-By Randy Cooper
It’s getting late in the season. It’s colder and more time is being spent looking for holiday presents than hunting. A few things I’d like to pass along to remember are the items I constantly have to remind myself to do over and over again:
- If you’re a bow hunter, practice every day during the season to keep your edge.
- When practicing, use the same bulky clothes you’ll be hunting in including head cover and gloves. Get familiar with the way the string feels on your face when you draw back and settle into your anchor point. Look for anything contacting the string and find a way to tuck it in or Velcro it out of the way.
- When shooting a bow with bulky clothes on, use one of the commercially available tight-fitting pull on sleeves on your bow arm to keep the string from contacting your forearm.
- Continue using Chlorophyll and all of the scent control techniques I’ve talked about in previous articles. It’s colder now and scent hugs the ground because of the thermal activity. The deer’s nose continues to be his number one defense.
- Continue to use the Scent Boss over scrapes even if they have gone cold. I'm seeing bucks continue to visit theses scrapes and I'm convinced that when does once again come into estrous, bucks will be opening these up again before others because of the active scent there.
- Use rattling and calling during the late season.
- Eat right and work out to stay in top shape throughout the season. If you become a couch potato because it’s cold outside and get out of shape, you’ll pay for it when you have to drag one out by yourself!
- Keep scouting cameras out and put them on different trails and crossings especially if you find a lot of new signs. This is your most valuable tool, use it.
- Layer your clothing. Don’t put on everything you have to walk to your stand. It might be a little uncomfortable but I tie my heavy coat or parka to my backpack and wear just a thin insulated shirt on the way to my stand. After I arrive, climb in and cool off, I’ll put on the heavy coat. If you wear all you have on the way in, you’ll be sweating. After you cool off, you’re going to be cold with the moisture against your skin.
- Buy the best equipment your budget will allow you. You’ll be glad you spent the extra bucks when you have to depend on the quality and performance. It really makes a difference.
- Don’t be afraid of change. Do something unorthodox or out of the ordinary. You may be shocked at the results. Move your stands if they become unproductive and learn to adapt. Don’t get complacent.
It’s not long until the holidays so my wish for you is a simple one. I hope that sometime this season you harvest the buck of your dreams. I hope you get to spend some great times with someone special to you in the woods doing what you love and making memories that will last you a lifetime, or until the next opening day. Keep doing what time has taught you to do best. Hunt like there is no tomorrow. Enjoy every minute you can in the grandest cathedral of all, nature!