View Full Version : What to do when the season's over...

December 25, 2000, 04:14 PM
Hunting season is winding down im my part of the country and I'm already starting to plan how to fill time until next September. I'm thinking that there must be a lot of ways to keep skills sharp and to stay attuned to nature until the new season starts. Any suggestions? How do you folks maintain your hunting skills during the "off" season? Let's hear some ideas!

December 25, 2000, 06:15 PM
There is no "off season".
coyotes, ground squirrels, prairie dogs.....

Jay Baker
December 25, 2000, 07:53 PM


December 25, 2000, 09:33 PM
Depending on what you enjoy, here are a few offerings:
1)Could go search for antlers
2)Scout to see where game is bunching up and take some photos of the ones that got away
3)Plan a hunt in another state (WY elk deadline for out of staters is next month!)
4)Buy a good book on your favorite game or reread an old favorite
5)Start lusting after a new weapon
6)Join a range/gun club and shoot more
7)Go to a RMEF, FNAWS, SCI, DU, etc.. dinner.
8)Start scouting new areas/buy and review necessary maps
9)Line up permission to hunt next year with a friendly land owner.
10)All of the above

As for me, I'm working on 3, 4, 6, 7.


Dave McC
December 26, 2000, 08:36 AM
There's but two seasons of the year at Casa McC. Hunting season, and the getting ready for hunting season season.

After bow season closes down, it's snow geese and preserve pheasants. April brings turkey season and Bream and Crappie spawning in the shallows. May has rockfish opening, June the first crabs, and there's 3-D for the bow, Beef shoots for the muzzleloader, benchrest for the centerfires, a little casual clays for the shotguns, maybe a "Tactical" buck and slug shoot, and then dove come in in September, and we start all over....

December 26, 2000, 09:42 AM
Planning, planning, planning!
Up here, we've got 5 days left for spruce grouse, 4 months left for hare and rock ptarmigan (ptaaarmigan, hmmmmmm!), 6 weeks for caribou (if you got drawn, tough luck!). Then time to plan for a May trip south of the 49th parrallel for black bear...
Then, fish fish fish until september 1st, grouse for 3 weeks, moose for 3 more, grouse for another month, trip south for deer.... and there you go again!
In the meantime, I have to convince wife I cannot live without a Marlin Guide gun in 45/70 (preferably before bear season), then I have to convince her the gun is useless without WWG ghost ring, medium loop lever, a Ching Sling and +P ammo which I would have to start reloading (and get all the necessary gear...)
I'd rather confront the bear with a boar spear, but I'll try anyway, that shall keep me busy for a year or so...

December 26, 2000, 11:30 AM
Get/Stay in shape.

Dave McC
December 27, 2000, 08:25 AM
Oh, yeah, and I'm embarassed I didn't think of this before.

Teach someone to shoot, maybe teach them to hunt.....

December 27, 2000, 04:07 PM
I'll second the teaching suggestion. I recently signed up as the shooting sports instructor for my kids' 4H club. Even better, become an NRA instructor in rifle, handgun or shotgun shooting. Its amazing how many boys (and some of the gals) just jump at the opportunity to learn these things.

BTW: if you do your teaching through the 4H program, they have insurance.

Just remember, of course: safety, safety, safety! Drill this into them: watch the muzzle, watch the muzzle, watch the muzzle! You know how you tend to turn a car the direction you're looking when you're first learning? Kids do the same thing with a gun. After shooting they have a tendency to turn around -- to see if anyone saw how good they did, I guess. If you don't watch them, the muzzle will come right around too!

Of couse, they should only be loading one round at a time (which is why single shots are the only way to go when teaching rifle shooting), but you don't want them developing bad habits. We all know it by now, of course, but most of us had someone who reinforced it for us when we were learning: its always loaded even if you "know" it isn't. Obviously this is especially important with handguns which are easy to swing this way and that and are almost never single-shots.

I haven't done a handgun class, yet, but I think I'll require that they complete the small-bore rifle class first to learn muzzle control.

The 4H program I'm in requires that parents commit to coming to 90% of the classes -- so there are lots of eyes to keep an eye on things. I would highly recommend this approach. At the very least, there should be several "assistant" instructors if you can't get enough parents.

Any other thoughts on teaching youngsters good shooting/hunting skills?


[Edited by adad on 12-27-2000 at 10:59 PM]

December 28, 2000, 11:42 AM
Varmits and Crows should occupy your off season. I have just recently gotten into crow hunting and it is a real challenge. Every adult crow knows what a gun looks like so just walking up and attempting to shoot one is very difficult. I have bought some decoys and a crow caller. Yesterday I almost had some to land but they got to a certain point and then flew off. I think they saw me, crows have very sharp eyes. Needless to say crow hunting is a challenge and it is very addictive if you like challenges.

December 28, 2000, 08:57 PM
I gotta go with Kingcreek on this one.....There is no "off-season." Between the late hunts, hunting rabbits, grouse, ptarmigan, coyotes, fox, lynx, wolves, and everything else, we hunt just about all year. We pause for a couple months in the summer (not continous,) to fill the freezer with salmon and halibut:D

December 28, 2000, 09:31 PM
Go out to the range and shoot. You can never get too much trigger time.

December 30, 2000, 07:15 AM
Let's see.
Jan. hunt grouse
Feb. clean and repair gear from last 5 months
March bitch about late winter
April Trout fishing
May Hunt turkeys
June-July Hunt groundhogs
Aug-Sept hunt ginseng
Then start all over again

December 30, 2000, 07:18 AM
oops, forgot. in between everything else, make some knives. And somehow find time to work

January 3, 2001, 09:05 PM
go snakelover!