With season fast approaching are you prepared? For me, proper preparation in the off-season is one of the keys to a successful hunt. Like everyone, physical conditioning is the at the top, but what about the other forms of preparation?
Below is a partial list of questions I have typed on a piece of paper that hangs in the office at home, my locker at work, and in our bow closet. These questions are not always followed in the exact order, but they force me to think about some of the small details that go into preparing for a month and a half in the field.
1) Are the Bows 100% hunting ready? I am usually able to answer this one very early in July.
2) Is the trailer stocked with food and bedding? We, aka my wife Toni, usually start a shopping list in early August just after our annual fishing trip to the coast. We keep a note pad in the trailer to write down a list of essential supplies during camping trips over the summer.
3) What new equipment is a must? Usually this one gets done in Oct-Dec of the previous year as I keep a note pad with me during season to keep tabs on what broke, what didn’t work, etc.
4) Wash all hunting clothing in Silver XP and store in appropriate bins! This is an ongoing task throughout the year. With the end of one season brings another.
5) Have Toni check the checklist!!!! Of all of my questions/statements this is one of the most important. You would be amazed at what you may have missed. I have a packing list that is two pages long that I will go through 2-3 times in July and August. You would be amazed at stuff I miss!
I think by now you get my point on the types of questions I ask myself throughout the year. I highly recommend developing your own. Like Dirk stated in his most recent blog, “Write it down Sally”. Whether it be a 7 day Bivy hunt or a 4 week Camp hunt I believe in having a packing list.
Now for some humor. As with any Elk hunter I have learned by my mistakes. Here are a few:
– Buy your own coffee. Nothing like being in camp for 3 days thinking you are having a issue with altitude when you discover your non-coffee drinking wife bought decaf. Man, caffeine headache are the pits!
-New boot laces every year, no exceptions. No comment needed. It will happen to you eventually.
-Restock your pack every day when camp style hunting. Sitka Core shirt sleeves are spendy….
-Extra broke-in Primos mouth calls in pack! Nothing like sitting down hearing a bugle and leaving your calls. In eastern Oregon there are at least 4-5 bugle tubes, 2-3 call cases, a set of Binos, a range finder, hats, etc. sitting on stumps. If found please return!
-If you break or spill a bottle of elk scent on your cloths, don’t let the guy at the laundry mat catch you washing them in his machines! That wasn’t a good day. He was MAD to say the least. I would never think of washing that disaster at home.
-If a bottle of “Elk Fire” explodes in the back of your vehicle from the heat while it is parked at the trail head for a week, sell it after or during a freeze in the winter. Don’t waste too much time shampooing the carpets, it won’t come out. Man I miss that 1994 Grand Cherokee!
-After your vehicle is parked at the Trail head for a week, check inside the enginge compartment for any Rat nests. Them little guy’s stink when they roast on the manifold and your defroster is on. Luckily the the nest didn’t catch on fire.
-Always, and I mean always, pack an extra release!
Oh, the trial by fire list could go on and on. Heck I could probably write a short book about all of mine.
Good luck this season guy’s and gal’s – it’s approaching fast. Are you prepared?