At this point in the year, turkey hunting is quickly coming to a close along with whatever else it is we can find time to hunt throughout the spring. Fall still seems awfully far off yet, but in no time at all, it will be that time of year! Here are a few things I’m doing NOW to better myself for the upcoming hunting season.
Now is a good time to be checking over your ground (scouting if you will). If you have the ability to walk through or look over land in first person before all the leaves have fully appeared, is best. This allows you a huge advantage come fall. You might get a different idea about travel routes and natural funnels, that weren’t as obvious to you the previous year. If you’re unable to look over hunting ground now, I’ve found aerial maps and photographs to be a great scouting tool.
GO OVER GEAR
I like to pull all my gear giving it a serious check over. I’ll think back to the previous season, noting what things worked and what things didn’t. Doing this gives me adequate time to find the gear I need or didn’t have the previous year. Having my daypack ready to go at a moment’s notice, saves me from forgetting things vital to my hunt when rushing around come this fall.
Spring sales are now in full swing at various sporting stores. I’m usually able to find lots of great gear at a killer price. This all adds up, often times leaving a larger budget, equaling higher quality equipment.
Probably one of the most important things we all can do to help make sure our hunts are more productive is to exercise NOW! You can’t expect miracles if you begin workouts only a month before your hunt. Do it now and you’ll have a good four months of the workout routine behind you. If you’re like me, finding exercise machines boring, make a point to hike in the woods on a regular basis. An hour or two is better than nothing at all and every little bit will help you this fall! I’ll even go as far as loading my daypack up with weight, getting myself used to carrying the excess baggage one often forgets about. It’s hard work that pays off. The better the shape I’m in, the harder I can hunt and the more I enjoy it!
It’s NEVER too early to start shooting your firearm or bow. Plan to shoot at least a few times each month, practicing various distances. Get comfortable with your firearm; don’t just shoot off of a bench. It’s not too often that I find a steady bench to rest on in the field. Get accustom to shooting off of your sticks now, so come fall its second nature. If you’re an archer like myself, you can set up a target in your back yard, allowing even more shooting time than if you are driving to the range. Again practice different yardages religiously, getting used to different angles and pitches.
STAY IN CONTACT
If you are planning on hunting with an outfitter, it’s your benefit to maintain a good rapport. Contact them throughout the year about any questions or concerns you may have. Get to know the outfitter a little better before the first day of your hunt! They will often times be able to tell you what to expect, what you’ll need and how to prepare yourself for your hunt. This will make your hunt a much more enjoyable experience.