Here’s 5 Tips to take the Stress out of your Hunting Season
1. Scout, scout, scout, and scout some more!
Scouting prior to the season is absolutely critical in the waterfowl hunting game. This is the time to start knocking on doors and asking permission from local farmers to hunt their land. Doing this prior to the season is important because it gives you the opportunity to build relationships with those landowners so you’re not some stranger to them. Scouting doesn’t stop when the season starts either. The birds move around constantly all year long so staying on top of their movements is key to your success. So, get out there and put some miles on the truck and get knockin!
2. Get your bird dog in hunting season form
Time and time again we see this scenario: hunter takes his dog out for the first hunt of the season and expects it to pick up right where it left off last year. Its important that you take your dog out throughout the summer to work on their training and get them tuned up for the coming season. Just like you, they’re not perfect. The preseason is the time to be working out any kinks or problem areas your retriever may have struggled in the past. I’ve also found that taking them out and setting up a realistic hunting scenario for them, with layout blinds, decoys, and anything that dog will see come opening day. This will pay off in dividends when your pup is confident in the decoy spread and steady in the blind. This includes working them in and out of a boat. This can be very difficult for your pup to do, especially in deep water, so be sure to spend lots of time on it. Investing in a dog boat ladder will save you and your pup lots of time and energy with this!
3. Time to shake the dust off!
You, just like your retriever, need a little tune up before the season comes too. This means getting out and shooting clay targets or pigeons in the summer time. Don’t forget about the smaller things as well like practicing with a duck or goose call. A great time to do this is when you’re driving. This saves the ears of all your loved ones that don’t want to hear a goose honking in the house. If its been awhile since you hunted an area, take this time to reaquaint yourself with it. Take a Sunday afternoon and walk the creek or field you plan on hunting.
4. Take inventory and damage control
This is something that should be done shortly after the season has closed up as well as in the weeks leading up to the season. Get your decoys out and clean them up a bit. Patch any holes shot in floaters and clean the mud off those full bodies. Check over your other gear like binoculars, layout blinds, shotguns, flags, and spinning wing decoys. You won’t have a very comfortable hunt if you get out to the field and realize the back support to your layout blind broke or your mojo battery needs charged. If you’re a duck hunter that uses a boat, make sure you check over the motor, make sure the oil is good, sheer pin is good, replace the spark plugs, look over your ignition wires etc. The last thing you want is to be stuck at the boat ramp or worse, because your motor won’t start. You will thank yourself for taking care of all this ahead of time!
5. Keep yourself out of the dog house
Anyone with a significant other that doesn’t hunt knows that during hunting season, they may not be the happiest campers when you’re gone 10 hours a day from September till January. Try to realize that while you’re out doing what you love, a lot of the household burdens fall on your significant other. So, take time in the summer to do fun things and go on vacation while your weekends are free. When it comes time for hunting season, take a Friday night every so often and take them out to dinner for date night. Just show them that you acknowledge the effort they put in to afford you the time to go hunting. This will especially pay off when they catch you sneaking in that new shotgun or box of decoys.
Hopefully these tips help you all out this season! Be safe and Shoot straight!
You can follow this author on his IG account at @jsko36
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