In some Northern Michigan communities, the opening day of firearm deer season see's school closings and in other parts of the State, a supplemental holiday for workers.

There has even been much talk about moving the opening day of firearm deer season to a specific Saturday, instead of it's traditional November 15th date. Traditionalists  revere it as sacred and others wishing to get the same advantage as others, see a regular weekend opener as an equalizer for those who cannot get the time off of work. Myself, having become a bowhunter, sees the opening of firearm deer season as a two week vacation from chasing whitetail deer. Then again, that two week vacation has turned into a three year hiatus from the sport altogether.

A few things that may help your firearm deer season run a little more smoothly are these:

1) "Get Your License and Ammunition Now!" Avoid long lines that form at 10:00 PM on November 14th, due to the lack of planning by others.

2) "Sight Your FIrearms In ASAP, if you haven't already." There's nothing worse to some than "Mr. or Ms. last minute," sighting in the day before, because they didn't do it during the warmer months. Sight it in and leave it alone until it's time to go out.

3) "Don't Forget to Check Your Gun Case for Extra Socks and Underwear." I know there are still a few guys out there that ask their wives to pack their clothes for deer camp. Always check your gun case before you come home and complain that she didn't pack extra socks or underwear! It could save yourself a load of embarrassment and explaining.

4) "Identify Your Target Before You Shoot!" Too many times, excited hunters mistake other hunters for deer. Shooting before LEGAL shooting hours and firing at sounds, are the biggest reasons that these accidents happen. They ARE avoidable!

5) "Never Hunt Alone:" As much as you think you are ready for this years season, you may not be in shape. Many of us are not as active as we possibly should be (especially me). Cold temperatures can cause muscles to tighten up, making it nearly impossible to draw your bow back. Ladders to treestands and above ground blinds, can ice up, making a fall more likely. And finally, dragging your deer from the woods can add stress and may cause a heart attack. Take your time or ask a friend for help. The excitement, and exertion can be a major player in a good hunt gone bad.

Have fun and be safe this year!