I’m already counting down the days til next season and my mind is swimming with new ideas, changes in my strategies and big expectations. But the truth of it is, we’ve all got a long time to wait til we get another chance to hunt whitetails! But as many of us know, the season isn’t really over, it’s just beginning. So if you’re starting to get that cabin fever, try one of the activities below to get out of the house and get your 2011 season started on the right foot!
1. Get out to your hunting land and scout. Now is one of the absolute best times to scout because you can see tracks and beds easily in the snow, you can hike into those sanctuaries and bedding areas and you can still easily see much of last year’s rut sign. Explore your hunting areas, takes notes and use this data next year to better understand your deer herd.
2. Bundle up and shoot your bow or gun. It’s always a good idea to practice with your bow in hunting conditions and now is a great time to practice for next fall/winter in your hunting clothes. A little physical activity and target practice will do your mind and body good.
3. Start shed hunting. Most bucks shed their antlers between the end of January and March, so get outside and start hiking. Search popular late season food sources and then slowly work trails back to their bedding areas. Take an extra look in areas like fence or creek crossings, lone evergreens and south facing slopes.
4. Go to a deer hunting convention. Show season is kicking off across the country and it marks an exciting time of year for many of us. Google “deer hunting convention Michigan” for example, and get information on the show nearest you. These conventions are a great place to meet new hunting friends, see the newest gear, book trips and get expert hunting advice.
5. Join an archery league. This won’t get you outside, but it will get you out of the house. Joining a winter archery league is a great way to continue your practice, while also making you improve your high pressure shooting!
6. Go coyote hunting! A fun reason to go outdoors, these winter months can be great for calling in coyotes and this is a great opportunity to take out a few predators and help out your upcoming fawn crop.
7. Do some chores for your significant other! After three months or more of non-stop hunting, this might be a good time to make up for lost time and earn some brownie points with your lady (or man, parents, etc)!
Have any other suggested tips for dealing with cabin fever? Share them in the comments!