Every hunter dreads the closing of the hunting seasons. It’s a time that’s usually bittersweet – bitter if you had some really bad days and sweet if your freezer is filled.
Either way, one cannot deny that it is often a time for reflection. The hunting seasons are always filled with its ups and downs. Personally, I felt like I was completely sideways this entire season – from ducks to deer. Heck, even the squirrels gave me a run for my money this year.
However, to me, the most important part of the hunting seasons ending is that the preparations for the next season begins.
These are just a few things that I do once the seasons end:
- Map and note in my journal all of my hunts – this includes location, GPS coordinates, topography, times, dates, temperature, and wind information.
- Cleaning and wiping down all of my gear that will remain static until the next season
- Checking my harnesses and any safety equipment I used during the year
- Cleaning and checking my bows and guns
- Storing decoys and waders away in a cool place
- Repair or replace arrows
- Cleaning the truck… this one takes awhile if you’re a messy and muddy duck hunter.
The list goes on and on, but the most important thing that every hunter should do (and should have been doing anyway…) is to practice.
Practice, practice, and more practice.
Personally, I condemn any person that neglects to do so and then proceeds to hastily pull the trigger or let an arrow fly when the time comes in the Fall.
You owe it to the animal to be at your best and if you are not at your best – you should not deserve to take it’s life.
Even with the new compound bows these days and all the gadgets that are coming into the market – it is still important to be at our best. I cannot deny that these new technologies increase the reliability,accuracy, and dependability of our weapons, but it does nothing for our discipline and respect for the animals.
They make you a better killer – not a better hunter.
Discipline and respect is gained through the efforts of the individual and gained with the hard work that it takes.
“Hard work will beat talent, if talent refuses to work hard.”
I have found this saying to be especially true in all aspects of life and I’ve found that it strongly applies in the hunting world. You truly reap what you sow and hunting is no exception.
So this summer, let the arrows fly and the bullets hit their mark.
Scout some woods, run some trails, or put up some trail cams.
Celebrate the offseason because the hunting truly never stops.
So,when the season does come…
You’ll be ready.