Maryland’s bow season opens in just 45 days on September 15th, 2011. That means you should be getting in the swing of things at this point. That means that you should have started or already finished putting your trail cams out, started utilizing your feeders or planted your fall food plots. This also means you should start shooting your bow on a regular basis if you have not already started. I like to start shooting my bow in early July depending on the weather. This has been a very hot summer and I have not been able to shoot as much as I would like. This means that I will be doing double duty to make sure I am ready come September 15th. Each year, I practice new shot angles, different situations, longer shots, and try to build the muscles used to draw my bow a little more each year.
With only 45 days remaining, it has given me the itch to get back in the woods, and I am getting ready to start thinking about where I will be hunting on opening day. I will start spending more evenings glassing areas around where I hunt to see if I can catch deer entering or leaving my primary hunting grounds. Remember you want get as much information about the area you are hunting without disturbing that area, so use the resources available to you in the best possible ways. If you have to enter your core hunting areas to hang a stand you should be doing that now, you do not want to enter your hunting area for at least two weeks before the season or you risk pushing the deer or making them leery of that area.
August is also a great month to purchase new gear, stock up on broadheads, arrows and such, as all the major retails run good sales this time of year. Check your hunting clothes, making sure the last year has not added a few pounds to your waist as it has for me, now is a great time to buy some new early season camo. I also spend the next 45 days getting my camo and boots ready. I will be sealing my boots soon (which you will see in an upcoming post). I get my camo out, wash it, and get it ready to go into scent free bags after applying a deodorizing spray.
One thing you should also consider is checking out good map sources. I go between using Google Maps and the different types of maps they offer. Depending on where you are hunting, you might also consult a good topographic map source such as: http://www.digital-topo-maps.com/ . There are a ton of different websites that offer topographical maps, some are free and some cost money. Sometimes, I find that a good aerial map works as well as a topographical map, which is where Google Maps comes in handy as a great source for aerial maps. Mapping out stand locations is a useful way to keep track of areas you want to hunt. If you label each stand location on the map, this allows you to keep good records for future use. I find that keeping a good journal allows you to track different locations from year to year and can allow you pattern the deer in those areas. The map is particularly useful in the fact that you might not always be able to remember where every stand you have hunted out of is located. If you are lucky enough to have a hand held GPS such as the one pictured below, they can make this whole process even easier. If you are able to get one of these, they can make finding stand locations and getting back out of them a hundred times easier.
The other thing you want to think about doing is planning entrance and exit routes from the stands, aerial maps can be great for this. I have also used a hand held GPS while Shed hunting to create tracks for entering and exiting new stands for the following fall.
With only 45 days remaining until opening day, there are lots of things to think about and do in the hunting world. The things listed above are just a few of the things that I try to do during this time. I am currently in the process of doing all the things above and will keep everyone posted on what else I am doing as the season gets closer.
What are you doing with only 45 days remaining? Have I forgotten something? Do you have thoughts on the things that I am doing? Leave a comment and share your thoughts on the subject