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Bob Dixon

Agency Manager


Middlesboro, KY 40965


Go Big Blue!

OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Preparing for Successful Deer Hunting Takes Times & Effort

By Gary Miller

If one doesn’t deer hunt, he would never know how much effort takes place before the actual hunt. For me, it starts months before the season even opens, and then there’s a chance I might not hunt for weeks after that. This year, I began preparing a food plot in August. By the first of September, it was ready. During that same time, I was checking, replacing, or relocating my tree stands. Along with that I was checking existing trail cameras or setting up other ones in new locations. Another item that was on my to-do list was cleaning out a barn location. This is one of my favorite places to sit during the winter. I usually use this location to take a youth or a novice adult hunter.

Over the years I have neglected to keep it up-to-date when it comes to comfort. So, a few weeks ago, I gave the barn a face lift. Today, and for the next few days, I’ll be checking gear like bows and guns and other stands. I’m also getting my warm clothes ready for the next two months. And these same things happen about every year. Sometimes I’m ready earlier and sometimes I just have to wait until the buck activity picks up.

While it may seem my preparation is sporadic and unmeasured, it’s really not. It revolves around what I’m seeing on my trail cameras. That’s why putting them out is my first order of business every year. I start using them early because they give me the exact information I need. I need to know if there are any shooter bucks hanging out around my stand locations when the season starts. If there is, all my preparation begins early and if not, I linger a little longer. It doesn’t matter if it’s hot, raining, or if the sun doesn’t go down until 9:30; the only thing that matters is if there is a deer I want to hunt. Everything else revolves around that.

In the same way, we all have a locus in life. We have something that everything else centers around. It causes us to rearrange our schedule and make new plans. It’s something that much of our time and resources are spent on. It is not only what we love but what we love planning for. It is both the event and the journey. The good thing is that we can have more than one. One might involve your recreation, another one work, and yet another one family. Each of these can have their own unique draw. But I hope, above all else, your driving force involves your relationship with Jesus. After all, it was him that said if we would seek him first, all of these other things would be added to us.

Gary Miller can be reached by e-mail at

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