Serious hunters know that the prep work you do in the off season determines the success of your hunting season. The hot winds of summer are rolling in and that means it’s time to kick your prep work into high gear. Here are five things you can do over the summer to set yourself up for success.
Monitor Your Herd
Now is the time to analyze your trail cameras. The patterns you observe now will be important indicators as to what kind of herd you’ll have in the fall. Note the buck to doe ratio. This will be important to know when rut season rolls around. If your herd is heavily buck-dominated, the rut season may be more intense than if it is doe-dominated. More bucks means more fighting over the small population of does.
Monitoring herd behavior now will give you a chance to change your Stump blind location without having to worry about disturbing the herd. You should still mask your scent whenever possible, but pressure on the herd is more forgiving in the off season. If you want to move your blind to be closer to the action, you can. The ski base of our blinds like the Stump 4 ‘Scout’ makes it easy to move across your property with just an ATV.
Use the off-season to hunt predators like coyotes and bobcats. This will put wild game on your table and help control outside threats to your deer population: two birds with one stone. Hunting predators will keep you in good shape over the summer so you can go into deer hunting season warmed up and ready to go.
Feed the Herd
Summer is an important time for herd growth. Newborn fawns are growing rapidly and need the does to be healthy to produce nutrient-rich milk. Fawns, does, and bucks will all benefit from a mineral enhanced water supply like our Wild Water® Mineral Supplement.
Check your equipment and bring it in to your local archery shop if it needs a tune-up. Take inventory of the gear you have and what you need to get before hunting season. Do it during the summer so that you have plenty of time. You don’t want to be in a rush the week before the season opens.
Check on your Stump blind. If you left it at your hunting spot at the end of the previous season, make sure it’s clear of any bushes or other foliage that may have grown around it. Start clearing the path that you will use during hunting season. Set your blind up if you haven’t already. You should make any big changes to the terrain and environment now, so the deer have time to get used it before hunting season.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Keep your archery skills sharp and continue practicing during the off season. Practice at your local archery range or in your backyard. If you want to get some real experience in the woods, set up some 3D targets and practice from your Stump blind. Practice from as many different angles as you can to simulate real scenarios. Practice shooting from each window of the blind. Switch up your shots between sitting and standing to become comfortable with the range of motion for each.
Some of the most important work of the hunting season is done in spring and summer. Take this time to hunt predators, feed and monitor your herd, repair your equipment, and practice your archery technique from your Stump blind. If you put in the work now, you’ll see the results this fall.
What steps are you taking now to prep for the fall hunting season? Let us know how you spend the off season in the comments below!