If you’re an archery hunter anything like many — and I know you are — you might be chomping at the bit for the archery deer season to arrive. You’ve recently been checking trail cameras, and hard horned antlers are already filling your screen.

Yep, September is the month that tests our patience as hunters. The pressure is intensifying, making it a very real struggle to make it to deer season without losing one’s cool.

This is the month when antlers show us their true potential, as the velvet has been rubbed off, and hard antlers are exposed. That causes us to daydream about them, giving us reason to check our food plots, check our trail cameras and start hanging stands. It’s testing us more when you realize we really can’t wait to break out the bow and broad heads and sling an arrow through a forest giant.

If bow hunting deer is your passion, then you know an opening day harvest is a very real possibility. So how do you achieve opening day success and a successful harvest when bow hunting deer? You have heard it before: plenty of dedicated planning and preparation.

When you are going after an opening day buck, there is a limit to how much preparation and management you can do without over pressuring your bucks and your deer hunting property. If you want to find success bow hunting deer on opening day, you have to align your priorities and keep your activities to a minimum.

Face it, there’s a lot of things that can and will go wrong to derail your chances for success. When it comes to bowhunting, everything needs to line up just right to make it happen. That’s why more times than not we are left to simply watch that trophy buck without ever drawing our bow.

Things are changing fast when it comes to food sources at this time of year. Make sure you know all the food sources in your area and how the deer use them. They can be feeding in a agricultural field this week, but be gone the next when they find a more preferred food source such as apples or acorns. Don’t wait until opening day to figure out that your deer are no longer where you thought they were.

If you want the odds to be in your favor, the main thing is knowing the food sources, learning his daily travel routines and knowing what locations offer you the best chance of taking him. Don’t wait till opening day to try and put a plan together and end up wondering why you went home empty handed.

David Orlowski is a writer, hunter, fisherman and outdoor enthusiast from Potter County. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association.