When the hunting season ends, you don’t have to sit around twiddling your thumbs waiting anxiously for the next hunting season to come around. Instead of waiting, take a proactive approach. This will keep you out in the wild and honing your skills even if you can’t take any game.
It’s important to stay active and improve yourself as a hunter even on the off-season. With that in mind, here are a few things you can do once hunting season ends to prepare yourself for next season and keep your sanity during the off-season months
Scout New Hunting Spots
One of the absolute musts for any hunter in the off-season is to spot new locations for hunting. Look for totally new locations and try to find new spots within the ground that you already hunt that could be a perfect place for a tree stand or blind.
This is especially important for deer hunters, but it’s true for every kind of hunting. Once you locate a few areas you think could be good, consider setting up some game cameras to start monitoring the area.
If you have permission from the landowner try improving the land to make it better than it currently is, by cutting some shooting lines, planting additional food sources, or adding some good bedding cover.
Take Down Tree Stands and Blinds
Don’t leave your tree stand or blind up all year unless it’s a permanent fixture. It’s lazy and you never know what’s going to happen to it out there. You need to be sure it’s going to be sturdy and ready to go for next hunting season.
The best way to ensure your tree stand or hunting blind will be ready to go for next season is to take it down, assess any needs and then put it away in a safe place so you can get it out once the new season rolls around.
Before that season does, make sure to perform any needed maintenance on the stand or blind. Do this in the off-season when you can’t hunt and you’ll be ready come the next season.
Set Next Season’s Goals
As a hunter, you should always set goals for yourself. These goals should go beyond just getting a kill. Make them specific. Have a particular size buck in mind or specific shot placement. Write these goals down somewhere and refer to them occasionally.
When you set goals and physically write them down you’re more likely to take the necessary steps to achieve the types of things you want to do. It can seem kind of silly, but you’d be surprised how much more motivated you’ll feel.
This is a fun one. Who doesn’t love shooting? Also, there are multiple ways to improve your firearm proficiency. You can try out some sporting shooting competitions, head to a range regularly or just shoot clays with your friends and family.
Personally, I love getting a group of friends together to shoot clays. I don’t do it nearly often enough, but I learn something every time and have a good time doing it. It’s a great way to hone my skills, and I have no doubt you’ll find it to be equally rewarding.
Practice Pest Control
Don’t want to just shoot targets and clay pigeons? Consider helping control pests in the off-season. Coyotes, prairie dogs, foxes, raccoons, and feral hogs are all common pests that need to be taken care of.
Check the laws for hunting pests in your area, and consider talking to a few farmers or land owners in your area. They’ll know if there’s anything worth pursuing. Some will even appreciate the help and welcome you out.