Checklist for Deer Hunting Season 2017
Deer hunting season is one of the hallowed times of year for many, and it involves a lot of planning and preparation. From tending to blinds to setting up the hunting camp, there is a lot to do. To help, we have prepared a checklist of suggested tasks to help make the deer hunting season go as smooth as possible.
- Go online for your state’s agency that controls hunting laws. Look carefully for any changes in regulations for the 2017 season.
- Check if the county that you are planning to hunt has changed any baiting / feeding laws.
- Either talk to a local sports shop near where you hunt, or check online to find out if there are any diseases affecting the local deer population.
- Get your licenses NOW. This is especially true if you are traveling out-of-state. Forgetting about the licenses is the number one mistake of hunters.
- Get time off! If you haven’t already, get the time off you need for you and any kids you are taking hunting.
- Manage your food plots / bait. As mentioned earlier, make sure you are in accordance with all local laws, and check for any recent changes in those regulations. If you hunt on land you own or have a close, long-term relationship with the landowner, you can also do some Fall and Spring plantings for future hunts. Fall can be a great time to get deals on fruit trees that can attract deer in the future.
- Secure your hunting camp. This might be your own cabin, but if not, make sure you arrangements are made, and also try to make some backup plans. Nothing worse than a lodge owner cancelling on you at the last moment, and you have no where to make a base camp.
- Make a preliminary trip to your hunting locations and set up trail cams. This again is contingent on you having the right to do so, but if so, get some trail cams up early and make sure you have time and date stamp set correctly. If you make multiple trips, come out to your trail cams with new batteries and a new SD cards so you can easily swap them out. Making an early trip out to your hunting spots is a great excuse for an extra trip out to the woods, and you can spend some time talking to locals about any news that might alter your hunting season.
- Get your blinds set up, or locations scouted. The trail cams will help with this, and you might not be able to set up until the season begins, but at least you can get your spots picked out.
- Google map and / or drone cam your hunting area. If permitted, do a drone flight around your hunting area. This is a great way to carefully pick out the best hunting spots. If you don’t have access or permission to use a drone, get on Google and review your hunting area.
- Get your weapons sighted in. The earlier you get to the range the better, and it is not just about practice. You want to have your sights ready for the new season.
- Clean / maintain your weapons. Maintaining your guns and bows is one of the most rewarding parts of hunting, and is a great way to teach kids important lessons.
- Consider your mineral and supplement baits. Read up on how you can use mineral and supplements to direct prized bucks to your hunting spots. Again, check to make sure it is allowed.
- Rediscover the art of “glassing”. Get in and out of your hunting areas to do what you need to do, but if you are doing some scouting, get yourself a Spotting Scope or a good set of binoculars and scout from as far away as you can to learn their feeding and movement patterns.
- Read basic gun and bow safety guidelines. It only takes a few minutes, but spend them reading gun safety and bow safety guidelines.
- Get your hunting camp (possibly your cabin) stocked properly with the basics and even some fun extras.