Not many people chose to wake up before 6 a.m. on the weekends after working 40 hours, but Brandon Wyss of Florence does. Wyss lives for this time of year because he is an avid hunter, and bow-hunting season for deer kicked off Sept. 16.
“I wouldn’t say waking up that early is pleasing, but it’s nice to get away from everything and enjoy the quiet,” he said.
Wyss said he has been preparing for this season since the end of the last.
“I’ve been setting out trail cams and feeders since January rolled around,” he said.
Since Wyss began scouting his hunting grounds around Marion Reservoir, he has seen some large bucks he hopes to tag this season.
“My best buck was a nine-point, but I’m looking at changing that this season,” he said.
Wyss said there are more deer to hunt this year than last.
“There’s 10 times more deer out there than last year, but they won’t start really moving around until late October early November,” he said.
Because of the population increase, Wyss participates in population control on several of his hunting properties by using tags to shoot a doe.
“Deer usually drop twins,” he said. “So I usually try to take two does to every buck to balance things out.”
Travis Hett of Marion also has had a passion for hunting since a young age.
“Hunting is such a passion for me because it’s how I was raised,” he said. “Being outdoors and staying active is a big part of my life. There’s so much true beauty in the outdoors that people simply don’t see because they aren’t hunters.”
He said it is a great way for him to share time with family and friends and to create memories that will last forever.
“You can always look back at a hunt and remember it like it was yesterday,” he said. “It’s a great time to sit and listen to what God has to offer from Mother Nature and self reflection.”
He said bow season is his favorite hunting season.
“Nothing can beat the adrenaline rush of drawing back on a trophy whitetail,” he said. “You can’t even explain the feeling you get it’s like your heart is about ready to beat out of your chest.”