Not all hunting seasons come to an end successfully. Sometimes mother nature dishes out more than we can handle, other times we botch the stalk or the shot. It’s called hunting, not killing, and some seasons are better than others. If you punched your tag this season, congratulations and more power to you. But for those who came up empty and are looking at a big old bowl of tag soup, have no fear. We’ve cooked up a few ideas to help you take your loss like a man. Try these recipes, and keep your chin up.
Learn How to Hand Load
Maybe the reason your season ended without meat in the freezer and a smile on your face was a result of accuracy or a poorly placed shot. A great deal of accuracy fails are the result of human error, or more specifically, not-enough-trigger-time error. Some of it could also have to do with your choice of bullet and load. It may be time to make the leap and start loading your own ammunition. Loading your own ammo not only allows you more control over the round you are sending downrange, but the amount of money you save lets you shoot more. Sure, it can be a little intimidating, but modern bullet presses are both affordable and more user friendly than ever. Click here and check out our article on handloading to learn more about how to get into it.
Invest in Trapping
Trapping is a great way to stay active in the woods after general season hunting has concluded. It’s a good way to maintain contact with the landbase you are hunting on, and learn an entirely new outdoor skill. You may have to do a bit of digging around to learn more about this lost art, but that is part of the fun. To learn more about basic trap set up, check out our brief demo here. Also, for more information on how to get started, check out the National Trappers Association website http://www.nationaltrappers.com/ .
Get Ready for Winter Steelhead
Winter cometh. And if you’re like most outdoorsmen, it marks a time of hibernation for your seasonal endeavors of pursuit. It doesn’t have to though. Winter steelhead is a formidable and worthwhile challenge for any angler. This sometimes slept-on pastime is one that can bring both excitement and food to your days of tag-soup eating. Whether you’re chasing them from a drift boat, or bank fishing them in honey holes, there’s a reason steelhead are considered by many to be the hardest fighting freshwater fish on the planet. As with most fishing, tiny tricks of the trade are what the obsession is all about. Click here to check out a killer tip for winter steelhead bait that uses a bit of DIY skill. For more info and videos on steelhead fishing, go to http://www.steelheadstalkers.com/
Brew Your Own Cider
Okay, so maybe your hunting season ended so woefully that you need a stiff drink. It happens. And frankly there’s nothing more satisfying that drinking brew that you’ve taken the time to make yourself. Sure, brewing your own hard cider can sound little complicated, but it’s really not. A small upfront investment in apple juice, a carbouy and some wine yeast will have you five gallons deep in your own brand of special soda … enough to take away the woes of your crummy season long enough for you to forget about that empty freezer. To learn how to brew your own hard cider easily and with minimal equipment, check out our article on DIY Hard Cider here.
Nothing ensures a better season next time like more knowledge to go with your skillsets. And there’s no better way to up your game-getting techniques than good old-fashioned reading. Or maybe you’re done pondering the ins and outs of hunting and foraging for a bit, how about brushing up on your survival IQ and basic firearms knowledge? You’re never too old to add more tools to the toolbox and with winter on the way, a good book may be just what the doctor ordered to cure that tag soup hangover. Click here for a short list of good stuff to help you select a solid read.