Like most people, I’m sure, my desire to hunt isn’t based solely on harvesting an animal. I love everything about hunting. I love wandering through fields and woods, taking in this beautiful country God created for us. I love spending quality time with friends and family. I even love field dressing the harvested animals and, in the end, processing the meat to fill the freezer. I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty and not one thing about this amazing way of life repels me. That being said, since my time of wandering the fields and the woods hunting game is over until fall, I’m not really sure what to do with myself. I’m at a loss, since I seriously eat, sleep and breath hunting. It’s a huge part of my life. I don’t do it for popularity or social media likes. I do it for my peace of mind. There is nothing more relaxing than spending a day out in the mountains with a gun or bow in your hands.
With hunting season over for a while, that leaves me with spending time reminiscing about my past hunting seasons and those to come. I’ve also decided to start being more proactive and getting myself ready now. Here are some ideas I’ve brainstormed in order to prepare for next hunting season:
Shoot more - Can you ever truly shoot too much? I don’t think so. Even with the cold weather this is something you can do. You can always find an indoor range to join. If you’re shooting outside, just shoot a few rounds. It’s better than nothing.
Train - I have goals this year. To be honest, I have goals every year. My goals this year include being stronger. Another important part of hunting I love, is packing out the meat. I find it fun to strap an elk front shoulder on my back and hike out. Someday I’d even like to try a hind quarter, but they weigh more than me, so I’d need to get quite a bit stronger. Strength is vital for archery hunting and I’m always looking to improve.
Apply for licenses - In Wyoming, there’s a lottery system for most licenses. While we can still get over the counter licenses for general deer and general elk, the better spots to hunt must be applied for. The application opening and closing dates normally take place in the early months of the year. It’s time to start crossing your fingers and praying that in the next few months, your name gets drawn for those certain licenses.
I’m excited for next season to start and can’t wait to see what trips or other hunting adventures will come my way. In the meantime, I’ll spend my time preparing for my next season, going on new adventures, and shooting as often and as much as possible. Hoping that these ideas work to rid me of my offseason hunting blues.
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About the writer:
Heather Reed is a Wyoming native, living just 30 minutes away from the best the Mountains can offer. She fell in love with hunting and the outdoor lifestyle at a young age, when she'd watch numerous family members bring back their harvested animals and share their animated hunting stories. While other kids wanted to play dolls or other games, Heather created hunting games and imagined shooting trophy animals. Now that she's grown, she still dreams of hunting these animals. If she's not hunting, or even thinking about it, she's out fishing, shooting or cheering on the Detroit Red Wings.