Can you feel it? Hunting season is just around the corner! You’ve been shooting your crossbow or compound, practicing up for that moment a deer walks past. Are you actually ready, though?
Some things to keep in mind when you can’t get hunting whitetails out of your head:
1- Do I have a safety harness? If so, check its integrity and manufacturers label to ensure it will support you in event of a fall. If not, it’s time to head to your local sporting goods store and pick one up!
2- Do I have written documentation and proof of permission to hunt my private land parcels? It’s easy to get into the habit of assuming that a land owner who has allowed you to hunt their property for 20 years, but it is always a good idea, often times a law to have and keep written permission on your person while you’re in the woods. Ohio has a great document as an example, but you’ll want to check with local fish and game authorities in your region for specifics.
3- Are my stands secure? Double check the path to and from your stand to make sure there is nothing there that could cause a fall if you enter the woods before or leave the woods after dark. Make sure all straps, pegs, climbing sticks, etc. are secure and in good condition before you ever hunt that stand.
4- Do I have enough arrows? Do I have the right arrows for me and my bow? A quick trip to your local sporting goods store should do the trick. It’s a good idea to get your bow tuned up and given the once over before the season starts anyway to ensure that you’ll be as accurate and lethal as possible. Make sure they check the integrity of the limbs, string, cables, etc.
5- Do I have the right clothing? Nobody wants to be sitting in a tree on opening day wearing their insulated winter camouflage! Likewise, you sure don’t want to be caught on a bitter cold day with just your light-weight camouflage either. Double check and make sure you have suitable camouflage for each condition you might encounter: rain, wind, cold, snow, high temperatures, etc.
6- Will I need optics? If you think you’ll need optics, whether it’s binoculars, a spotting scope, or a shooting scope for your crossbow, rifle, etc., make sure it allows for a clear sight picture. Cloudy scopes, scope parallax, etc. will all hinder you in the field, so spend the extra buck and purchase solid optics!
7- Is my knife sharpened? One of the largest frustrations a hunter can have is a dull knife. After sitting patiently and waiting for just the right shot opportunity, executing perfectly, the last thing you want to hassle with is field dressing your harvest with a rusty, dull knife. Make sure your blade is sharp and ready to do the job.
Following these 7 tips will go a long way to ensuring that you have the most enjoyable, safe, and successful hunting season possible. Shoot straight!