Walk-in areas offer great opportunities close to home

I’m hoping I can sneak out for a hunt this weekend. I’ve got a little favorite spot on a walk-in area near my house. Maybe I can duck out there and bring a little venison home.

Last weekend was a bust for hunting, though I did finally get the firewood I’ll need to keep warm all winter. With that task behind me, it’s time to take another run at trying to fill some carcass coupons.

I don’t have to go far, either. Thanks to the Walk-In Hunting program, there’s a great spot to go for deer just a few minutes from my house. It’s on private land, but the landowner signed the area up for the Walk-In program. It allows me to hunt the land without having to bother the landowner to ask for permission, and if I’m successful, the owner gets not only the payment for participating in the Walk-In program, but also my landowner coupon from my deer. It’s a good deal for both landowners and hunters.

There’s no guarantee there’ll be deer in the area when I go, but I can guarantee that if I don’t go, I won’t get a deer. My boys will be done with their Cross-Country meets for the season after Saturday, so maybe they’ll even join me on Sunday. With them or without them, though, I’ll be out there, rain, snow, wind or sun, waiting for those deer to come to the creek for a morning or evening drink.

I’ve been out near that area a few times earlier this year, looking for pleasing landscapes to photograph. A few times, I’ve seen that herd of deer, so I know they’re still there. Other hunters might have pushed them out of the creek bottom, but it’s worth a try. A few years ago, I sat on that same creek and didn’t see any deer, but I did get to watch a badger trundling around, looking for a morning snack.

Whether I get a deer, watch a badger, or see no wildlife at all, at least I’ll be hunting. I’ll get up early for that any day.

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