If you're a bowhunter like me, you're sick of this malarkey, this off-season
Last autumn's bowhunting is just a collection of memories -- and maybe if
you're lucky, a large souvenir or two. Next fall's adventures seem much, much
too far in the distant future.
I realized some time ago that there is actually quite a bit of
"bowhunting" that can be done this time of year, if you use your
imagination and the term "bowhunting" in its loosest form.
Here's a list of the virtual bowhunting I'm up to now, and would suggest for
any real bowhunter who needs a fix of his favorite sport.
Now is the time to replace, fix, and fine-tune archery and hunting equipment,
while you still remember exactly what worked and what didn't last fall.
Experiment with new combinations of equipment and maybe different styles of
shooting. Examine the useful new gear and products on the market, and give some
The fascinating thing about bowhunting is that we never learn everything about
the game we hunt and techniques we can employ. Magazines, the internet, books,
videos, and seminars can provide insightful information and ideas you can use
to formulate your own strategies in the field.
This is a prime time of year to back off and regroup by formulating new game
plans and finding new places to hunt. Study maps, call wildlife managers, and
contact landowners now, while you and they have a little extra time.
After doing your homework, bust your bout with cabin fever with some scouting
to your traditional and prospective hunting areas. The woods are easier to read
when they're bare of leaves. If there's snow, sign shows up better, and if the
ground's bare, you can still find the buck and bull sign from last autumn.
They'll return next fall, you can be sure.
Hunt "Off-Season" Game
In most places, there is some kind of hunting going on somewhere in your area.
Usually it's small game and predators -- not the thing that sets most
bowhunters' hearts pounding, but plenty of fun and great practice for the big
Take A Trip
Big game hunting is available in several locales in the South. If you're
interested in wild boar hunting, right now's the time.
Prepare For Spring Bowhunting
The spring seasons for turkey and bear are right around the corner. If you've
never done these hunts, believe me, they are fun, exciting, and rewarding.
You'd better get started now, because turkeys require the utmost tactical skill
and shooting accuracy, and spring bear hunting invariably requires arrangements
with a guide.
There you have it, my agenda for off-season bowhunting. Don't let the winter
doldrums dampen your passion for the world's greatest sport. There's plenty of
"bowhunting" to do right now. Let's keep those arrows in the air!
For a fine selection of Archery gear, click here.
Mike Strandlund is editor of Bowhunting World Magazine and
bowhuntingworld.com, and is a member of the National Bowhunters Hall of Fame.