The smoking hot days of summer are finally here. With temperatures rising and the mosquitoes buzzing, it’s hard to get motivated to venture too far into the woods to prepare for hunting season, but there is work to be done. In fact, for some deer hunters, deer season will kick off in less than 90 days. So don’t put it off! Here’s a look at the summertime chores for deer season that you need to tackle sooner than later.
I actually like to trim shooting lanes and travel trails before things green back up, but I’m usually too busy chasing turkeys. The next best time is early summer. It’s also a good time because you’ll be able to see exactly what foliage might be blocking your shot or visibility in the woods or around fields. The key is to not wait until the week before season. Knock it out early so the deer have time to adjust and get back to their routine after you’ve made adjustments to the timber and stunk the place up.
Be sure to replace stands that are in need of repair or that have become questionable in their stability. Check for any damage in straps, chains, ropes, or wielding on the stand itself. I like to get my ladder stands in place sooner than later as well. Again, this gives the deer time to acclimate to the changes around their bedroom.
Shoot Your Gun
Shooting your gun seems like a no-brainer, but the vast majority of hunters won’t touch their weapon until a few days before the season opens. Practice shooting your gun during the summer. It’ll improve your skills, keep you sharp and help you stayed focused for opening day.
Clean Your Gun
Whether you’ve just finished practicing with your gun, or haven’t touched it since last season, summertime is a great time to get your gun cleaned up and ready to hit the woods. We’re often guilty of wiping down the exterior of the gun with a little oil and calling it good. But make sure you clean and lube all the working parts of the gun, inside and out, to keep it performing flawlessly when it’s time to step into the woods this season.
Show Some Love to Your Landowners
If you don’t have property to hunt when hunting season rolls around, all the other prep work will be in vain. That’s why it’s so important to show some love to the landowners that allow you to hunt their property. Take some time to help out on the farm. Cleaning trails, mending fences, or simply helping with yard work will go a long way towards keeping a solid relationship. A few gifts of appreciation aren’t a bad idea either. Share some of the wild game you took off their property if they’d care for the meat. Otherwise, buy them a gift card for dinner somewhere around town. Again, it’s a simple gesture that can prove to be a big investment in showing the landowner how much you appreciate the opportunity to hunt their land.
Take Inventory with Trail Cameras
Deer antler growth is coming on strong during the summer months making it a great time to get trail cameras out to begin taking inventory of what bucks are hanging out on your property. Will you have the same bucks hanging out on the farm again this year? Are there some new players showing up? You’ll get a much better idea of what you have on the property when you’re running trail cameras across your farm. So load the cameras up with fresh batteries and SD cards and get them in place to begin taking inventory for opening day.
The season will be here before you know it!
Don’t find yourself in a scramble the week before season trying to get the hunting chores done. Take the time to get summertime hunting chores complete now and reap the benefits later. Enjoy your summer- shoot straight!