The off season can create a lull in the excitement for the next hunting season, but it doesn’t have to. The off season can be an exciting time for preparation and groundwork for the season ahead. The off season is only boring if you let it be boring. Check out our tips below for plenty of ways to fill your time during the off season and prepare for the upcoming season, which will be here before you know it.
Make sure you’re keeping your skills sharp this summer and keep practicing. Visit your local archery range or practice in your backyard if it’s safe and you have the proper room. It would also be beneficial to practice from an elevated position if you plan on elevating your Stump blind. Shooting from an elevated angle requires a specific skillset that you’ll need to hone before the season opens. You have to account for the height of your blind and calculate it against how far away the deer is, according to your rangefinder. This will give you the right distance from the elevated position.
2. Gear Check
Make sure you gear is in top shape before the season opens. If you think you need to adjust your draw weight, make sure you do that now so that you can practice with the new weight before you go on an active hunt. Take your bow in for a tune up if you think your bowstrings are frayed or anything is out of alignment. Now is also the time to get new gear if you’re looking to upgrade. If you get your new gear now, you’ll have plenty of time to practice with it before opening day.
3. Set up Food Sources
If it’s legal to provide supplemental feeding in your area, set up your Feedbank Gravity Deer Feeder or create your food plots now. You’ll want to start feeding the herd now so they can get used to the food before winter. A deer’s body can’t handle a drastic change in diet during the winter months, so make sure you’re feeding them now. If you feed them now, they’ll be able to keep coming to your property for food during the winter months, which will create a year-round dependency.
4. Scout Blind Locations
Now is also a great time to scout out locations for your Stump blind. Make sure they’re close to your food and water sources, but not too close. You want to make sure there will be room for the deer to travel between the locations because that is where you’ll hunt the deer. You don’t want to hunt directly on top of a food or water source, so position your Stump blind close enough to place yourself on their route, but not so close you pressure what should be safe spaces.
5. Review a Map
Take a look at the most current map of your chosen hunting area. Note any topographical changes from last year. If you hunt private land, check and see if the landowner has cleared any trees or made any other changes to the landscape. An area that may have been covered last year might now be an open clearing.
Hunting season opens in Minnesota on Sept. 17, just three short months away. Now is the time to lay the groundwork for a successful hunting season. If you make sure your equipment is season-ready and create a hunt plan, you’ll be ready for the big opening day in September.
How do you survive the off season? Share how you stay busy during the off season in the comments below!