The 2022 whitetail season finds much of America back to (semi) normal. Work for me is back to 75% in person and 25% virtual. The whole work/life balance is being evaluated and adjusted to being back at it full time and in person rather than remote. Enough about work, let’s talk whitetail deer!
I have not started hunting myself and it is mid-October. Cold fronts have come and gone, but I have yet to find myself in a tree stand. Abnormal? Maybe, but again since 2020 what defines as “normal” anyway. I guess I have decided to take an abnormal or maybe a new normal (TBD) approach to this year’s season.
We hear all the time in the hunting community, stay out, strike when the iron is hot, wait for the best conditions. etc. etc. Well, in many ways I am heeding to that advice and postponing my 2022 season start up to the end of October. Here is my mental rundown on the late start.
- Zero Intrusion on my part
- 100% of my stands are fresh for the Pre Rut and Rut vacations
- More time completing per-winter projects around the house, less guilt sitting in stand #honeydo
- Renewed energy headed into the seasons most active whitetail deer movement time
- Pre Season projects not done (I did get my backyard food plot in)
- Scouting will be on the fly – especially true on a property I hunt with only 2 years experience with it
- No cams so zero intel outside of glassing
- Feeling of being behind and unprepared
To be honest, I am looking forward to this whitetail deer season for all the reasons mentioned above. It is going to force me to be more on my game once I flip the switch and ascend the tree for the first time. Where, when, why will be the constant thoughts in my mind as I take the field. Relying more on boots on the dirt and observation of the current sign vs what I ‘”know” from preseason scouting and trail cams.
I do feel quite a bit of angst for not being as planned and prepared as in previous seasons. I am shooting fine (about the only prep I have undertaken), but that unknown feeling make me uneasy as I consider the start to my season. They say “Success is when preparation meets opportunity” and by that model, my 2022 Whitetail hunting season will not be successful as things stand today.
I agree with the above quote, but also think that I can prepare daily and keep options fluid because that is the nature of the whitetail deer world. Yes they go to bed and feed daily. Yes they rut around the same window every year. However, whitetails do not adhere to the “rules” as we hunters like to write about. So many things influence a mature whitetail deer’s behavior, Weather, Hunting Pressure, Temperature, Doe activity to name a few. Maybe, just maybe, the lack of planning will allow me to adjust better on the fly as the inevitable variables of the season unfold.
Only time and stand sits will tell.
Good luck to everyone and Stay Afflicted with Whitetail OCD!