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2018 Deer Season Off Season Goals

2018 Deer Season Off Season Goals

By: Dan Johnson 

With the ’17-’18 archery season over, my brain is already looking forward to the ’18-’19 hunting season. But there is a lot to do between now and then. The following is a short list of tasks that I want to accomplish over the next nine months to put myself in the best possible position leading into the next season.

FIND MORE GROUND

This is something I do every year. I feel that you can never have enough property to hunt. Even if you don’t get the chance to hunt all of it throughout the season, just knowing that it’s there if you need it is reassuring. In the past, I have put all my eggs in one basket as far as farms are concerned and due to a farm being blown out by other hunters, or loggers, or me… once the property was ruined, I was screwed. I just had to grind it out knowing that I probably wasn’t going to see a mature buck the rest of the week.

I usually start this process right before shed hunting season or turkey season so I can get my foot in the door with the landowner, show them that I am responsible, and hopefully get permission for bow season. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

With three kids under my belt, I need to find hunting property closer to home. This means two things... first, look for private ground in the surrounding area, and second, scout public ground. Within 30 minutes from my house, I have access to over 3,000 acres. All I need to do is learn it.  This means that between now and green up I need to walk my but off scouting these properties and looking for good food, bedding, and travel routes including the old sign from the previous year. All this is easier said than, because as I mentioned… I have three kids.

GET BETTER SKILLS

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that archery is a big part of bowhunting. You can be really good at locating big bucks, but if you can’t close the deal at the moment of truth due to lack of practice or nerves, that’s never good.

With that said, there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to my archery skills. Late last summer I purchased a back-tension release to hopefully overcome my blackout buck fever. I did practice with it a good amount, but moving into the season I still didn’t feel 100% confident using it to hunt. Now that I have the release I plan on using it the entire spring and summer with the goal to use it during the actual season. All I want to do is become a better archer, that’s it.

FAMILY FIRST

When the hunting season shows up and I leave my family at home to go hunting, a little part of me feels guilty. This “off-season” I need to spend as much time with my family as possible. That way when the hunting seasons start to pop up I will feel a little less guilty leaving my three psychopathic children alone with my wife. If you’re like me, the wife gives you a hard time throughout the season letting you know that she is basically a single parent while you are out having fun. I’ll be honest, the only reason I get to hunt as much as I do is that my podcast made enough money last year to justify the time spent in the tree.

Long story short, the plan is to build as many brownie points throughout the year to soften the blow when the season actually arrives. If I had to guess, that’s a lot of back rubs.