Where I live, there's less than three months to the bow hunting season for deer. It's probably not too different where you hunt.
With that in mind, here are some basics every bow hunter should be considering now.
- Licenses. Do you have the licenses required? Have you entered the appropriate game draws? If not, get on it, before it's too late. This determines how and where you hunt.
- Bookings. If you plan on booking hunt, get on it. We're now entering the last minute period.
- The right broadhead and arrow. By now you should have settled on your broadhead and arrow combination for the big game seasons ahead. This is priority because from here on in, you'll need to tune your bow and practice regularly with these to ensure optimum performance and familiarity in the field.
- The right hunting attire and accesories. Plan on buying any new hunting clothes, boots or accessories for your bow? You should probably do it soon. This will give you time to break in boots and learn how the new face mask, jacket or hunting shirt or accessory affects your shooting.
- Landowner permission. Now, rather than a week before opening day, is the time to ask landowners for permission to hunt their property. It's also the time to ensure the same deal applies with landowners who have been so generous in the past and perhaps show a bit of gratitude.
- Tree stand checks. Ensure your tree stands and safety harnesses are still in good condition. If not, replace them. This is also an excellent time to, once again, review the video or instructions that came with your tree stand. They provide critical reminders of practices that will keep you safe throughout the season.
- Ground blind check. Set up your ground blind to ensure it is still in good working order and that you have all the pegs and guide wires required. I'm also a firm believer in setting them up and taking them down a few times until this becomes second nature.
- Batteries. Stock up on the batteries — especially the hard to find ones — required for your rangefinder, GPS unit, trail cameras, flashlights and other electronics.
- Bow strings. Ensure your bow string is in excellent condition. If not, replace it so you can break in the new one long before the season starts. Also, order a spare one. I've never known anyone who has regretted this precaution.
- Assess last year's gear. Consider everything you carried afield last year. My rule is, if it was not helpful, it was dead weight. Lose non-useful items. Make sure everything else is functioning properly.
- Scouting. Summer is the time to start scouting. Do so by glassing and with trail cameras so that your impact is minimal.
Certainly, there are other things to ready, but covering these basics means you are well on your way.