By Aaron Farley:

Ok, can I be honest with you? I’m dying. Sometimes I worry that I am too addicted to this hunting thing. If it has been a while since I’ve been in the woods chasing an animal I want to eat, I get a twitch. All I can think about are Deer, Rabbits, Ducks, Doves and a searing hot grill. Another confession – I wouldn’t mind some nice head gear again this year either. I’m sure you have no idea what it’s like, but that is where I’m at with this thing.

When this condition gets inflamed, I have a few choices. One, I could go hunt something illegally. Not a great plan. Two, I could pay lots of money to travel somewhere exotic and hunt something. Not an option for me. Third, I could go crazy. I’m hoping to pass that one by. What to do?

Maybe I’ll watch hunting shows 24-7, shoot my bow until the string burns up, or put on my camo spot-n-stalking the guys at work for practice? I’ve got to do something or my wife is going to kick me out of the house to live in the woods. While that may sound like a good short-term plan, I don’t think it’s a good thing in the end. I don’t want my attempt to appease my hunting addiction to leave me “living in a van down by the river.”

In my efforts to curb the insanity, I came up with a list of 30 things that I can do to help scratch the itch until September finally arrives. Hope they help you too…

1. Put on my camo and take test pictures in different environments.
2. Practice shooting from difficult angles and positions.
3. Climb a couple different size trees with my climber, to the point I am comfortable climbing in the dark.
4. Check my boot insoles for wear.
5. Simplify my hunting pack, removing excess gear.
6. Update my hunting gear storage system (3 Rubbermaid totes).
7. Watch Robin Hood with my 3 boys, with our shirts off, eating popcorn.
8. Stich any briar/fence tears in my hunting pants from last year.
9. Break in any new hunting clothing before season.
10. Sharpen all hunting knives (make sure I have extra blades for my Havalon).
11. Load up enough rifle rounds to get me well into the season.
12. Check sighting on my rifle & bow.
13. Wear full camo, black face-paint and sunglasses to go buy Duck Dynasty t-shirts at Walmart, on Friday at 7pm.
14. Replace batteries on electronics (flashlights, GPS, radio)
15. Pre-buy hunting/fishing license.
16. Read & re-read the new year’s DNR regulations.
17. Go fishing.
18. Deck out in camo and play hide-n-seek with the family.
19. Buy butcher paper and cling wrap, with anticipation.
20. Replace blades on my broadheads.
21. Check arrows for damage.
22. Cut & Fletch up some new arrows for reserves, as I’ll probably lose a few soon.
23. Put out minerals and cameras to check for deer populations (and raccoons).
24. Wash down hunting gear with scent-free detergent or carbon product.
25. Dawn a red flannel shirt, brimmed hat and re-watch the Fred Bear: Father of Bowhunting special.
26. Go to a local hunting pro shop and drool over cool gear I wish I could buy.
27. Hit a local 3D shoot and look for helpful pointers from experienced shooters.
28. Research potential hunting areas nearby current ones.
29. Write thank you letters and take a homemade gift (cookies/pie) to those who allow me to hunt their property.
30. Read articles and books to help get my mind ready for the season and sharpen my edge.
31. Sleep in on Saturdays, because that’s about to stop.

I know. There are 31, but I only promised 30 so consider that last one a free bonus! What did I forget? What are you doing now to get ready for hunting season? Just under 6 weeks until small game season opens here in GA and deer season isn’t too much farther away after that. How far away is yours?

Aaron Farley –