OPEN­ING DAY IN AMER­ICA

MORE THAN 700 DIF­FER­ENT HUNT­ING SEA­SONS OPEN IN AU­GUST AND SEPTEM­BER AROUND THE COUN­TRY. LET’S DO THIS

Field and Stream - - CONTENTS - BY THE ED­I­TORS

It starts now. The first sea­sons for deer, elk, pronghorn, wa­ter­fowl—you name it—be­gin this month and next. Here’s how to own the opener.

TTo­day is the open­ing day of hunt­ing sea­son. And if it isn’t, just wait a few days. Maybe a week at most. Ei­ther way, get ready.

It’s funny. We tend to think of open­ing day as a sin­gle date on the cal­en­dar, when in fact, more than 2,000 dif­fer­ent hunt­ing sea­sons— early sea­sons, late sea­sons, youth, bow, and gun sea­sons for dozens of crit­ters in scores of zones—will open in 2018. And more than 700 of them will open in Au­gust and Septem­ber. That means that on al­most any given day now, some­one’s fa­vorite hunt, the one they’ve been wait­ing for all sum­mer, is ei­ther open­ing or will very soon. Two archery deer sea­sons have opened al­ready, in July. One of them is a rut hunt.

It also means that the ex­cite­ment of open­ing day—the an­tic­i­pa­tion, the pack­ing and fuss­ing, the call­ing up of buds, the mak­ing of plans, the run­ning around the house at mid­night look­ing for that one thing you need but can’t find—doesn’t have to end, all sea­son. You can ride that high from the dove opener to the first day of bow sea­son right on through to the gun deer hunt, the tra­di­tional midNovem­ber opener.

But that’s months away. In the mean­time, there are teal buzzing, gi­ant Canadas winging, and big fuzzy-horned bucks feed­ing in the bean­fields. And to­day is open­ing day. Here’s your guide.

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