Hunting

Off-Season Checklist for Hunters

The off-season can be a rough time for big game hunters. When you spend a great deal of your time and energy chasing elusive game, time flies and you sure are having fun. But when the season comes to an end, even if it does so successfully, it’s over in the blink of an eye and we’re left to wonder “what now?” If you suffer from this type of affliction you are not alone. Your season is over until next year but that doesn’t mean you are done hunting. Hunting is a way of life. It includes off-season activities that further your chance of success for the next time you set foot in the woods. Here are a few you should be all about.

Trail Cam

You’ll never know what’s out there if you don’t get off the couch. That is true during the hunt but even more so during the off-season. That’s because the off-season is when you should be either finding new spots or studying the way that the animals in your pre-chosen spot are reacting to seasonal changes. This is basic scouting. But we don’t always have a great deal of time to scout. Your trail cameras do though. They don’t have to worry about other responsibilities and can sit in one place to observe animals and habitat when you can’t. The off-season is the perfect time to put out your cams and gain useful information on your hunting grounds.

Bullet Evaluation

Most hunters know that the type of bullet you choose to use is critical in terms of making a clean and ethical kill. Knowing how your bullet performs is absolutely key. This is even more important for those who handload. The off-season is a great time to work up new loads, experiment with different types of ammunition, or study the way in which your previous season’s bullet performed. If you managed to retrieve the bullet you shot into an animal, try weighing it on a scale and checking how much of the initial mass was retained after penetration. Take notes.

Gear or Weapons Upgrades

The off-season is a great time to geek-out on gear. If you are going to make any upgrades to your kit, the off-season is definitely the time to do so. New scopes, new binos, definitely new rifles should be put through the paces during the time when you are not needing to be in the field. Maybe it’s time to add that muzzle break you always wanted, or perhaps it is time to upgrade your rangefinder. Whatever the case, make sure to do it during this period of time so as not to suffer the consequences later.

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