This is just a quick post to highlight the importance of always being ready when hunting – including going to and from your stand. In this context I mean being prepared to encounter your game at any time as you prepare for your hunt. Many times hunting is about timing – being in the right place at the right time. The key is to be ready when that time comes.
I speak from experience here as just two days ago I was out at my lease and walking to my blind when I encountered a hog. It was at a feeder I wasn’t going to be hunting – it was just visible from the road I was walking down on the way to the blind I was going to hunt. Luckily, I had my scope on and ready to go (I run the ATN X-Sight digital scope so it has to be powered on and in either day or night mode) and a round in the chamber – plus I was walking quietly and being vigilant. Upon seeing him, I dropped my pack and stalked to about 90 yards away – he started to walk towards the timber – I knelt and fired. I hit him mid-back just below the spine. He made it 20 yards into a thicket where I found him and dispatched him with a head shot. Had I not been in “hunt-mode” and ready to just pursue the pig and shoot, I wouldn’t have taken him as I would have spent too much time powering on the scope and jacking a round (the noise of that would have spooked him).
The point is that many times in the past, I would walk to the blind with my scope off or no round in the chamber. Well, I can tell you I’m always ready now – scope on, bullet in chamber and ready to go. Remember too that as summer wears on, the pigs have a tendency to move soon after the sun goes down – dusk – so you can encounter them on your way to your stand for a night hunt since they’re hungry and thirsty from being bedded down all day in the heat. Approach your stand quietly – and tread lightly as you make your way through the woods / field.
Once you’re in the field you should be in hunt-mode. Be ready at all times as you never know when your quarry will be present.