Even as hunting is mostly done during the fall and winter, hunting isn’t just for the cold weather. As summer draws near, conditions are bound to change as well as the behavior of the game we hunt. Most hunters tend to slack off during the summer, when the truth is that the season should be treated as a transitory period between hunts when you can reassess your gear and sharpen your skills. So, what are some things you might want to do during the off-season if you want to maximize your chances during hunting season?

Check Gear

Most gear deteriorates through typical wear and tear. The summer is a great time to check your gear because you aren’t going to be using your winter gear during the summer. Many hunters forget about their gear once hunting season is over and this can not only result in an unsuccessful hunt, but can also be potentially dangerous. It’s also important that you have outdoor clothes, like the gear from Kryptek, as they sell a wide range of quality outdoor clothing with camo patterns. You can even head out to the fields to test your equipment once in a while and to look for any issues you might need to fix before the next hunting season.

Get In Shape

While deer hunting isn’t necessarily physically-taxing, it’s important to stay in shape for the moments when you do need to exert a bit of energy and use your muscles, whether it’s in dragging a buck from a ditch, drawing and holding a bow, or taking long hikes. So, stay in, or get into shape over the summer so that you’re physically able to take on the indirect challenges encountered during hunting.

Gather Data

Information is victory. The best time to gather information is when you have sufficient time to study the information, which, in this case, is the off-season. Plant trail cameras, observe doe patterns as well as feeding and movement patterns. You can even gather data from landowners as to which areas are best for hunting and to cross reference that information with that of your own to come up with a more accurate plan of action. The well-informed hunter is more likely to secure a kill than a hunter who goes on “instinct” alone.

Weapon Practice

Weapon skill is arguably the most important skill to have as a hunter. Unfortunately, like most skills that require precision, weapon skill must be honed on a regular basis if you want to maintain it. Failure to do so can cause the skill to deteriorate, which would severely impact the likelihood that you’re going to be able to score a buck.You could have the best deer-hunting rifle on the market, and still be unsuccessful if you don’t have enough skill to use it. Summer is the best time to practice your weapon skills because during the winter, most returning hunters are going to be crowding shooting ranges, which can cost you valuable time.

Stay sharp and stay accurate over the summer, so that when hunting season comes around again, you go straight to hunting while other hunters are still trying to re-establish their weapon skills.

Preparation doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, but it does, however, guarantee confidence and a definite plan of action. While it’s only normal to slack off and to enjoy the summer, a truly dedicated hunter uses this time to get things in perfect order before the next hunting season begins.