Preparing for hunting season

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Dennis Clay

This is the first of a series about preparing for the hunting season.

Now is the time to begin preparing for the upcoming hunting season. Yes, we are two to four months away from some of the seasons, but now is the time to start some hunting projects.

Get in shape

This is always on my list. Of course, all of us, hunters or not, should be in shape all year long, but, as we all know this isnít the case for most of us. My way of getting in shape is to take a morning walk.

This means using the GPS to monitor my speed and distance, with two miles at a fast walk being the goal. My hunting backpack is used, just as in a hunting situation. But my rifle stays at home.

Another scenario is to pull a 100-pound sack of potatoes up a hill, just as in a hunting situation. However, if the hill is steep, the spuds would be divided into four parts and transported in 25-pound batches.

What is a hunter to do if the animal can be reached by vehicle and she is alone? The deer would be wrestled into the back of the vehicle using brute strength in my younger days. Not so these days. Now I use ratchet straps and rope to move an animal up a little at a time, one end then the other, until it is in the vehicle.

It took four of us to load an elk in one piece a few years ago and it was still a difficult job. Iíve hauled elk out of the hunt area after cutting it into seven pieces. This was still a difficult job.

A hunter needs to be in shape for the hunt, but also for field dressing and transporting the animal.

Securing permission

Imagine preparing a resume and taking it to the areas you are wanting to hunt in June or July. It could be presented to landowners as an introduction.

This one-page document would give your name and address, a statement about not bringing anyone else with you without getting permission first. References could also be added, which should impress the owner. Make sure to include the year, make and license plate number of your vehicle.

Think about this: Who has a better chance of hunting a landownerís place, the person with a resume who makes contact a month or two ahead of the season or the hunter who knocks on the door on the morning of opening day?

Next week: More hunting preparation suggestions.

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