LAST UPDATED: June 24th, 2020
Your deer tags have been filled, and you’re doing your best to fight off cabin fever as you impatiently wait the arrival of the next hunting season. We have all faced the off-season blues at one point in time.
With many fall big-game seasons squarely in the rear-view mirror, and time left to kill before breaking out the turkey vest and box call, we as outdoorsmen and women, seek to fill the remaining void.
Although activities of the outdoor variety can be sparse during this time of the year, there is plenty to keep the anxious among us busy, if one simply knows where to look. Here are 5 ways for bowhunters to beat cabin fever.
1. Small Game Bowhunting
The time between big game seasons provides an ample amount of opportunity for small game and non-game bowhunting opportunities.
Squirrel, rabbit, birds, and predators typically help extend through the winter and into the spring of the year in many states, offering bowhunters a multitude of opportunities to go afield and hone their skills.
Bowhunting small game creates an ideal atmosphere for testing your merit as an archer. Squirrels and rabbits offer a minute target, leaving little room for error when sending an arrow downrange.
Couple this with these species reluctance to remain in a singular location for more than a few moments, and you have the makings of an enjoyable, yet challenging hunt, that will test even the most experienced bowhunter’s ability.
2. Join an Archery League
If old man winter has forced your hasty retreat indoors to a more hospitable environment, why not spend your time under roof fine-tuning your shooting prowess?
If you think this sounds like an enjoyable way to beat the off-season blues, look no further than your local archery pro-shop.
Most of these shops offer indoor league shoots during the duration of the winter and spring months, allowing continual self-improvement, spurred on by a little friendly competition.
Vegas and 5-Spot leagues, among others, are prominent enough in most areas that an archer seldom has to drive more than a handful of miles to find an opportunity to get involved.
Shoots of this nature keep an individual steadfast in their resolve to consistently improve in their archery endeavors, thereby polishing one’s skills along the way.
The enjoyment of shooting in a league setting will quench your thirst for activity, and leave late winter boredom in the past.
3. Try Traditional Archery
Are you a compound bow shooter that has always pondered on the prospect of giving traditional archery a try? If so, then there is no time like the present to take the leap.
By picking up a recurve bow during the late winter or early spring months, you allow yourself the better portion of a year to conquer the learning curve associated with this change of equipment before the coming fall’s archery season begins.
Purchasing a traditional bow, at this point in the year, also offers the distinct advantage of allowing an individual to catch potential year-end sales.
As archery shops seek to liquidate the previous season’s inventory, many of these particular items, including traditional bows, experience a dip in sticker price.
An individual that is in the right place at the right time often find themselves as the benefactor to a deal of a lifetime, stemming from an archery shop’s insistence on moving product and freeing up rack space.
4. Plan a Future Hunting Trip
When the opportunities to go afield dwindle, but your hunting passion is still burning with vigor, why not begin researching and putting plans together for the out-of-state hunt that you have always dreamed of.
Maybe it is a DIY elk hunt, or possibly a trip to the fabled whitetail destination of your dreams. No matter the circumstances, no trip planned in haste ever goes over free of debacle.
Therefore, there is no better time to get the ball rolling on such preparations, as when the current moment is void of adventure and boredom has taken hold
Checking on license and tag requirements, printing maps for reference, and studying outfitter reviews can all be a wise way to spend a Saturday afternoon if a trip of this nature is in the cards.
After all, it is virtually impossible to be bored when you are planning the hunt of a lifetime.
5. Join the Cause
As any hunter quickly becomes aware, camaraderie is a cornerstone of hunting culture and is the tie that binds among all like-minded individuals.
The strength of hunters joined together as a cohesive unit is precisely what will keep our heritage alive, and protect our cherished pursuits from anti-hunting lobbyists that would like nothing more than to see it snuffed out in its entirety.
This vast importance that is placed upon maintaining a unified front highlights the importance of conservation organizations such as Whitetails Unlimited, QDMA, NWTF, and RMEF.
If the post-season winter blues have you down, look up local events hosted by any of these organizations, and plan to get involved.
Go check out a seminar, hit up a banquet, or volunteer to assist with a field day.
In doing so, you will not only meet an extensive number of like-minded individuals and make lasting friendships, but you will be helping to protect our future as a whole as well.
Curing Cabin Fever - Conclusion
If the off-season blues have set in around your house, start thinking outside the box to get your hunting fix during the slow season. With a little bit of abstract thinking, your next adventure can likely be found just beyond your doorstep.