Prepare for deer season this summer without wasting your time or money.
The off-season months of January through August can be torture for a die-hard deer hunter. There is nothing quite like the crisp feel of opening day as fall rolls around. It's exhilarating and exciting for those who live to hunt.
Similarly, there is nothing quite as sad as the last day of season when it's time to pack up all your hunting gear and say goodbye for another year.
Must-See Deer Video
Luckily, there are quite a few ways for a devoted hunter to use the off season as a basis for a successful, upcoming hunting season. Deer hunting isn't just about the time spent from opening day to that last hunt. Preparation spent in the offseason is crucial and can make all the difference between bagging that giant buck and coming home empty handed.
The following tips are meant to take offseason preparation to a whole new level and give committed hunters just a little more of an advantage than their unprepared peers.
Yard sales aren't typically thought of as a place to find deer hunting accessories. The two just don't seem to fit. However, a smart hunter realizes summer is the best time to come across expensive hunting gear at a fraction of the cost. Weekend hunters don't think of hunting in the summer. When the weather is hot and the sun is bright, these hunters and their wives only see camouflage clutter taking up space in the garage or closet.
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Often, camo clothes or hunting gear fall victim to yard sale mania or retail discounts, and ends up selling for cheap. It's up to a prep savvy hunter to take the time to go looking for these bargains in the offseason. True hunters know it's all about getting the right gear at the right price. To an average bargain hunter, a thermal parka and insulated boots may not seem like a good buy in the heat of the summer. To a hunter who is thinking of that opening morning set up, it is the perfect buy.
Food Plots & Trail Cams
Of course, the offseason isn't all about shopping for hunting stuff. There is more to preparing than just buying everything in sight. For those who have all the guns and gear they can handle and even those who don't, getting out in the field to plant food plots or set up trail cams is taking vital steps to prepare for opening day.
Food plots take a lot of work. However, once the work is done and the sweat has dried, the fall and winter payoff of a food plot makes it all worthwhile. Before and after the rut, food is a deer's main concern. For the hunter who sweats in the summer to offer that food source in the dead of winter, success on the hunt is more easily attained.
Just as food plots offer an advantage before and after the rut, so do trail cams. Trail cams are technology's way of treating hunters to field insights unheard of just twenty years ago. Now you can see the buck of your dreams before you ever actually see the buck.
Where hunters used to rely on simply scouting and luck, they now have the advantage of the ingenious trail camera to supply pictures and even videos of elusive whitetails on the move. Spending the summer checking and moving trail cams can show hunters the travel patterns and habits of the best whitetails in their area. With a little summer planning and hiking time, trail cams can be one of the best tools in a hunter's arsenal
Even dedicated hunters can easily forget about hunting in the offseason. It's hard to think about crisp December mornings when the temperature is scorching. However, taking the time and initiative to proactively work toward next season can make all the difference between a stellar season and an average one.
This summer, in your free time, spend a little preparing to reap the rewards of a hunting season built on preparation, not just luck.