As a hunter and outdoorsman, every year I strive to improve. This past year I had some ups and downs but left the door open for things to improve for 2021. I wasn’t able to harvest a mature buck in 2020, my spring turkey tag went unfilled, and well let’s just say that fishing last year left a lot to be desired. In spite of some setbacks, I still view it as a great season. I saw a ton of deer, spent many days out in the woods and on the water, and made some great new hunting friends. Now, It’s time to take steps to ensure that 2021 is an even better season. I’m going to go over some of my goals and steps I will be taking over the next 6-8 months to ensure that I’m ready next fall. Hopefully, these will inspire you to supercharge your 2021 hunting season too.
- Scout The Post Season – As soon as the snow melts, I am going to get out and walk the woods I hunted this year. I will glass, inspect signs, and take notes on anything I learn. With fall 2021 a long way off this will give me a chance to learn as much as possible without the worry of spooking deer.
- Increase My Ethical Bow-Hunting Range – Currently, I limit myself to shots of 40 yards or less. This ensures that my risk of wounding an animal is reduced. However, I had a sighting of my target buck last fall at 50 yards and it sucked to have to let him walk. This offseason, I am going to increase some of my target practice out to 80 yards (currently I max out around 60) in an effort to increase my comfort shooting between 60 and 80 in the field.
- Permissions – In the spring of 2021, I plan to go door to door more than a Cutco salesman. I desperately want to increase the number of spots I have to hunt. While it has gotten tougher to get private land permissions, even one or two landowners who say yes out of 100 could really open up my options for the fall.
- Plan An Over The Counter Out Of State Hunt – By spring, I want to finish planning an out of state hunt for either black bear, elk, or mule deer in the fall of 2021. While I don’t expect success my first time hunting a new state out west, I want to start learning the area. Focusing on over the counter hunts allows me to still book something even though I did not put in for any draws this year.
- Scout The Pre Season – In August of 2021, I am going to put a heavy focus on spending time on my hunting properties. I will be prepping shooting lanes on private land, glassing, looking for bedding areas, and gathering intel. This will allow me to hit the ground running on October 1st when deer season starts.
Whether you are like me and have areas you want to improve for 2021, or had a really successful 2020 season and want to repeat that success—we all have areas that we can focus on to improve as hunters. Make a plan now and put the steps in place to make sure you follow through. You will thank yourself when Fall 2021 rolls around.