IT’S FINALLY OCTOBER. Let the games begin.
Believe me, it really is a game. It is up to you whether you win or lose. If you have done your preparations, practiced enough and have done all of your homework, chances are you will be filling your freezer.
There certainly is enough game to choose from in October.
For some, youth fall turkey hunting starts at the end of this month. And if you like a real challenge, Archery season for turkeys opens in late October as well. You can also test your skill at arrowing a whitetail. In the Southern Zone, Texas youths will also be able to do a little duck hunting at the end of the month.
Some of the regulations for hunting have been changed this year as well. Air guns that are .30 caliber can be used for turkey and some large game animals including deer. Small game requires a .177 caliber air gun.
Archery rules have been simplified as well. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department have removed the requirement for broadheads to have two cutting edges and a cutting width of 7/8 of an inch. I am not sure whether this writer agrees with that change.
At the end of the day, it is important that the hunter know and follow all of the hunting rules and regulations. It is not only his or her responsibility, but it is also it is the ethical thing to do.
October marks the opening of bow season, So, not only should you practice hard before you go afield, but you should also be aware of controlling your human scent.
A dog has approximately 220 million olfactory receptors. Compare that to a deer, which has 297 million olfactory receptors. Finally, to put things into perspective, a human has about five million olfactory receptors.
Are you getting the picture here? As far as I am concerned, it is amazing we even get close to a deer. Along with this is the real fact that a deer can detect human scent up to 10 days after the person has left the area. It is easy to understand how important scent control is.
I use a variety of products to help control my scent. Soaps, sprays, carbon camo clothing and rubber boots (not brand new ones), help keep your human scent to a minimum. Take note of this—nothing will eliminate your human scent completely.
Many products make the claim that using their product will make you 99 percent scent free. That may be correct—or not so much.
The one and ONLY product I have found that really works at hiding your human odor is an Ozonics unit. I tested it extensively in the field and had multiple deer walk directly at me with the wind at my back. Amazingly, not one of those whitetails knew I was within bow range.
Two of these majestic creatures calmly walked right underneath my tree stand. As far as this writer is concerned, the Ozonics unit should be with you on each and every hunt. It WILL be with me because it simply works and works well.
Unfortunately, hunting season brings with it that pest known as the tick. These nasty things will attach themselves to you and before you know it, they will get under your skin and potentially cause all kinds of issues.
Lyme disease, which is carried by the tick, can be debilitating and cause serious problems down the road. I have been pretty fortunate to only have had one tick over the years. For as many trips to the woods that I make in a year, that’s pretty good.
I have added to my regimen of preparing for the season. After I wash my hunting camo in scent free soap, I hang them on the line to dry and once dry, I spray some permethrin on my clothes.
This not only repels ticks, but if they land on you, they will die in seconds. You can pick some up in any Academy, Bass Pro or any place they sell camping gear. I did not notice any scent when I used it, but with only five million scent receptors, what do I know?
It does not matter to me. I would rather give the deer a little more of a chance than to become a host for any ticks in the area.
While I am thinking about it, remember to spray down your backpack with pemethrin as well. It is not a good experience to find a tick lurking in your truck or where you keep your hunting gear once you are home.
Remember to protect yourself from ticks whenever you go afield. It might be to set up a tree stand, check a game camera or just to observe the whitetail activity from the edge of a field. It only takes one bite from an infected tick to cause you trouble for decades.
No longer are children found playing a game of baseball or throwing a football to each other. Too many kids today find their entertainment at the end of a joystick or a Play Station control module. They are playing games with other kids in other parts of the world, and human contact is dwindling.
Hunting is a tradition for many families, and that is the way it should be. If you get a chance to introduce hunting to a child, take the time to do it. The new hunter will have years of enjoying what nature has to offer, and he or she will have you to thank for it.
Hunting seasons come and go too quickly. Enjoy every minute of it and remember to…
Have fun and hunt safe out there.
Email Lou Marullo at [email protected]