A Few Ways To Prepare For The Off Season

By Nathan Unger

As deer season comes to an end it’s easy to sit back turn the television on and watch a show by the crackling fire, kind of like I am right now. However, there are still tasks to be finished and things you can start to prepare for next season!

1.) Collect Your Deer Stands

It’s very easy to call it quits and leave your deer stands out until next season. I encourage you not to for several reasons! First, you want your stands to remain as safe as possible for next year, and rain, snow, wind and heat will destroy your straps quickly if they are not stored properly in the off season. Secondly, you do not want to have to go purchase another seat cushion for your stands next year after squirrels and other rodents destroy them. Additionally, you may find that deer are moving or taking a different route when hunting season arrives, and by taking your deer stand down you are one step away from placing that stand in a successful spot!

2.) Manage Your Trail Cameras

Another simple but effective item to focus on is managing your trail cameras. This will help you find where the deer are moving in the late season and where they might be bedding down which will help you get the shot you need next season when that mature buck is being elusive. For those of you that turkey hunt, trail cameras can still be effective. Turkeys are such smart birds that you’ll need every advantage possible to locate them on those days when they’re not gobbling. Last, but not least, you want to make sure you have fresh batteries so that you don’t miss anything while your camera is out in the woods.

3.) Begin Looking At Food Plot Mix

As winter will eventually turn to spring you want to have the perfect food plot mix for your location. It’s never too early to start looking! Plus, turkey season is around the corner and early spring food plots will be perfect to shoot a big gobbler. A combination of clovers is what I love to use for spring turkeys! You can also be looking at what you might plant next fall or winter for deer season as well whether its rye, brassica, oats, corn or whatever your food plot mix of choice is!

4.) Check Your Hunting Gear

One thing that never seems to fail is when I begin the next hunting season there is always something that’s messed up, ripped or broken and I find myself last minute scrambling to find what I need at a local hunting store. This will save a lot of headache come hunting season if you take care of it in the off season. Likewise, you can clean your guns, restock ammo, sight in your gun, purchase new arrows, broadheads, and fletchings. The list goes on and on of what you can do to prepare yourself for whichever season is right around the corner for you!

 

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Turkey Season is Right Around the Corner

By Nathan Unger

It’s almost here! The season we’ve all been waiting for. No not March Madness or college football, but turkey season! That’s exactly right. One of the most underrated seasons in all of North America, unless, of course you’re a turkey hunter.

Why is turkey season so great?

1. It’s thrilling!

2. It allows you to be outdoors

3. It creates time to be with friends and family

4. Turkey tastes good

For all the avid turkey hunters out there you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s the time of year when you sit between the pines on a bed of straw and call the gobblers out of their hiding. Then, your adrenaline spikes as one answers you back closer than you expected. There’s no thrill remotely like it.

Turkey hunting strikes a special chord with me since my father and I spent many hours in the south Georgia woods as I was growing up. Since I hadn’t taken up deer hunting yet, I looked forward to every spring knowing that dad would take off work for us to go hunting for a few days. Because we were practicing a DIY way of hunting, just learning as we went along, turkey hunting proved to be fairly difficult with their incredible eye sight and keen since of awareness. We would hunt many days and hear several birds without ever getting an ethical shot on one which resulted in a “we’ll get ’em next year.” As time went on, and the years went by our luck began to change. Dad recorded his first turkey which was very exciting! Then eventually his second and his third. Several years later during my college career, turkey hunting has been put on the wayside due to the busy schedules and lack of convenient places to hunt. Eventually my younger brother recorded his first long-beard while I’m still at zero.

PICT1071
Hit-list gobblers for this season

My hope for this year is that I make the time to get out of town and go sit in the woods and have my first shot at one of natures most unpredictable game animals. However, if I don’t, I’ll just remember dad’s old saying that still rings in my mind, “we’ll get ’em next year.”

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