Truth be told after the close of the 2007 PA firearms season I started counting down to the start of the 2008 season.  During the ’07 season I took a beautiful heavy 9 point, and that day I made up my mind it was time to take up archery hunting, up until then I’d been a gun only hunter.  Whether that was small game, turkey or whitetail deer.

From December until February I researched archery equipment.  Websites were a wonderful tool, but I found that there’s no substitute for personal experiences, so I talked to as many archery hunters as I could.  I eventually found my way to the local pro-shop, where I met with a knowledgable salesperson, and purchased a complete setup. 

After purchasing the setup I was immediately obsessed with target shooting.  Starting at 9 paces in my basement until the weather here in northwestern PA, broke and I could move the practice outside.  May and June found me honing my skills at 20 yards until my groups were tight enough to ruin 2 arrows.  That can get expensive really fast so after June I stopped shooting for groups and started practicing at 30 and 40 yards.  I aslo built a platform stand so that I could practice from an elevated position.

As the summer progressed family obligations caught up with me and my practice routine was limited to a dozen or so shots every other week.  I also found time for some stand maintenance, and early season scouting.

Now here we are 18 days and counting until Archery season opens in my part of Pennsylvania.  New scent control gear has been purchased and old favorites have been washed in baking soda, sprayed with scent control solution, and packed away until the morning of October 4th.  I’ve started to sort my gear and even pack some of it away in my day pack.  The new broadheads have been assembled and mounted on the arrows.  I’ve even taken a few shots to insure the broadhead didn’t change the flight of the arrow.

My nights are filled with dreams of my first archery harvest.  Whether that be a fat doe, or a legal buck, makes no difference to me.  I’ve invested countless hours and the thrill of that sunrise on October 4th, with all the promise it holds, will be the dividend I’ve waited to collect.