I have a confession to make: it’s almost September, and I’m just getting ready for hunting season. I used to spend the ENTIRE year in some sort of prep for the various seasons I was hunting in but between moving/babies/my career/a-dire-global-situation-that-shall-not-be-named, fall snuck up on me fastttttt. I can unequivocally say this year I’m more pumped for hunting season than ever before, and it’s not just because we have lots of pictures on the StealthCam but because this is a social distancing activity and one that will fill the freezer for our fam, so I am ALL about it. Though this isn’t a comprehensive list, it’s what I’m doing to get ready for the best season of the year and I think you’ll feel ready after reading this, too!!
Take stock of what you have
Do you have all of the equipment you’d need for a successful season? If not, the time to go is nowwwww. If you wait until the week before opening day, everything feels relatively picked over and you won’t have time to get used to the new bow/arrows/ammo/hiking boots etc. I’d suggest heading to Cabela’s or Bass Pro STAT to grab what you need…and maybe some of what you don’t necessarily need, but definitely deserve. I’m giving you FULL permission to treat. yo. self.
Be physically ready
One thing I DO feel pretty good about for this year’s hunting season is the fact that I exercise a decent amount and try to stay in shape, even during the off season. Anyone who’s ever hiked up a mountain or scouted for any length of time at all can attest to the fact that being physically fit and ready is a great way to get your head in the game…so to speak, hah! Hiking, riding on the Peloton, and walks with the fam are the best ways to get your cardio in for fall. Bonus points if you are surrounded by big hills and hike with your pack on to be super prepared!
Okay, that is 100% not a word but one of my followers shared a pretty genius idea to grab a storage bin with a tight-locking lid and throw your camo in there with pine/spruce needles. This is a great way to approach your first hunt of the season if you’ve only got one set of camo, but a really cool way to store your other stuff and keep a cycle going so you can wash/put them in the bin/assimilate scent/wear/repeat. I can’t say I personally do this, but seems like it would be a good idea!
Put your stand(s) up in advance
This goes for your blinds, too!! And cams…and feeders for that matter! Wildlife/deer are less likely to be spooked from an area if these are set up in advance and have the time to adjust to their presence. While you’re at it, DEFINITELY set up your trail cams (we LOVE the Fusion from Stealthcam–it sends images to your phone, without having to pull the SD cards, and is incredible quality) and feeders. Put the work in and reap the rewards of being a bit more prepared than usual!
Make sure you’re up to date on tags!
Since we should ALL pride ourselves on being conservationists who respect the animal, land, and the laws OF the land then it’s definitely good to be on top of your tags and license. Keeping those current is a huge help to appropriate funds to conservation efforts that further our work as outdoorsmen and women. Head to your local Bass Pro or Cabela’s to get squared away with your license! Did you know that in North Carolina, you can buy your baby a Lifetime Hunting License for something like $200, if you do it before they turn one? If you buy it after, it’s nearly $1000, so it’s well-worth the investment ahead of time.
Another great piece of advice is to practice shooting from different distances and vantage points. Standing up/sitting down/with or without gear all make a difference in your body and positioning when it actually matters out in the woods!! This is something I’ve only recently begun doing and it’s humbled me to remember that I’m not always going to be set up for that perfect shot, standing on level ground, etc.
Always have binos with you
This definitely just falls under the “be prepared” category, but don’t leave home without your binos when you’re getting set up: glassing before the season almost feels therapeutic, and gives you a great opportunity to take it all in. Leupold has been our family fave for foreverrrr because they simply make the best in binos/rangefinders/all the things.
What would you add to this list?! Are you a first-timer or an old-timer when it comes to hunting season? Let me know in the comments, and here’s to our best season yet!!