Any hunter who has spent a long season hunting hard knows that sometimes the end of the season can bring a strange sense of relief. Suddenly, you’re free to get back to the chores and household maintenance that’s been put on hold for months. After a few months of that, though, a hunter’s heart and mind turn back to the woods and fields.
Professional predator and hog hunter Byron South says it’s a great time to start prepping for hunting season when this happens, and it’s not a chore at all.
“To me, gearing up for the coming hunting season is almost as fun as the actual hunting and calling,” says Byron. “I use this time to fine-tune any of my gear that may have taken a beating during the relentless fall and winter. Pre-season prep is the time to check your gun’s zero, thoroughly clean your firearms and make any small changes that occurred to you last season, and try any new loads you might want to use in the coming season.
“Don’t neglect your other gear. Things like optics, shooting sticks — and last but not least, your calls — all need to be checked out early enough that they can be repaired or replaced if need be.”
Byron also suggests starting early to create relationships with landowners who have land you’d like to hunt. Getting to know someone ahead of time makes it more likely they’ll be kind enough to grant you permission to hunt on their property.
Being well-prepared is also a good way to get yourself invited to hunt with truly devoted hunters who usually know the best hunting spots.
“Through the years, I have made many friends with whom I enjoy hunting,” Byron observes. “They all share a common thread: They take their hunting seriously and keep their gear in good shape. Hunters who are not prepared and capable, rarely get an invitation from me – and this is a two-way street; if you are not prepared and capable you may not get that invitation from another hunter.”
Gearing up for hunting season is more than just dragging your hunting gear out of the closet and tossing it in the truck. Take the time to do it right, and you’ll reap the rewards.
“Doing all the pre-season prep work builds confidence and familiarity with your gear that pays dividends when the days start getting shorter and cooler,” says Byron, who then notes:
“Funny thing is that the harder you work, it seems the ‘luckier’ you are.”
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