I completely realize that depending upon where you reside in the country hunting and fishing can be a year-long activity. But let’s face it…here in the upper Midwest when the cold winds of January begin to blow strong the options for outdoorsy things to do can get somewhat more limited.
Oh, sure, I understand predator hunting is just cranking up. And yes…I am fully aware that the ice fishing season is just getting going for many anglers. Likewise, chasing bunnies with beagles or some midwinter trapping also holds possibilities for this time of the year.
Still, there are those winter days when the body yearns for a nice indoor project huddled near the fire. Here’s a few ideas of things I like to do during some of my idle time in the mid-winter season:
- Clean and Maintain Guns — I usually spend the better portion of a day going through and tearing down, if necessary, all of my guns for a proper cleaning. I check things over for worn or missing parts, I use the proper lubricant on all mechanisms, and in general I ensure it will go back into my safe in a rust-fighting condition. This is also a good time of the year to get those guns needing professional repair in for service. On the other hand, if guns aren’t your thing this same principle for maintenance holds true for archery gear or for any outdoor investment requiring routine attention. One final thought…this is also a good time to take a photo inventory of all your equipment for insurance purposes. I take a picture and include the serial number right on the picture.
- Start Planning For Next Season — Believe it or not, in the outdoors world there are deadlines to apply for hunts nearly all the time. Make sure the hunting or fishing activity you want to embark on next season doesn’t have a fast-approaching application deadline. January is the perfect time to browse those department of fish and game websites to become better acquainted with the rules and the process.
- Build Some Birdhouses — I’ve found that one of the best ways to foster enthusiasm for conservation with kids is to spend time building bird houses together. Not only does it help develop certain craftsman skills, but the project can also be quite rewarding when the youth actually sees nature using something they built with their own hands.
- Attend A Sports Show — I know during the upcoming several weeks until spring there is at least a dozen sportsman and outdoor shows I can attend within an hour’s drive of my home. I’m guessing there’s plenty of opportunities for shows in your area, too. Check your newspaper’s listings for such upcoming events.
- Try A New Recipe — C’mon, you have all that wild game in the freezer. Be bold and make a commitment to try something new. Whether it be a new chili recipe, a novel new way to prepare a venison roast, or heck…maybe you’ll try to delicately smoke some pheasant breasts. Now is the time to once and for all attempt that wild game or fish recipe you’ve always wanted to try…but were too busy to mess with at other times during the year.
How about you? What types of indoor sportsman related activities do you like to engage in during the winter. I’d like to hear just how many other good ones I missed. Leave a comment below.
©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.