Waiting for the opening morning of Michigan firearm season can be a restless night for Michiganders who like deer hunting.

My parents moved to Michigan from Kentucky. When my dad was growing up, there were no deer to hunt in eastern Kentucky. So my dad learned to hunt for squirrels and rabbits. My dad was a heck of a small game hunter and taught me a lot while growing up in Michigan.

When my dad and I would rabbit hunt, he would point out some deer signs, usually buck rubs to scrapes on the ground. To this day, I still look for those same deer signs my dad taught me. Occasionally when rabbit hunting with our beagle, a deer would pop up, but other than that was pretty much my only knowledge of deer.

My dad had purchased a bow to target shoot with but never wound up deer hunting. He taught me to shoot the bow, and I got to be a pretty good shot using his recurve bow with no sights.

After church on Sundays, a couple of us would go across the road to a buddy's house and target shoot and play the nock game where you aim at the other guy's arrow. It was that group of guys that got me into bow hunting.

Near where my parents lived, there was a lot of property where the deer hunting was good. It didn't take too long for deer fever to sink into my blood.

I can remember preparing my hunting spots, doing lots of scouting in hopes of getting that first buck someday.

There was just one thing about the opening day of deer season that I found difficult, and that was getting a good night's sleep before opening day.

My friends and I would be all excited about opening day. The day before the hunt, we would gather our shells, flashlights, warm clothes, and everything we thought we needed to take in the woods for a day of hunting.

Then my friends and I would sit up and talk about what deer we hoped to see and where we hoped to see it. Then we would look at the clock and realize we better get to bed. Going to bed didn't make the thoughts of a big buck go away, but eventually, I would fall asleep.

Falling asleep was good, but staying asleep was more difficult. I would be so excited to get in that stand and afraid that I would miss my alarm clock going off, would often wake up two or three hours before I was supposed to.

It was no different today this many years later. I had a heck of a time falling asleep last night and woke up a couple of times to check the time. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and got up an hour early.

Although I hunted by myself today, I still couldn't wait to get up in that stand this morning. I sat and waited for those first few deer to arrive and to hear those shots off in the distance of hunters who had a better morning than I. It was still exciting to have the feeling of the possibility of a successful hunt. The excitement never goes away.

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