When turkey season ends and the days continue to grow longer and warmer, it’s hard to think about the dropping temperatures and crisp mornings that’ll come back around in just three to four months. Unless you’re an avid bowhunter. Throughout the summer, the months ahead consume the bowhunter’s thoughts. They know time passes fast. Preparations for the upcoming deer season must begin promptly to reap the benefits during those chilly fall mornings.
Before the official start of summer on June 21, there are a few things that every bowhunter should have marked off of their to-do list. For deer hunters, summer necessitates the start of scouting for deer, planting food plots, and preparing themselves for a successful fall season. By having these three tasks accomplished by the first day of the summer, hunters can have a head start on their busy summer checklist to help ensure their best bowhunting season ever.
Bow Check-Up & Maintenance
Practicing their shooting is on every bowhunter’s summer to-do list. It is essential to give the bow a thorough check-up and complete any necessary maintenance before summer practice begins. This starts with a thorough inspection of the bow and all accessories. Bowhunters should check their string and all the cables for any frays, malfunctions, or wear that might affect the bow’s performance. Such a check can also prevent damage or failure.
As part of regular bow maintenance, one should routinely wax the strings with actual bow-string wax to prolong the string's life and keep the string shooting properly. It is also suggested to tighten up all screws on bow accessories. Again, ensuring everything is tightened and in working order can prevent mishaps while shooting and keep all equipment functioning properly.
After everything has been checked and maintained, the summer can be spent fine-tuning and practicing.
Confirm Permissions & Secure New Ground
Summer is a great time to improve hunting properties by planting food plots and feeding supplemental feeds and minerals. But before summer begins, it is vital to ensure landowners have given their blessing for another year of hunting rights. Now is the time to visit all current or past landowners and communicate with them to ensure your hunting rights are granted for the upcoming year. Eliminate all confusion. The last thing a hunter wants is to spend valuable time, energy, and resources on a property only to learn later that they no longer have permission to hunt there.
Now is also the perfect time to seek new hunting opportunities. During late spring, I like to research potential new hunting properties on the OnX Maps hunting app on my phone. This app gives landowners names and shows property lines. After identifying potential prime new hunting areas, I contact the landowner, introduce myself, and try to secure hunting rights for the upcoming year.
Trail Cameras Ready & Game Plan Made
The placement and monitoring of trail cameras is another typical summer scouting effort performed by hunters. These cameras must be checked and maintained before that summer process can begin.
Before the first summer day, check, clean, and test all trail cameras to ensure everything is working correctly. If using cellular cameras, make sure your data plans are secured and active, solar panels are charged, and the cameras are working suitably. Change all batteries and memory cards in each camera.
After the cameras are in working order, catalog your camera data from the previous season if you haven’t already done so. Start by identifying specific bucks to be on the lookout for throughout the summer. Do this by logging when and where each of these bucks has been spotted on your cameras in the past. Use this info to make a trail camera game plan for the summer and the upcoming season, then place and monitor your cameras according to that plan throughout the summer.
Avid bowhunters have busy summer schedules. Avoid the setbacks that pull you away from those critical activities by crossing these three key tasks off your list before summer arrives. Doing so helps ensure you’ll stay ahead of the game until that trophy of a lifetime stands before you this fall.