The calendar says the end of October, and the weather forecast is calling for nighttime temperatures in the 30s. The deer hunters know that the opening of the firearms deer season is only weeks away.
Now that deer can be found living in nearly every wood lot, the importance of preparing for the opening day may seem less critical. This is probably the case if you have access to some prime farmland where the food supplies are never in question, and the landowner controls the hunting pressure.
But much of the deer hunting in this part of the country takes place on public hunting areas - state lands, and federally owned national forest lands. Many areas feature plenty of deer (and other game animals) that move according to foods supplies, the time of year and other factors such as hunting pressure and people activity.
In an ideal situation, the smart deer hunter can make his hunting plans based upon natural factors such as food sources, preferred bedding areas and similar deer factors. This approach works well in bow season when hunting pressure in limited and also in the early muzzleloader seasons in Maryland and Virginia. But during general firearms seasons, normal movements are out - most deer activity is based on hunting pressure and avoiding people. Especially the people wearing bright orange coats and smelling up the woods with the scent of aftershave.