According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, Autumn begins today at 4:44 p.m. Hunters, big and small game alike, couldn’t be happier. Deer are always the species at the top of the hunting list and we archery hunters will get our first crack at them this Friday, Sept. 27, when the early archery season opens in the northern zone.
This is the end of an era for this four-day season that is open only to those hunters who possess a tag for the 2012-13 license year, which ends on Sept. 30. Beginning next year the license year will begin on Sept. 1 and end on Aug. 31.
There has been some minimal speculation from state wildlife officials as to how both the early bear and archery deer seasons are to be handled next year when the two license years overlap. One possibility is that hunters will be able to use their 2013-14 tags if they have them or choose to use their newly acquired 2014-15 tags. After next year hunters will be using their new tags during these early seasons.
Getting back to this coming archery season for deer there are some real excited hunters out there anticipating opening day. This year’s apple crop may really be the best ever. In my hunting areas apples are not only big and plentiful, they’re staying on the trees. This is something that doesn’t happen every year. As long as there are apples around, there will be deer around.
The challenge facing early season bowhunters later this week will likely be choosing the ambush point. Some will set up right on an apple tree while others will do so on trails or staging areas leading to the feeding site. If you have a lot of apple trees around, and they are scattered, this could pose even more of a challenge.