to the turkey), and hours of deer camp conversation. Most of us left for camp the next morning, anticipating the opener of gun season.


There was no “Black Friday” for us. We were out the door at the same time, but on the road to camp and not the mall. Stories flowed for days of past camps, hunts, and, for a few lucky ones, the harvest of a buck during the Pennsylvania bow season.


As a teenager there was no more exciting feeling than the opener of gun season, regardless of whether I already filled my tag in archery. There’s just something about the day that so many hunters would have a chance at bagging a deer. It was more than just successful harvests, though. Every shot taken, every deer seen, every grouse flushed, every bear track found was a story, and one that would fill the walls on our camp for years to come.

So, as I sit in the stand during gun season each year, anticipating that a buck could walk by at any moment, I am really already building my anticipation for next season.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Berkley

Berkley's Frittside Crankbaits

World Fishing Network show host Chad LaChance had a chance to visit with legendary crankbait master David Fritts about his new Frittside crankbaits from Berkley. LaChance, host of the Fishful Thinker on WFN, also got a few cranking tips from Fritts, the former Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion.

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Pro angler Jonathan VanDam showcases new offerings at ICAST 2019, including the ultra-thin, big bait boxes, LED-lighted boxes and backpack-able gear lockers. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

As Pure Fishing's Andrew Upshaw explains, reel making giant Abu Garcia has done it again at ICAST 2019 with a new spinning reel geared towards finesse fishermen.

Berkley

Berkley's New Terminal Tackle

OSG's Lynn Burkhead and Chad LaChance, host of World Fishing Network's Fishful Thinker television show, talk about Berkley's new innovative terminal tackle being introduced at ICAST 2019.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes. Wild Game

10 Recipes for Your Outdoor BBQ

Game & Fish Online Staff

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes.

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range Ammo

10 Best Long-Range Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range

Fishing for nighttime crappie gets you out of the summer heat and puts more fish in the cooler.

By Other Freshwater

6 Tips for Nighttime Crappie

Keith Sutton - June 19, 2017

Fishing for nighttime crappie gets you out of the summer heat and puts more fish in the...

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a species Catfish

10 Biggest Catfish World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - December 08, 2014

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a...

See More Trending Articles

More Whitetail

The 'Big Muddy' produces big bucks, and there's plenty of public land to hunt them in the Midwest. Whitetail

Big Mississippi River Whitetails

Bernie Barringer - November 11, 2019

The 'Big Muddy' produces big bucks, and there's plenty of public land to hunt them in the...

Don't let the fast action of November rush you into making a bad decision. Whitetail

Bowhunting: Taking the Perfect Rut Shot

Dr. Todd A. Kuhn

Don't let the fast action of November rush you into making a bad decision.

Master the hang-and-hunt strategy to unravel the deer rut. Whitetail

Field Skills: Go Mobile to Tag Rutting Bucks

Tony Peterson - November 22, 2019

Master the hang-and-hunt strategy to unravel the deer rut.

Optimize your rut strategy by knowing when to use calls and when to stay quiet. Whitetail

The Pros & Cons of Calling Deer

Bruce Ingram - November 22, 2019

Optimize your rut strategy by knowing when to use calls and when to stay quiet.

See More Whitetail

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.