Minnesota’s Bear hunting season — just a short 8 weeks away. Archery deer and small game hunting seasons — a modest 11 weeks away. Waterfowl and pheasant hunting seasons — only 13 and 14 weeks away, respectively. And, of course, Minnesota’s firearms deer hunting season — a mere 18 weeks away. Indeed, with the days of summer already growing shorter in terms of daylight hours, are you getting prepared to maximize your enjoyment for the upcoming hunting seasons?
Here’s a few quick pointers ensuring you’re on track to experience a great 2009 fall hunt:
- Get Physical. For many this might mean starting to work some moderate exercise into your daily routine to get into better shape to hike the sloughs, climb the trees and, in general, enjoy the fall fun. For others this might even mean first seeing a doctor to ensure you have no underlying medical conditions that warrant treatment. The point is, more hunters die of heart disease and stroke each year while hunting than they do from accidental gunshot wounds. It’s your responsibility to make sure your body is up to the physical challenge.
- Check Your Eyes. Not hitting those flushing roosters with the same consistency you experienced a few years ago? Is it getting more difficult all the time to peer into that scope on your deer gun? Have those ducks wingin’ overhead suddenly given you a greater challenge in either identifying or sexing? It might be time to get your eyes checked — especially if it’s been over two years since your last eye examination. Good vision is too important for the hunter to neglect it.
- Get Familiar. If you’re bowhunting this fall you should already be target practicing several times each week conditioning your arm and chest muscles. Planning to use new equipment? Now is the best time to gain that important familiarity with the equipment through repetitive practice. No matter if you gun or archery hunt during the fall, the efforts you put forth now practicing will surely make for better results come the fall hunting season.
- Take Inventory. Remember how those waders used last year in the duck marsh had a slow leak? Yeah, maybe it’s time to get a new pair or at the very least find the tear and repair the old ones. This is the perfect time to reflect on how last year’s hunt went and then take note of what new equipment or repairs might need to be made before the next hunting season gets underway.
- Don’t Forget The Dog. If you spend time upland bird or waterfowl hunting with a canine partner you have an enormous responsibility ensuring that BOTH of you are prepared for the season. If you haven’t done so recently, take the dog to the vet for a health check-up, shots and preventative medication. Of course, that’s the easy part…you’ll also want to be working often and regularly with the dog to fine-tune those hunting and obedience commands. The training efforts you put forth now will pay off later by minimizing frustration during the hunting season.
- Start Scheduling. These days its seems everyone leads a busy personal life. If you haven’t already done so, now is a great time to talk with your hunting partners and begin scheduling those hunting adventures together afield. Get specific dates blocked out on everyone’s calendar to better prepare for the group hunting fun.
© 2009 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.