Summer is here, bringing with it longer and sunnier days. For most people, summertime is best spent sipping cold drinks and lounging by the pool. For hunting enthusiasts, Summer is the perfect time to spend more hours in the field and to start prepping the upcoming hunting season.
A hunter is only as good as the time and effort they put into preparing for their next hunt. Whether you are into bird hunting, small game hunting, or Big Game Hunting. Taking extra time to prepare this summer will help ensure your success in the woods.
1. Clean Your Weapons
Giving your weapons and hunting equipment a good clean before and after every hunting season is crucial to ensuring their accuracy and reliability. While you are cleaning your bows and firearms, make it a point to check for any loose screws or bolts, rust, and any other damages that could compromise performance.
2. Get to Know Your Gear
Whether you hunt with a bow or a firearm, practicing your aim and calibrating distances is key to successful shot placement and an overall better Hunting Experience.
Spend more time at the shooting range this summer. Sighting in your weapon early will ensure you avoid the long lines and crowds at the shooting range during the last few weeks leading up to opening day.
Practice makes perfect. Getting plenty of practice before the season opens will increase your chances of making good clean shots when the time comes. Muscle memory takes over in the heat of the moment, and practice is the only way to create the correct muscle memory.
3. Check and Organize Your Equipment
Many hunters end up blowing a perfectly good hunting day because an important piece of equipment malfunctions or is missing.
The summer months are the ideal time for replenishing your hunting supplies and checking your equipment for any issues that require attention. Once you are certain that everything is in good working order, make a checklist of all the supplies and equipment you will need to bring and store them in one place.
4. Take Some Time to Shape Up
While hunting isn’t the most physically demanding activity on the planet, the most successful hunters are usually those who are in shape for the upcoming season. Those who are in good enough physical condition can climb steep hills, walk longer distances, and cover more ground in a day, which increases their rate of success. That extra strength and stamina will also come in handy when you need to pack out your big buck over a long distance.
If you are not the type to exercise regularly, at least spend time walking and working out a few months before the season starts. A lazy summer sounds enticing, but if you wait until the week before hunting season to get into shape, it will already be too late.
5. Study Maps and Scout the Location
The long summer days are best spent studying maps and scouting the location you will be hunting in. There are various mapping/GPS apps designed specifically for hunters, and many of them allow you to access the maps even without cell service.
Also, try to visit your preferred hunting area as often as possible. If you are planning a New Mexico hunt, for example, take trips to the area to familiarize yourself with the hunting ground and the movement patterns of the animals that live there. Talk to landowners, do a bit of scouting, and use the information you have gathered to develop a game plan that will improve your odds of success come hunting season.
6. Brush Up on the Regulations and Buy Your Licenses
Hunting laws and regulations are subject to change, so make sure to check in with the state’s natural resources department and get an update on all relevant dates, laws, and details associated with the upcoming hunting season.
Once you are updated on this season’s laws and regulations, it’s time to buy your licenses. You will need one or more licenses, depending on what animals you plan to hunt. Also, some states take time to process licenses. If you are hunting out of state, make sure to apply for a license well in advance of the deadline and or opening day.
About the Author
Maren Mcreynolds is the Content Marketing Director of BMO Hunts, a company that offers world-class guided hunts in New Mexico, Arizona, and South Dakota. When not working, she spends time swimming with her two kids and giving back to the community.