(WFXR) — This is the time of year when thousands of people will converge on the woods and fields of Virginia to hunt. 

Right now, it’s deer archery season, but soon gun seasons for deer will follow.  Virginia also holds seasons for bear, turkey, waterfowl, and other game.

When it comes to hunting success, preparation is the key.

“The first thing I do is check all my gear, make sure my gear is in operating order before I even go into the woods,” said veteran hunter, Roger Lyons.  “I make sure I have all of my safety gear ready, too.”

Lyons says gear prep and inventory are only part of the process.  He says you need to scout the areas you hunt. When it comes to deer, that means looking for well-worn game trails, then setting up your tree stands or blinds nearby.

A deer in the Pulaski County woods.

“I cut a path that comes out right there,” Lyons said while pointing near his tree stand. “It goes around the backside of it, but the deer, they come right up through here.”

Since Lyons hunts deer from a tree stand, guarding against falls is a priority.  He uses safety ropes and harnesses.  He also says it’s vital to have a hunting plan and to let someone know about it.

“Always tell someone where you’re hunting and when you plan to be out,” Lyons added. “If you’re not out when you say you will be, then they’ll know to get help and to look for you.”

Comfort is also key.  Lyons says dress appropriately for the weather and terrain.  Camouflage is also a good idea to keep yourself concealed.  Have bug spray on hand.  Plus, have plenty of water to stay hydrated.  Staying comfortable helps you to enjoy the experience.

Once you have the necessities taken care of, Lyons says to sit back and enjoy the experience.

“If you’re ever out in the woods you realize it’s not quiet and peaceful. It is peaceful, but it’s far from quiet. There are always birds chirping, crickets, squirrels; there’s always something going on around you to keep you entertained,” Lyons said.

While getting back to nature is part of the allure, Lyons says when the moment of truth comes and that trophy comes into view, you need to be ready.

“Your heart will start racing, a million things will go through your mind, the main thing that you need to do is sit down and calm down, regain control of your emotions, hold them in so that you can make a good, clean, ethical kill,” said Lyons.

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