No great hunter wants to be caught unprepared when the hunting season rolls around.
Last-minute rush has cost many hunters a good buck.
Since we don’t want you to be a casualty of procrastination this hunting season, we have a list of steps you can work with to stay ahead of the hunt.
From checking if you have the correct rimfire scopes to positioning your trail cameras right, these five steps will help you get ready for the upcoming hunting season.
1. Be Aware of the Hunting Regulations
Hunting regulations keep changing from year to year.
To prepare for the hunting season, study all the details relating to the upcoming season hunting guidelines and regulations. You also need to know of any changes regarding license and permit requirements.
Also, depending on the type of game you’re aiming to hunt, you’ll need to have your license, unique tags, and stamps ready.
If you’re hunting in a different state, don’t forget to apply for an out-of-state license and also familiarize yourself with the new state’s hunting regulations.
2. Scout Before the Hunt
To understand the terrain and the landscape, visit the places you want to hunt before the hunting season begins. Even if you have digital navigation tools such as GPS, and satellite maps, visiting the location is always advisable. This way, you will discover land features that can affect deer movement. A physical visit can also help you find out deer feeding and bedding locations that may be invisible on digital navigation tools.
Unfortunately, one downside of scouting is that it increases your scent in the area, which can alert deer and other game of your presence.
Don't scout the same place frequently to prevent deer from becoming aware of your presence. Also, avoid scouting areas that you intend to hunt. Instead, identify such areas and set up your stand right before a hunt.
3. Set Up Your Trail Cameras
To identify the best places to set up your trail cameras, start by coming up with a list of hunting targets in your hunting area. For instance, feeders or deer food plots are excellent buck hunting targets. Other suitable hunting grounds include mineral sites and trails leading to the game bedding areas.
Once you have identified your hunting targets, you can now set your cameras near these areas. Trail cameras help you keep track of the game movement patterns.
Always ensure your trail cameras are well concealed and positioned. For example, you should hang your camera 3 to 4 feet above the ground and also remove any cover that may be blocking the camera’s view.
Also, once you’ve set up your trail cameras, avoid visiting the site frequently, as this only serves to spread your scent around the area.
4. Check Your Hunting Gear
Whether you’ll be using a bow or a rifle to hunt, you need to ensure it’s in perfect condition.
Service your bow or rifle, clean it, and ensure it's ready before the season rolls around. Check for loose scope mounts or rings on your rifle and any broken strings on your bow.
Also, before getting into the woods, practice your shooting skills. Learn the trajectories of your weapon and scout your hunting area for any landmarks and barriers that may affect your shots.
In addition to improving your shooting accuracy, practicing with your hunting gear also helps to prepare your body for the hunting season.
5. Physical and Mental Preparation
It’s essential to be in good physical and mental shape before a hunt.
When training for hunts, set realistic goals and train towards them. Jog or hike on rough terrain if you intend to hunt on challenging terrain. You can also use other hunting seasons to prepare your body for a big hunt. For instance, being active during the spring bear season can prepare your body for the deer season.
Mental fitness is also crucial for a good hunting season. For instance, you can’t grip your rifle or bow correctly or keep your breathing steady when stressed. You also need mental strength to keep going when the hunt is slow.
There you have it!
Five steps that will help you prepare for the upcoming hunting season.
Don’t wait until the last minute to follow these steps. Start preparing now to increase your success in the woods.