With the month of January coming to a close, the majority of deer hunting opportunities across most of the country will come to an end. For many, that means a transition to other things, like preparing for turkey season, fishing, or catching up on chores at the house. Anything that’ll deliver a break from deer season. But savvy deer hunters know that the pursuit never really ends. There’s always work to be done in preparation for success in the future.
The good news is, not all hunting chores have to be laborious. There are plenty of chores that are actually enjoyable that’ll help refuel the fire after a long hunting season. Here’s a look at some post-season “chores” that are actually fun.
Most states across the country have very liberal bag limits and seasons when it comes to predator hunting. In fact, many states allow the hunting of predators like coyote, year round. And the months following deer season can be some of the best of the year for making it happen.
There’s been plenty of discussion and debate over the impact coyotes have on the local deer and turkey populations. But regardless of which side of the debate you find yourself on, there’s no denying that a few less coyotes running around on the farm you hunt will help some of the other game animals that make their home there as well.
Coyotes love to eat deer and turkey as much as we do. They need to be managed. Now is a great time to work on the predator management chores on the properties you hunt.
Keep in mind, predator management isn’t limited to critters like coyotes, fox and bobcats. Coons, possums, and skunks do their fair share of damage as well, particularly in the form of nest predation. Trapping is one of the fun and exciting chores to tackle during the month of February as we head toward the arrival of turkey season.
These nest predators can wreak havoc on turkey populations, so thinning the numbers through trapping is another piece of the management puzzle that helps give your birds a boost when they begin to establish nests.
Pulling Camera Cards
Checking trail cameras and pulling SD cards can be about as exciting as Christmas morning, particularly when you’re keeping tabs on a homegrown hit list buck. But it’s all the more exciting, and maybe nerve racking, to pull these cards in the post-season in an effort to take inventory of the survivors.
What bucks made it through another season? What bucks will you be adding to your hit list for next year? Take the time to gather intel now to fuel the preparation efforts that’ll get you through to the fall season.
Delivering Gifts/Meat to Landowners
Now is a great time to catch up with landowners and give a post-season report on how things went down. They like to hear how their farm produced for you and your family. Honesty and openness goes a long way with landowners.
Share photos of success. Let them see the smiles from family and memories made. And don’t forget to share in the bounty of meat taken from their land, or elsewhere. The giving of meat or other gifts of appreciation aren’t expected from the landowner, but will be very much appreciated.
Buy/Research New Hunting Gear
Your spouse may roll their eyes at the idea of calling the purchase of new gear a chore, but let’s be honest. It can be tough. And it’s time consuming, when it comes to researching the best of the best in bows, accessories, and other gear.
But it’s a labor of love for most hunters. The planning and preparation of gear is what helps us make it from season to season. The excitement of experimenting with new gear is hard to beat. What will you add or replace in your bag of tools and tricks this season? Now is the time to figure it all out. It’s a tough chore, but somebody’s gotta do it!
Plan a Travel Hunt
Another chore that most any hunter will jump at is to plan an out of state hunt. It really doesn’t matter if you’re going to a neighboring state, or across the country. The planning and preparation process for an upcoming hunt is a super exciting off-season endeavor that must be done, sooner than later.
Where will you be going this fall? Is there an application process for non-resident tags? What are the deadlines for applying for these tags? Have you researched travel expenses, lodging, or truck camping options? Gather up the guys, and start working on the plans! This is one of the fun, and time consuming, chores on the list.
Shoot Your Bow
Some hunters shoot their bow every day and would hardly consider it a chore. But those same guys would likely admit that staying proficient enough to be a stone cold killer with your bow takes work.
For others, it’s likely been awhile since the last practice session on the range. Now is the time to knock the rust off, get your body back in shape, and find that smooth shooting form you perfected prior to hunting season.
Now is a great time to add a new target to the backyard range. Try something different. Make it unique. Spice up the fun to keep things challenging and engaging. The beauty of archery and bowhunting is that it continues to deliver a timeless challenge we never seem to grow out of.
Deer season may be over, but now is not the time to get lazy. It’s time to do work! Make the most of the days ahead to knock out the chores on our list above. It’s a fun way to stay ahead of the game and be better prepared when the season rolls around again.