Make plans for next hunting season

Published 5:29 am Sunday, July 6, 2008

I know it is time to be fishing, but to sit and watch the outdoor hunting shows and read the reviews of the new hunting products kind of stirs the blood a little. In reality, hunting season is only a little over two months away and now is the time to pick up that needed equipment and schedule any out of town hunts.

It seems that each year we hunters make that mad dash for equipment and to plan a trip at the last minute without making any prior arrangements. This happens during the year when a buddy calls and off the cuff asks if you want to run to Alabama, Missouri or just North Mississippi to hunt. You run through your mind and wonder if you have the needed equipment or the extra cash to make the trip, not to mention the time. With this in mind and knowing that it is going to happen there are a few things you need to do now to make it a little easier to say yes.

First, none of the hunting will happen if you do not have a few bucks set aside to access in a hunting emergency. Be sure to put back several dollars so it will be easier to kick in on gas, buy the out of state license or just pick up the food need for the trip. Having a savings account set aside just for hunting can make the season a little easier.

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Next, it is a must to have the right gear for every situation, especially cold weather. I know it is hard to imagine weather in the 20’s and 30’s while suffering thru July, but rest assured that there will be that week or two that will be a cold one in the stand. It pays to have the basic under clothing like a pair of long barrels, wool blend socks, good cotton gloves, neck gator and wool blend ski cap. Just like most retail offerings, buying these items now can save you a ton of money.

After you have a little money and the right clothes, you will need the right equipment depending on what you like to hunt. Depending on your personal favorite game to hunt will tell the tale of what you will need. If you hunt squirrel with dogs, mud boots, good vest, dog box worthy of traveling and good leashes will be some of the gear needed. Deer hunters need the same some of the same clothing but really need quality stands, weapons, optics and a way to get the harvested deer out of the woods efficiently.

Hitting the outdoor stores now, can really save you a lot of money. During the month of July and August, the new gear is coming into the stores and they are looking to get rid of the equipment from last year. I know that everybody wants the newest and the best, but sometimes you have use common sense just as with bows.

Every year there are hundreds of new bow offerings for the archery hunters, but do you need the biggest and best, I like the saying, “you can only shoot them so dead”. Remember that Fred Bear started all the rage of bow hunting with a stick and string just like the Indians. Most bows on the shelf will fulfill the needs of the common archer and really do not need the extra technology to shoot that 20-35 yard shot. Hit the stores and make some deals that will save you money.

Not only will you need to pick up the needed equipment but you need to check out the draw hunts available in the state. Going on line and getting the information on state management areas, federal management areas along with Corp of Engineering land can put on some great deer, duck, turkey and small game hunting by draw only. A lot of hunters will put in for a lot of draw hunts at different areas and some on the same day. The reason for applying for all the different areas is not knowing what the weather will be like or what reports will be coming out of the different areas. Having the choice of the different areas will give you availability to one area if not drawn at the others.

One thing I have been told is that you need to make the hunt if you get drawn. The tale is that if you do not show up on one of your draw dates, you may not be drawn the next year as the management areas get money appropriated by the number of people that access and use the area. I do not know if this tale is true, but it sure sounds reasonable.

No matter what your type of hunting is, a little planning will go a long way. Be sure to put a little time in now and it can make the season a lot easier on you and your pocket book and as always, get outdoors and enjoy what God has given us.