Preparing for Hunting Season

Preparing for Hunting Season

Does it ever end? For many hard-core hunters, the season never ends; it just changes. We move from the actual hunting seasons in the fall and winter to hunting season preparation in the spring and summer.

It never stops, and for many of us, that is a good thing. (I am not so sure our spouses can agree on that one.)

For someone who hunts a lot at home and also takes two to three out-of-state hunts a season, the spring and summer preparation often can determine the success or failure of the fall hunt. The more we prepare, the better our odds are to have a successful harvest in the fall.

Nothing will kill a hunt quicker than being out of shape

Personally, I use a four-phase method of preparation in the spring and summer to get myself ready for hunting season.

Staying in shape

I am not one to go to a gym. I despise lifting weights. I’ve never understood the allure of paying someone to pick up heavy objects. But I will walk – a lot. Hiking in the mountains for 5-10 miles several times a week keeps my cardio and my aging legs in shape. Nothing will kill a hunt quicker than being out of shape and not being able to cover the ground you need to cover.

Scouting & Reconnaissance

Secondly, I believe in doing as much scouting as I can. Even in areas I may have hunted for years, I continue to scout and learn as much as I can. Boot leather and great binoculars are the best way of doing this. Besides covering a lot of ground and looking for bedding areas, shed antlers, old rubs or scrapes, sitting at vantage points and using high quality binoculars, such as the Hawke Optics Endurance 10×50, I can cover a lot of ground with little effort. These binoculars offer a clear view and with the 10x magnification, they allow me to see greater distances and identify possible locations and animals. Hunting is physical, and season prep can be physical. But by using your binoculars to hunt for you, it just makes great sense.

Care & Maintenance

The third method is one of property care and maintenance. Being fortunate enough to hunt private land, I have a lot of preparation to do. In the spring and summer, I spend time mowing fallow fields, cutting shooting lanes, adjusting stand locations, and more. Getting as much of this done in the spring and summer allows for the property to rest with little disturbance leading up to opening of the season.

Shooting Range

Lastly is shooting training. Spending time at the range to improve my shooting is never wasted time. In fact, it is arguably some of the most important time spent in preparation. Having a good rangefinder, like the Hawke Optics Endurance or Vantage, that enables you to get precise yardages and exact distances only makes you a better shot. A lot of archers spend a good bit of time shooting in the off-season. This is vital to making clean ethical shots on animals. But off-season practice is not limited to archers. Firearm hunters and muzzleloader hunters need to spend quality time at the range to not only sight in their gun, but to also get used to it and how it shoots. When the moment of truth occurs, you want confidence in your ability and the ability of your equipment to perform perfectly.

Preparation for hunting season is never ending. Staying in shape, scouting, property maintenance and shooting training are crucial and keep us sharp and ready to chase our passion when fall arrives.

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    Hawke Endurance ED 10x50

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Pete Rogers
Outdoor writer

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