The anticipation of hunting season is always fun, setting up blinds in the best spot possible, getting out trail cameras and taking photos of the deer in the area.

The reality of hunting can be somewhat less glorious, long hours spent trying keep warm while making the least noise as possible and staying alert while every squirrel and rabbit and tree stump in the area does their best noisy buck impression. With the most beautiful early winter sunrises and sunsets, we don’t need anything fancy just a sturdy seat, some patience and a little luck never hurts!

Opening day this year was no different for me, my brothers and I were up and in our blinds before first light waiting for the opportunity to put some meat in the freezer and earn bragging rights over each other.

Only one of us was able to fill his tag the first day, annoyingly Keith landed a beautiful 7-point buck after only a few minutes in his blind, leaving the rest of us behind in the cold as we were all skunked the rest of the day.

One great place to meet fellow hunters with buck fever is at your local pole and we have one of the biggest in all of Northern Michigan, the Marion Buck Pole! They set a new record this year and we had a great time seeing what everyone else brought in – there were some monster bucks taken! When talking to the organizers of the buck pole, they credit the recent local antler restrictions or (APRs) for the uptick in rack sizes we are seeing. While we may see fewer legal targets on our lands it eventually leads to larger bucks in the area! You can learn more about APRs in Michigan by clicking here.

Deer or not, I love this season in Cadillac! The pursuit of game is one of the oldest human traditions and has a way of bringing us together in a way other activities have a hard time rivaling.

You may not be successful every year but all you can do is get out there and give yourself that chance. Maybe it’s a “once in a lifetime” buck or a doe to fill your freezer, either way, memories are made!