Tips for bowhunters to pass the time in the offseason
For bowhunters, the thought of passing the time in the offseason can be a cruel and unusual nightmare. There’s no worse scenario than tucking your gear away for months on end as you while away the days waiting for next season to arrive.
That’s why for most serious bowhunters, the season never really ends. You simply find other ways to scratch that archery itch and to improve your abilities throughout the spring and summer. Here are several great ways to make sure your time between seasons is fun, constructive, and expedient.
Tree stand maintenance
We know all too well that maintaining quality tree stands requires constant upkeep and adjustment. This is much easier to focus on in the offseason than during peak rut. Take some time to perform maintenance on your stands (replace straps, add padding, etc.) or to throw away and replace any that will no longer cut it.
This is also a good time to adjust or rehang stands in the field. You won’t have to worry about spooking deer when hanging or moving in the offseason, though you may have to take stands down on public land depending on your state and local laws. Make sure you’re on top of those before you make plans to hang between seasons.
Deer, elk, and moose shed their antlers in late winter, and hunting for sheds is a fun offseason activity you can do with friends and family. It gives you a good excuse to get out in the open air and can also provide a bit of useful info on where deer, elk, or moose are located during the postseason. The best places to look for deer sheds are typically around feeding areas and bedding areas.
The offseason is the perfect time to improve your hunting abilities in the areas you feel you are most lacking. Many bowhunters like to use this time to work on improving their shooting form and their physical strength.
When taking shooting practice, it’s important to focus on the quality of each shot rather than the quantity. Taking 10 shots per day while paying close attention to your form and execution will serve you far better than taking 50 shots per day without any particular goal in mind.
Get out there and familiarize yourself with both new and old hunting locations in the offseason. It’s important to not get too comfortable in your best-known hunting spots so you can continue developing your craft by experiencing new scenarios.
Scouting in the offseason will help you learn how the land lays and how the deer are developing their travel patterns. You could come across some rubs or pellets to help illustrate that fact, as well. You may even want to take this time to improve the land you’ll be hunting by adding food sources or bedding areas, among other methods.
Bowfishing is a great way to get some shots in at live game during the offseason and can help keep you sharp in addition to range shooting. Every state is different, however, so make sure to consult your state’s bowfishing regulations before you head out.
Turkey season takes place during the spring and much like bowfishing is another enjoyable way to take aim at some live game out in the field. Putting in practice navigating hunting locations and tracking turkey can also help improve your deer hunting ability once next season rolls around.
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