Things to do in the Off Season

  1. Learn new skills-You can learn a new way to start a fire if you need to in an emergency or if you just want to look cool around deer camp.  Try picking up a book on survival or read a blog or hell, even watch a Youtube video if you have a short attention span.
  2. Hone your marksmanship skills- Yeah I know we’re all Carlos Hathcock’s in our own minds but in reality, I see more people miss every year because they dont practice the Principles_of_Marksmanship.  By the way click that link for a good PDF on Marksmanship, I used when I taught BRM.
  3. Maintain Equipment-Sighting in rifles, Bows and Pistols should not be something you do at the last minute, you can reconfirm zero but the off season when the weather is nice is the perfect time to zero.  You should also set up your pop up blinds and lay everything out to make sure you know where everything is going to be.
  4. Break in new Equipment- Dont buy a new pair of boots a week before the season starts and go on an Alaska hunting trip, buy them in the summer and try wearing them to work or with jeans to break them in.  I used to do it when I got a new pair of boots in the Army, I’d rotate my everyday boots to my field boots and but new office boots.  It works well.  You can also try out new insoles if you want so you dont get blisters.
  5. Spend time with your family- Spending time with the family will go a long way when a last minute trip comes up such as when you finally get that tag you have been hoping for all your life or you get a chance to hunt when someone drops out.  A week of family time equals about a weekend of hunting time BTW
  6. Optics-yes those grungy things you see smoky deer images through.  Clean the optics, dry lube the dials and cap them with either the caps they came with or a Scope Jacket style neoprene cover, keeps the dust off and makes life easier, oh yeah dont forget the Anti-Fog treatment, I still use OP Drops but there are probably better things out there.
  7. Call Outfitters and Interview them for the next year- Outfitters for once in a lifetime hunts are too busy during the season to answer a bunch of questions so dont bother them, a grumpy one might take it out on you during the hunt. I’m going to write about this one later so stay tuned.
  8. Make a packing list- I know a list about making a list, how stupid. I can tell you that since I started making packing lists for hunts, I have forgotten less things and been much better prepared, who wants to go on a 2 week hunt that they forgot clean socks for?  Sock article to follow, not kidding, its on my list.
  9. Evaluate Gear- Buying a new pair of Sub Zero coveralls? July is not the time to test them but that Solar panel to charge your two way radios or that new GPS, great time to get to know it, not a day before you leave.  I have seen so many guides trying to figure things out during a hunt that they should have known how to use that its almost not funny.  How many things did you stop trying to use during the season that your sure would have worked great if you only knew how to use them?
  10. Relax-Get out and hike, camp and fish- Its summer time, the perfect time to get out in the beautiful world and relax.  dont underestimate the power of relaxation.
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