How to score on opening day

Preparation is the key

Kenny Meliet is a member of the deer hunting club that I am in, and has taken a deer on the opening day of bow season two of the last three years. The one taken last year was a 9-point buck taken on Oct. 1 at 9:28 a.m. I asked Meliet his secret for being successful on opening day. He said, “It’s really no secret, it just takes some work and preparation. I keep my cameras going year round and check them on a regular basis so that I can follow what the deer are doing throughout the off season. I also keep feed and mineral blocks out all year so that the deer get very used to coming to the area that I will hunt. I add some protein to the corn to keep the deer healthy and help with antler growth.”

As bow season approaches, Meliet begins to put out rice bran and corn, and starts to pay close attention to his cameras. By this time, he has also finished bush hogging and spraying so that he can rest the area starting on Sept. 1. Meliet said, “By the time bow season opens, I know the patterns of the deer and which ones I want to shoot. I will not shoot the does who have fawns. On opening day, I hope the buck that I want to shoot shows up. If not, I will take a doe.”

Meliet also carries a .22 magnum if he is seeing hogs in the area. He said, “It’s good to take the hogs out before gun season because they will eat up all of your feed and root up your food plots. Last year, I was able to take a big boar that went over 300 pounds on Oct. 7.”

The best advice that Meliet has for bowhunters who want to score on opening day is to get out before the season, scout, and prepare the area you want to hunt. If it’s legal in your area, he suggest that hunters start feeding corn and rice bran on Sept. 1 and watch trail cameras to find out when the deer are using the area. Meliet uses Thermacells to keep the bugs away and likes to use “Dead Down Wind” to wash his clothes before each hunt.

About Capt. Steve Himel 70 Articles
Capt. Steve Himel has hunted and fished in Southeast Louisiana for over 45 years. He operates Marshland Adventures, LLC and has been a freelance outdoor writer for the past 16 years. He is a member of the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association.