What are you going to do on your long Memorial Day weekend? Here are some suggestions.
Memorial Day usually marks the first real opportunity we have to get outside, enjoy some fresh air, and reenter the wilderness with all the goings on of spring in the outdoors. What’s that? You don’t have plans yet? We’ll help with these 12 suggestions.
1. Bowfish for carp
Plenty of folks will hit the water in search of game fish, but you can switch it up by bowfishing for the now-infamous Asain carp, an invasive species that’s doing more harm than good.
2. Plant a food plot
Why not use this time to prepare for the fall hunting season? Planting a food crop in the spring will ideally set up a nice buffet when it comes time to target big bucks.
3. Hit the shooting range
Grab a box of ammo and your trusty gun, and head to the shooting range for an afternoon of triggers and targets. If you got a new hunting firearm after the season was through (and the prices dropped), getting familiar with it now will pay dividends.
4. Test a new lure
Sometimes anglers can get stuck in their ways of using the same lure over and over, without varying things enough to be effective. Gimmicks and duds exist, don’t let that stop you from grabbing one or two new models and giving them a whirl.
5. Hunt a hog
In most places hog hunting is legal, there isn’t a set season for their harvest. If you don’t have a place to do it, there’s little difficulty in finding landowners who want hogs gone, and will offer up as many hunting chances as you like.
6. Go on a hike close to home
There are almost always good hiking spots close to urban and suburban areas. Maybe they aren’t challenging, exhilarating elevation changes to spectacular views, but they’re likely good for kids and won’t take hours to reach.
7. Camp out
Even though camping grounds across the country will be packed over the holiday weekend, there are still ways to enjoy a night in a tent and a campfire-cooked meal. Heck, even if you do it in your backyard, you’re still technically outdoors.
8. Visit a State or National Park
Some parks have holiday discounts for entry fees, as well as special events like guided hikes and wildlife watching tours.
9. Try tenkara fishing
If you’ve conquered baitcasting, nailed spinning and gotten pretty good at fly fishing, tenkara should be next on your list.
10. Volunteer at a wildlife center
This may not technically get you outdoors, but if you’re contributing to the well-being of animals that call the wilderness home, you’re completely excused.
11. Take a kid fishing
School’s out on Monday, so take the opportunity to bring some youngsters out on the lake or river to catch a few fish.
12. Hunt for mushrooms and other foraged edibles
Now is the season for morel mushrooms, along with a plethora of other foraged edibles.
13. Try geocaching
Geocaching has caught on big time among outdoorsmen. It involves using a GPS to locate hidden containers, or “caches,” and has proven to be one of the fastest growing outdoor recreational activities there are.
14. Noodle for catfish
If you’ve never caught a gigantic catfish with your bare hands, now’s the time to start!
15. Clean up a trail or a beach
Even if it isn’t part of an organized event, taking some time to clear litter, repair trails, or generally spruce up an outdoor area is one of the best ways to spend a morning.
16. Ride a tram or gondola to the top of a mountain
Ski slopes or other winter attractions in the mountains typically remain open and offer roundtrips to the top.
17. Just go outside!
Seriously, take a walk, ride a bike, sit in a park or lean against a tree. Just don’t stay inside, whatever you do, and be sure to enjoy the wide open spaces in one way or another.