Contributors to this thread:
It sounded easy. I got an assignment from a magazine for an early season/bowhunting tips for an opening day, article. I have written a dozen of them. No problem, knock it out in 30-minutes. This same magazine gave me not only the cover picture for the July issue but the cover story, (fishing). So I owe them. Thought I, "I'll write something different and special". Don't have a freakin clue where to start. Never had writer's block in my life and don't now. I can crank out some recycled fodder about preferred food sources and dropping mast etc. But I want to come at it from a different angle. Has ever a different angle not been written about at least 268-times? How is this for a title, "Has Technology Ruined the Mystery of Opening Day?"
Come on, jump on it. I have to get this out in 10-days.
Trophy buck on food sources, locate bachelor groups, setup cameras, and hunt the food.
Nothing can ruin opening day. Despite technology, there is no better feeling than when the light of the first day opens up the forest/prairie and you know that it's go time. No more looking at pics or watching from afar. You may have a good idea about what is in the area, but there is always that unknown...... always a chance that a monster buck or bull will walk out and shake you to the core. That is what opening day is, regardless of technology. Just my humble opinion......
How about throwing in the nonhunting part of getting ready. Getting things straight at work, the honey-do list, preparing the wife and family, vehicle maintainence, land owner relations, making sure any nephews understand that you likely won't be there if they plan a fall wedding.
Maybe write about a hunt without technology, "The Oldest Game".
Hmmm...some worthy Ideas. Some old and wornout. I like Hoytshooter1's concept.
John, you helped me on the jerky stuff, so I'll give you some thoughts on this.
Absolutely. I remember the sleepless nights before season that were like Christmas Eve and not knowing what was out there. Now, we all have hit lists, deer with names, and seldom do we have the "where in the heck did he come from?" moments in the field. Hunting the West, there is still a mysterious element to what is out there. However, at the family farm in Kansas, we got trail cam pics of every buck we've harvested over the past 8 years. We know where to put cameras and we get a lot of pics.
Now, that being said, I think cameras do a lot to help us harvest the best buck on the property. Many people are content with tag soup knowing their dream buck is out there and they'll let a 150" deer that they'd take any normal year walk. I made it back from Colorado to Kansas for rifle whitetail season last year and had an absolute monster on camera. I logged over 50 hours hunting this buck, including not leaving the stand until 2 hours after dark, as I didn't want to educate the deer when I left. It was easy to stick to this regiment when I knew the potential reward. I passed on a really nice buck multiple times but held-out for this one deer. I finally got an opportunity on him and took him. I don't score deer but he's close to book. Without cam pics, I might've shot the other buck.
I've always said that if you have to talk yourself into shooting a buck, expect to be disappointed. When sitting in front of a computer, it is easy to sit there with other people and make the firm decision not to shoot a buck. My father and I do this every year. We know the bucks and even save pics on the phone to study them while on the stand to ensure we don't shoot one we agreed not to shoot. The other buck I mentioned above was spared due to trail cam pics. Seeing a 150"+ deer going away while chasing does will make you want to take him. However, as soon as I saw him through my binos and identified him, I immediately set them down, as the temptation was getting to me.
So, has it ruined the mystery? Absolutely. However, from a herd management standpoint, I'll gladly take it. There are some years that just don't show a 160"+ buck and with a lot of certainty, a mature 140" 8 is the ideal trophy on the property that year. In a state where you only get 1 buck tag, you often won't use it on the 140" 8, but in this instance, it's the best decision for you and the herd that year. As a hunter, connecting with that one animal you've identified and targeted does make it a fun challenge, regardless of score.
Just a thought, but how about an opening day where you're just glad to be alive, in the woods, and continuing to do the things that consume you. Less emphasis on 160" bucks and more emphasis on the reasons almost everyone had when they first started hunting. An article without the word "trophy " in it. An article that doesn't have "P&Y score" in it.
That aughta be a new angle.
Opening day is when all you think you have it all together and when walking out the pack comes loose or loose your tab or release, your woods legs are not connecting with your brain, and once in the set up Mother Nature calls. Had more FUBAR opening days than normal.
How about a reminder that it's early season and we may not be in mid season form as far as how stealthy we are, or that our habits may not be in place (ie: place the items in your bag the same way every time so you know where they are in the dark, having extra batteries, backup compass, etc)... maybe from a light-hearted standpoint with some humorous stories (who left their rangefinder on the bumper, who took their thermos to the stand instead of a pee bottle, who grabbed a turkey mouth call instead of an elk call, etc)... plus a reminder of just why we are out there and why opening day is such a blessing... just my 0.02.
How about writing an article about what all of us forget about on opening day." The countdown"'the excitement we all get around July knowing that hunting season is around the corner. That each day we tick off another and being closer to getting on stand and all the prep that goes into opening day.the wave of excitement grows each day and we shoot more as the season gets closer, how many time you go over your gear and the memories of past seasons that floods our Brian with the waiting for the opener etc...
How bout things we pondered leading up to opening morning. Like how social media is affecting the future of hunting. Seems to be a hot topic here.
Every hunting article is about the peace and tranquility of being out in the woods/prarie and excitement of opening day with a big buck walking in or bull sounding off with frost in the ground - now that's old hat news.
Glunt's suggestion above is what we all face everyday before a hunt, opener or not, and that is life.
You want a different angle, do it from how a guy is able to prep while life gets in the way. Sounds like the assignment is more of a "food for thought" article rather than a "feel good" one...
How about plan (before hunt) and care (after success) of meat since opening day bowhunts are typically in very warm weather. How many local threads do I read where no one planned for success and then get their deer and need to find a butcher or asking how to keep it cool because they have the run to work, etc.
Write about fishing for bluegills. Seems to work here.
Keep Opening Day Simple
I was scouting in late September one season at a place I hunted for around 15 years. While driving to check the next spot, three mature bucks crossed the road. The road crossing said plenty of deer crossed there. I found a tree to climb. I killed 5 total deer on 6 consecutive opening mornings at that crossing. An easy, quiet entry was a key.
Have you written about your thoughts on the use of Cell Cameras?
Lose the "ignment" and u got her licked....
Stick and String-I'll leave the licking of things to you. Seems you are pretty good at it.
Good ideas, all. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure I have written all of those scenarios, at least once. After all, I have over 50-years of writing pre-opening day columns. Maybe it is time to write something about "Unfilled Expectations". Or maybe a "Stick and String" type essay. Veo Mi Cloaca." :) That's a joke.
I find it hard to believe you “don’t have a freakin clue where to start!”
Looks more like just another excuse to draw attention to yourself and pat yourself on the back. I have to admit though...................you are REALLY good at it! Award winning- no doubt! ;-)
I'm with drycreek on this one. Just grateful to be out there in a stand at sunup. Whatever happens after that is icing.
Bowriter, u got me. I am gonna chat with my 7 year old nephew n see what my next move is...;^)
How about writing about the thoughts of a retired bow hunter and writer thinking about a new season he's missing.
Wv- That suggestion I like. I think that may be the way to go. Five days ago, I underwent a little surgery for something called cancer and that has been kind of in the back of my mind. That is one I have written before. I'm just not sure how to start it.
" I'm just not sure how to start it".....Once upon a time.......
What about old technology way before trail cams . I use to brush drag trails on my lease, then stretch sewing thread at about antler height across the trail when going in or coming out. This would indicat buck movement when the thread was broken. Needed to check the thread frequently.
I would appeal to the growing masses and future, write about Verizon real time cameras, drones and crossbows.
and maybe in the end, show a picture of some happy hunter with an average 5 pointer, and real hunting happiness, or maybe just a nice fat doe..................
Maybe you could get an in depth interview with Mitch Rompola.
You know....one of those “where are they now?” type stories.
You can write about hunter numbers being down but still have yet to find a spot without a Treestand in it.
How about hunting water opening day? I've had great success with it. Last year opening day was 95 degrees with a 105 heat index. Saw over 30 deer coming to a water source I hunted. Lots of articles about hunting them for the rut but none I've seen mention the deer that hit them on their way to those early season food sources.
No offense, but does anyone read magazines anymore? They see to be past their prime. Information is readily available on sites like this for free. One can also get immediate feedback or help with product selection, hot spots, tactics, etc.
I read this site daily. I haven’t looked at a magazine since they put the internet on airplanes,
Whatever it is keep it positive. People are drawn to positivity.
Write about the depression of filling your tag opening morning. All that prep and excitement, and it's over within an hour of first light. Now what?
Heck yes people still read magazines I just renew bow hunter magazine for eight dollars a year
Maybe from the anticipation dashed perspective when all those great bucks you got on the trail cam in June and July died from EHD . What's the backup plan? Seems to be a real world dilemma these days.
I stopped buying magazines ever since they started drawing maps of a soybean field with bedding area, the perfect wind, then the X where you place your stand. Wow that seems easy except for no soybean fields in the Northeast.
Write about the hunter with lesser / diminished physical ability and his true hunter friends helping him to fill a tag. "Orion Brotherhood" could be the title. Include this quote in your article somewhere, maybe in the opening paragraph:
Genesis 27:3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me [some] venison;
Does anyone read magazines anymore? Yes, a few. The print media is slowly dying out. Consumers wanting a "quick fix" instead of the enjoyment of reading are going the internet route. As a result, many magazines and newspapers are folding. Add to that skyrocketing paper costs and you have the recipe for doom. However, some "niche" publications and weekly newspapers are doing well. As for my article, it is done. Title is, "The First and last Sunrise." There is not one word of "how to" in it. Could not think of a single aspect that has not been written a hundred times. Kinda like, "How to Slow-roll a Spinner Bait" for a fishing publication.
Not to get off the original topic (but I will), my wife...who's an avid reader...has found to her dismay, that our local public library is actually PHASING OUT traditional books and replacing them with the Kindling books (or whatever they call them).
So, it is a self reflection article...?
Woods Walker-Since my wife bought me a Kindle, I do not think I have visited the library in over a year. before that, I was there every other day. Now, I checkout library books and never leave the house.
Does anyone validate Kindle books content against the original printed version? Who is to guarantee that content is not altered? Lack of oversight leaves to door wide open for manipulation. Combine that with a shallow education and lack of a solid knowledge foundation and you get a very easy to control generation. Scary thought.
yes, good point the famous kindle konspiracy rumor..........
I have a sneaky feeling, the author would catch that pretty quickly. I know none of mine have been altered. They were that bad to start with. I have three on Kindle and they sell very slowly. I'm about to move them to the free-reading section.
I hear Orwell stays on top of that kind of thing.........Sinclair Lewis too.
Reminds of that great song of old. "I'll Orwells Love You."