Months were spent analyzing digital maps, and since the public property was close to my home, hours of hands-on recon were invested. I had a good feel for the open-to-anyone dirt. Walks through the woods revealed old rubs and scrapes, and multiple bedding areas were found.
Two weeks before the October 1 opener, three lock-on sets went up. Two were observation stands—sites that would allow me to watch deer use the property.
The third was in a funnel near a known bedding area. Its location was flirting with being too close to napping deer, but if the conditions were right, I figured I might slip in.
I spent most of early and mid-October in my...