In the midst of all the chaos and self-quarantining hunters still have the ability to be productive. I am a strong believer that preparation will lead to success when hunting. Many times I find myself itching for opening day only to realize I left a bow hanger or forgot to refill my Thermacell. During this season of social distancing why not get ready for deer and turkey season? Here are five practices for hunters during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shoot Your Bow
I feel like one can never practice with their archery tackle too much. There’s no better time than now to pull out your bow and shoot some arrows. Maybe you need to tune it up after a long season, or maybe you just need some repetition to get more comfortable with you gear. Whatever the case may be, maximize the down time. If you feel like you are competent enough try shooting at greater distances or elevating your heart rate while shooting to make it a real-life scenario.
First, let me preface this by saying obey all local, state and federal laws before sharing venison. Most places currently are limiting groups to no more than 10 people. What better time to get someone hooked on venison then right now when grocery stores are swamped and supplies are limited? Not only is this a good way to bring someone into the hunting fold, but it is also an avenue to be a good neighbor. Share a roast, ground or even a back strap.
Now is a good time, if you are not already, to get good with your hang-and-hunt systems. Whether you are testing out a new saddle or a classic lock-on stand, there is no better time to get comfortable and confident with your run-n-gun gear. I recognize not everyone has trees readily available in their yard. However, you are able to fine-tune your gear or even head to public land and practice there as well.
Pattern Your Shotgun
Turkey season is quickly approaching, and as of right now hunters are still able to participate in most places. If you have a place to pattern your gun take advantage of the time practicing at different distances. Get confident with which distances you feel like you can harvest a turkey. Once again preparation will only make you a better hunter, and it might just be the difference between a bird on the ground and a bird flying out of your life forever.
Try a New Recipe
If your freezer is stocked with wild game from this past winter experiment with a new recipe. Wild game is a great source of protein, and you know where it comes from unlike most meats at big box retail stores. No need to worry about the meat aisle emptying when your freezer is full of venison or waterfowl. I personally will be trying my hand at cooking duck breasts for the first time this spring.
Naturally the point of all this is to be productive and to become a better hunter or steward of our wild game and resources. Teach somebody else. Take someone hunting. Share venison. Don’t waste time binge watching television while the opportunity to be a better hunter and recruit new hunters is at our fingertips.