Yep, we hear this a lot: “This off season I’m going to put some new food plots in, try some new arrows out, find some new hunting ground, if I can get around to it.” However, if you are hungry and your goal is to get a mature buck each fall, there is no off season.
As I am sitting here writing this, it is May 3rd, 2023. I have just gotten back from recon trips to Ohio and Kentucky. On both of these trips I was acquiring new farms and getting them scouted and set up for a return trip in July to get cameras out and some stands hung.
When the actual hunting season ends, you just pivot to the next part of the season. In South Carolina for example, our season goes out January 1st, and once this happens I go in to equipment, access, improvement, and preparation season.
So, what does it take to stay on top of your craft in the non-hunting season? Testing, scouting, preparation, practice…training.
I want to test all the new bows, arrows, and broadheads; look at new stands, boots, camo, e-bikes, trail cameras, etc. A full review of all new products that have come out to see if there is anything that might give me an advantage next year.
Also, during this time of the year I am turning over every stone on any new piece of property I can get access to, permission to, lease, or in some cases even a small farm purchase. To kill a big one you have to be hunting on property they are going to be on, and you can never have enough good spots.
In conjunction with the above, I am improving the properties I have access to, mineral licks (where legal), food, creating funnels, tightening up funnels, picking new trees, tree prep, mock scrapes, and on and on it goes.
PRACTICE & PREPARATION
The other super important thing I am doing this time of the year is bow tuning, arrow building, and actual shooting practice. Real world shooting practice, out of stands, in the woods, bending over, awkward angles, over limbs, under limbs, in shooting lanes, everything you can do to create a real-world scenario.
If you implement this “off season” training into your process, I assure you that come October and November, you will be way ahead of the game.
Good luck boys!!
Tune in to Mission Whitetail to see what we are doing to keep sharp for the season.