5 ways you can prepare for next deer season
Thursday, February 11, 2016
While deer season is over for most of the United States, it's never too early to start preparing for next deer season. Regardless of how successful you were (or weren't) this year, work put in now can really pay off once next deer season rolls around.
Continue reading to find out the five things you should be doing now to set yourself up for success this fall.
1. Get in shape
This is an area where almost all of us could stand to improve. Hunting deer is not always thought of as a particularly physically demanding activity. However, being in good shape makes everything easier.
This includes setting up tree stands, building a food plot, shooting a bow and dragging a dead deer out of the woods. Physical fitness is even more important on a back-country hunt, but being in good shape also makes sitting in a freezing deer stand for hours upon end easier as well.
Fortunately, you don't have to do anything crazy to really see a difference with physical fitness. Most hunts do not require marathon-level training, and a little bit goes a long way for most people. If you merely increase your physical fitness routine to include a few miles of walking each day (and maintain that level of fitness throughout the year), you'll likely see a significant benefit by the time deer season rolls around.
2. Go shed hunting
Going shed hunting is a great way to get some information regarding the bucks in your hunting area. Finding their sheds not only lets you know how big they are and where they hang out at that time of year, but it also lets you know they survived the hunting season.
Armed with this information, you can then start to formulate a plan of attack for next deer season.
You can never do too much scouting, and this is an activity that goes hand in hand with shed hunting. Simply put, spend some time in the woods and find out where the deer eat and sleep and how they travel between the two spots. Vegetation is normally much thinner during the winter when compared to the summer, so it will probably be much easier to see trails and scrapes.
Additionally, it is also possible that the deer in your area have different summer and winter diets and habits, so time spent scouting now will give you some information impossible to obtain in the summer.
4. Inspect your gear
Make sure you clean and properly store all of your hunting equipment at the end of deer season. Before you store it, be sure to inspect all of your gear to see if anything needs to be repaired or replaced. If so, now is the time to do it.
This gives you plenty of time to get things fixed up before next deer season. Additionally, many merchants have sales at the end of winter in order to switch over to spring and summer products, so you can probably save a few bucks by doing that shopping now as opposed to later.
5. Practice shooting
Hitting the range early will enable you to hone your skills without having to deal with a crowded shooting range the week before deer season starts. This also give you a lot more time to test out how a new load or arrow/broadhead combination works with plenty of time to work out any kinks before deer season comes around.
If you're serious about bagging a monster buck next year, then you should be putting in the work now and start laying the ground work for next year. Whatever you do, don't procrastinate. That might be the difference between tagging the deer of your dreams next year and eating tag soup.
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