The off season for hunting is a season most hunters dread. Although the off season does not have to be this way. There is a lot of things we can do to help us prepare for the upcoming season. We can go over our gear, to getting out and doing some early scouting. By getting your gear ready now and everything stocked back up for those back country hunts can lead to less stress before you walk out the door on your next hunt.
I have never really enjoyed going through my gear to clean things up and figure out if things need to be replaced. However, I have always enjoyed that hard work being done in the off season when I get to walk out the door to go chase elk knowing that all my equipment is ready to go. I will even go as far as trying to get all my supplies like freeze dried meals, batteries, along with various other things restocked. This pre-planning prevents any last minute running around I will have to do in the rare chance I forgot something, or at least keep it to a minimum.
Hunting in the west means we don’t always know where we are going to hunt right away, we have to wait for those dreaded or exciting draw dates to come around. Even though I may not know if I will draw a tag or even in what unit, I still use this opportunity to do some scouting in the units that I have applied for. I already have an idea of where it is that I want to check out for hunting before I even put in for the draw. I then travel to those areas to do some shed hunting, which is a great by product for scouting, and look for terrain features that may be beneficial during my hunt. I look at the saddles in between mountains, low land that may hold water with enough ran, and look for benches that may contain those old weary bulls. Not only do I look for spots for elk, I am also looking for spots to camp on these upcoming fall hunts. I always try and look for a primary and secondary spot for each location I may hunt because you never know when someone gets there before you do.
The primary purpose about sharing this short blog on things for the off season is to tell you to take advantage of it. With being pro-active in the off season by doing gear prep, scouting, practicing your shooting among many other things, you can help ensure you are prepared when the hunt comes around. Being prepared for the hunt will usually equate to success in filling your tag because you have done your homework and are prepared. So get out there and enjoy your “off season.”