Things To Do During The Off Season

If you are an outdoors person, there really is no “off season” though some people may like to fish but not hunt. However, in this article we will go over a couple thing to do during the the time where hunting or fishing may not be is season for you. It’s all about staying in the game.

Hunting

Sadly, there is a long period between hunting seasons. It is shorter if you take advantage of them all, but most people hunt deer, many hunt turkey, but most don’t hunt small game or birds. Even if you hunt all available seasons, you have most of the summer off. Sure there is plenty to do late spring through summer like fish, but we want to stay on top of our game. There is always something to do to prepare for the next hunting season.

Practice

I can’t say this enough, but you can never practice shooting enough. Be it your shotgun/rifle or bow, people get rusty. Besides that, things on your preferred hunting tools get out of wack as time goes on. Your scopes need adjusted and your sights get out of whack.

This is especially true if your getting new gear. Guns nor bow shoot the same and some will require a lot of adjustment to get them set up for personal preference. They say practice makes perfect, being fun is just a side advantage.

Heck, you can even start doing a buck shooting workout

Scout

Most people don’t scout at all. The ones who do, usually start scouting a month or so before the season. Scouting can and should be a never ending cycle. By scouting all year, you learn what is where at what times of year. How can not be a good thing. Knowing the woods you hunt is important and  knowing them like the back of your hand goves you an advantage.

You don’t need to go all in daily or even weekly to keep up on scouting. Taking walks through the woods every couple weeks not only helps you get familiar with the property, but is is also a relaxing exercise. What hunter doesn’t like spending time in the woods hanging out with nature? This is also a perfect time to get your kids out to enjoy and learn. Here are 21 Off-Season Tasks you should be doing.

You may also run into some sheds, they always make for a fun off season hunt!

Clean You Gear

I’m assuming that you have already cleaned your firearms for the year. If not, get it done. Dirty guns can quickly turn into down time, money and uselessness if left through the off season.

How about all your other hunting equipment? Is your bibs, duffel, etc sitting out in the garage? If so, gather them up, give them a good cleaning. After washing, gather them up and throw them in a garbage bag, add a couple handful of leaves and tie it up. This gets rid of all the smells from last year (cleaning deer), your garage and keeps them fresh smelling like the outdoors. Putting leaves in the bag just tops it off to make sure you smell like Mother Nature herself come next year.

Gear Up

During the off season is a good time to think about what you need. This gives you plenty of time to spread out your purchases over a long period of time.

Are your boots old and rank? Why not go ahead and get a new pair now? This will give them some time to get that “new shoe” smell off them. Get them and throw in a bag with leaves and tie it off.

How about ammo or arrows? Buy a little here and a little there now.

Since you will not be buying last minute, this gives you time to research and find sales on the gear you want.

If you have done all of that and still want to stay in hunting mode, check out some hunting games online to feed your addiction. They are quite fun.

Fishing

Fishing season is not as short as hunting season, but there is some down time. You ice and southern fishermen have it made and can wet your lines all year long but, most of us don’t get that blessing.

So if you can’t fish year round,here are a couple things to do on the off season.

Restring Your Reels

Would it surprise you to know that many anglers use the same fishing line for 3, 5, plus years without changing it? Some wait until their line is so dry rotted that it snaps on them pulling in a monster 2lb’er.

Depending on how much you get out fishing and how much sun your line see’s, you maybe should be changing your line out yearly.

The sun’s ultraviolet rays destroys mono line. If you fish alot or leave your gear outside (like while camping), you may want to go ahead and change it out during each off season. Price is not too bad and it will make sure you have strong line every time.

Wash/Lube Reels

This is especially important if you fish saltwater. Saltwater along with dirt, sand and crud will wear your gear out faster than you may think. You saltwater guys (and gals) probably know this better than anyone. What better time to break everything down and give it a good cleaning and lube those gears up? Doing this regularly will give you many years out of your reels.

Restock You Tackle

Tackle is expensive. When you go to stock up for the year, you can easily pay a couple hundred dollars doing so. Why not do this over months? You will be surprised about just how many weapons you will have in your tackle box come spring.

Make Something

Have you ever wanted to make a live-well? How about some new catfish pole holders? What better time to do so than when your not fishing anyway?

Last year I made a live-well to keep shad in since we catfish a lot while camping. This year, I want to modify our golf cart and add some pole holders. I guess I better get on it since fishing season is pretty much here!

Conclusion

The whole point of this article is to get you thinking outside the box. Just because you can’t hunt or fish during a specific time, doesn’t mean you can’t stay in game mode. Staying in the mindset may feed your spring fever per say, but it prepares you for the upcoming season so you are ready.

 

8 Scents Giving you Away in the Woods

All deer hunters know about scents. It amazes me how many hunters know but don’t take it to heart. Sure, some are things that you may not think of, but others are just out of laziness.

If you find yourself saying “why don’t I ever see deer” while out hunting, look through the list below. I bet your forgetting about one of these scents that are giving you away.

Scents That Are Giving You Away

Clothes

Let’s start with the most obvious, you hunting clothes. Believe it or not, I know guys that throw their bibs in the washer using the detergent the wife gets from the store! I know it smells fresh but you don’t want that smell in the woods. The scent from regular detergent lasts for a very long time. Just don’t use it.

I know others that just don’t wash their clothes but yearly. Sure, your not introducing any scents from detergent but you are introducing your sweat, body odor and even gun powder and decaying blood.

Make sure to wash your hunting clothes using a scent free detergent. It’s even better if you hand wash them keeping everything out of the washer machine.

Soap and Shampoo

Everyone showers and it is a good idea to do so before hitting the woods. You need to get rid of the smell of life. But, how are you showering is the question. Using that smelly soap and shampoo? It is recommended to get some sent free soap and shampoo to use. One bar of scent free soap and a bottle of scent free shampoo should last you the whole hunting season. Spend the $7, its worth it.

Deodorant

Yes, it is a smart idea to wear deodorant while hunting, its the type that is important. You don’t want to smell like football player showing after a game. Keep the sport stick in the cabinet. Go with the scent free deodorant picked up from the hunting section at Walmart.

Your Shave Cream or Bead Oil

Guys grow beards during hunting season for a reason. If you need to shave (work?), use your scent free soap and shave in the shower. You do not want that cool shave cream smell on you while hunting. It is an easily forgotten step that many forget about.

If you have a beard or grow it out during hunting season, don’t forget about beard oil. If you want to brush your beard so you look good for your buddies, more power to you, but stay away from the oil during the season.

Your Boots

Do you wear your work boots out in the field? How old are your hunting boots? Just like shoes, boots hold odor and your wife is not the only one that can smell them. Deer have very good noses and can smell your rank feet through your boots. It is recommended to use odor control powder, even if they are new.

During the rut, I also add a couple drops of doe urine by putting about two drops on the back of my boots near the sole. Yes, deer can separate the two smells of the doe urine and you but during the rut, they are more interested in her and not you.

I will also say that many people will tell  you not to put doe scent on any part of you, so do it at your own risk. Below is a video of why you shouldn’t. It’s funny but also dangerous.

Your Cigarette or Chewing Tobacco

I was one of these guys when I was younger. Just don’t smoke nor dip/chew while hunting. I know the crave, I know its hard but just don’t. Deer can smell dip/chew just as much as cigarette smoke.

I stopped dipping a long time back but still enjoy cigars every once in a while. I always have one in the truck to enjoy on the way to check in my kill.

Your Car

Yes, even your car has a smell! Even if you don’t smoke, your car has smells. Think about what happens in your car/truck… Food, drinks, leather seats, cleaning products, etc. Always have some scent block in your vehicle to spray yourself down after getting out and before hitting the woods.

 Your Gun

Not such an issue with compound or crossbows, but guns are scent crazy. Whenever you discharge your firearm, you smell your shot. Traces of that old gunpowder stays in your chamber and barrel. If you do things right, you clean your gun every time you discharge it. When you clean your gun, your using powerful chemicals and oils to do so. I clean guns smells good to us but is a dead giveaway to deer.

This is the hardest scent to get around and hide. Your best bet is to clean your gun and let it sit before hitting the woods. Your pretty much stuck with this scent but you can do what you can.

Conclusion

Above are a handful of scents that some people don’t think about. The biggest thing to remember is to think it through. Remember, deer can smell better than dogs and they know what scents to expect in the woods. If/when they smell something out of place, they will take the log way around and that is a fact. So set your self up for successful deer hunt and think about your scent.