March 20, 2023

Opening Day Preparations Part I

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Opening Day Preparations Part I is a continuation of the story I just posted for you on Tuesday, Fall Senses. This story I shall give you in two parts. The second part, which includes a poem I wrote several years ago, will be available on Monday, November 6.

Here is Opening Day Preparations Part I.

In my last article I wrote about the overpowering senses and the association that odors render our brains leading up to early November when hunting season in Maine begins. Along with that come the preparations for opening day.

I remember as a young boy what a big deal it was to get ready. As many of us know – that is if we will admit – getting ready for opening day of deer season takes only a matter of perhaps an hour or two depending upon how well organized an individual is but spending that short amount of time just wouldn’t cut it. It’s not like getting ready to mow the front lawn or change the oil in your truck. Things such as those are chores and we reserve the right to keep our preparation and execution time to an absolute minimum. No, planning and preparing for the big day takes a lot of time.

We are very much like the monster bucks that roam the Maine landscapes. The signals are all there telling us winter is approaching and with it comes hunting season. I have even heard it likened to the primitive man when he hunted for mere survival. The drive or the instinct becomes so strong in some that deer sweet women that are married to such obsessed “Neanderthals” completely lose their mates until well into December. Some are so overcome with drive they wear their hunting hat year around. They carry their rifles in the back window of their pick-up trucks all the time and if you follow them home you’ll discover that they keep a permanent replica of their favorite tree stand erected in the back yard. For some it is a “swing set” for their kids. Is there an explanation for this behavior?

Well, there is an explanation but one that some feel doesn’t hold much water. Those are the people who haven’t experienced this tradition. One of the first things is to visit every store within 75 miles that carries any kind of hunting gear – preferably the specialty hunting stores like Kittery Trading Post, L.L. Beans or L.L. Cotes just to name a few. But don’t forget the little guy down the street. He needs your business too but if you are like me, most of the time I can only afford Walmart.

No hunter would dare step foot into the woods without first knowing every latest gadget man has created for you to carry with you on your quest for the big one. It is extremely difficult for me to understand how man ever survived in the years past. They must have spent weeks and perhaps months hunting deer because they didn’t have all that we do today to assist us in bagging game. How did they do it? They didn’t have “scent free” clothing, GPS, range finders, game cameras, radios, sophisticated game calls and the like. It must have been excruciatingly difficult.

For many hunters the visits to the stores prior to opening day is to ready themselves with the basics. A new pair of hunting boots is in order along with an insulated flannel shirt and hunting pants. You probably will throw in a box of new shells – just in case. Whatever your needs are for getting ready, it takes several days and several trips to all the right stores.
……to be continued

Tom Remington