For some, there is no season. Every day of the year brings with it the opportunity to tree a coon. For others, there is a clear end to the days that getting out with the guns and the dogs. These are generally known as “the dark days”. The day after one season closes the countdown starts to the next and you and your dog wait anxiously for the chance to get out on the hunt again. We all knew the only cure for Hunting Addiction is more hunting, but here are a few replacements to get you through the countdown to season:
Training – Getting out to train with your dog will not only help ease the hunting withdrawl, it will also keep your dog in shape for the coming season. Retrieving bumpers may not be same as hauling in a downed bird, but your dog will certainly appreciate the substitute until it’s time for the real thing. Make training a regular part of your routine in the off season to keep your dog happy and healthy until opening day.
Hiking – Nature is good for the soul. Just because you can’t be on the hunt doesn’t mean you can’t catch a nice mental break for you and your pup in the wilderness. This is a great time to scout new areas for season and work on your and your pup’s stamina for long days in the field.
Clay Shooting – They may not be real birds but man are they fun to bust. We sponsor our local Boy Scout’s Clay Shoot for Scouting every year and it’s a heck of a way to spend the day. Clay pigeons certainly don’t fly like their live counterparts, but it’s still a great time. Get some good buddies and find a nice Sportsman’s Club near you and you’ll
Working Out – This may not be on the top of anyone’s list for hunting replacement, but stay with us here. Working out, especially outside with your dog, is a great way to stay in shape for the coming season. You might not actually be out enjoying the hunt, but you’re working towards building a great season. Remember: athletes hunt. Being in shape will take you far in the field.
Cross-Training – Tom Keer talked about this a little in last week’s blog. Hunting different species can be a great opportunity to improve your and your dog’s hunting skills. If your preferred season has closed, think about trying your hand at different game. You never know what new techniques you will pick up along the way. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people, see new areas and get some new trophies. After all, the only cure for hunting is hunting.
How do you get through to the next season? Share your tips with us.