ARGGHHHHH! The opening morning of muzzle loader deer and elk season is 48 hours away, and I am so not ready. I've only made one real scouting trip this fall, hiding behind the rationalization that I am heading right back into same area I hunted last year, where I actually saw more animals than I thought I would...I just couldn't get close enough for a shot.
Anyway, where I feel not ready is my organization. Usually I have all of my rubber made totes of gear all sorted out and packed by now, ready to throw them in the bed of the truck. This year, I'm still cycling stuff through the laundry and counting out pairs of socks and underwear.
My expectations are tempered this year. I didn't draw any special tags this year, and this is the first year that deer and elk overlap in this area. I am limited to shooting either a spike elk, or a 3 point or better buck. The first day or two, I'm planning on focusing on deer. Based on what I saw last year, AND historical reported success rates, the chances of getting a legal buck are 25%, vs. 6% for a spike bull.
Then there is the weather, which is going to be 'unseasonably warm'. Day time highs 75-78, overnight lows in the mid 40's. From the 'camping' side...that's nice. From the go out and spend all afternoon walking...well, I see a lot of still hunting on the shady side of the draw. Also means you can't dilly dally on getting an animal broken down and out of the woods.
Still, either way, it's always nice to get out in the woods.