The 2013 deer and hog season is almost here. 

But while the anticipation steadily builds, I find myself wondering if I will be a part of the Oct. 1 bow season opener down at my beloved Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area.

I honestly cannot remember the last opener I missed, but I have a bulging disc and bone spurs at the base of my neck that have been absolutely tormenting me. My neck, right shoulder and right arm have been hurting pretty much 24/7 for the last seven weeks.

Unfortunately, the pain has severely cut into my scouting trips and bow practice. But being an eternal optimist, I am still hopeful that through a lot of prayers and medical treatment, I will heal up in time to make opening day. But time is growing short.

The good news is that on the two scouting trips we did make, we saw deer each time, as well as lots of hog signs. 

Thanks to no tidal surges or storms so far, the food sources look excellent. The vegetation is thick and lush as is usual for this time of year, but walking the trails wasn’t bad and we did very little cutting to get around. 

The mosquitoes weren’t bad, but that might have been because the deer flies ate most of them. Those things are vicious. 

We plan to do more stalking this year when the conditions are in our favor. We gained a lot of confidence in our ability to get very close to the hogs during the spring season. We had some very thrilling hog hunts, and want to see if we can duplicate those stalks with deer, also.

I know I have said this before, but please remember to give thanks to the Lord for your good health. My problems pale in comparison to others with much more serious, even life-threatening, illnesses or injuries.

Despite my current condition,  Jesus has blessed me with 55 wonderful years of mostly pain-free, illness-free life, and also given me a wonderful wife, children and grandchildren. 

I know I didn't deserve any of that, and I am truly thankful.

So if opening day comes around and I'm still not healthy enough to hunt, I’ll definitely be disappointed.  But at the same time, I’ll still be very, very blessed.

Good hunting and be safe.