April 16, 2012
By Melissa Bachman
If you're anything like me, you probably wish hunting season would never end, but unfortunately it does. The good news is there are a ton of other activities we can do outside to keep us busy and occupied until the next hunting season rolls around. I've come up with a list of what I believe are the eight best ways to spend the offseason outdoors, but I'd love to hear your favorite activities as well.
This can be a great time to get out on your property and get some exercises in while doing a little scouting. Sheds
are a great way to see what deer made it through the winter, and also keep your eye open for good treestand locations and natural funnels for next season.
I grew up in Minnesota, so ice fishing was a regular pastime during the cold months of February and March, but as spring hits, there is a lot more fishing around the country. Not only is it fun to get your family and friends out in the boat, but also a meal of fresh fish is hard to beat!
And what better side dish to serve with your fresh fish than hand-picked morel mushrooms
from your property? This is one treat you don't want to pass up this spring.
If you're sick of shooting into that same old block target, remember there is always another option for us bowhunters. With a simple kit, you can transform your bow into a carp-killing machine
. Growing up, I spent countless summer days shooting carp in our local lake and found it to be not only enjoyable, but also great practice!
In most states, predator hunting can be a year-round sport. Although I usually spend most of my time hunting coyotes
during the winter months, there are no free passes given out regardless of what time of the year it is.
Looking for arrowheads can be a great way to spend an afternoon. The best places to look are in creek beds and fields that are being plowed up for the very first time. Once you find an arrowhead, it can be a lot of fun doing the research as to where it came from and the history behind it.
Although hogs have become a real nuisance in the southern states, they're still a lot of fun to hunt during the off-season. Most states don't consider hogs a game animal, so there are no specific tags required and no bag limits in most locations. To top it off, they're great eating, and most ranchers are thrilled to let you hunt as the populations have become out of control
Prairie Dog Hunting
As far as I'm concerned, there is no better way to hone your rifle shooting skills than spending an afternoon on a prairie dog hunt. Most of the time, you'll encounter non-stop shooting in this target-rich environment. It's also a great time to try out those long-range shots!
The Essentials Gear Box.
Our editors have hand-picked these essential pieces of gear to make you a more successful hunter when you hit the game trails this season.