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What to Do in Late Summer to Prepare for Hunting Season

Posted by DaPonte on

Get Licensed

Make sure you have your hunting license or permit with all of the appropriate tags and stamps. In some places and for some game, special stamps, tags, or permits are required. Depending on where you live, tags are issued on a first come first serve basis and summer is often the time to get them.

Also, if you have a new hunter or youth, they may be required to take a hunter’s safety course. This course will go over the basics of hunting, in addition to basic survival tips, woodsmanship skills and gun regulations. You should contact your state’s fish and game department for information on where and when the course will be offered in your area.

Do Your Homework

Will you be using a gun or bow to hunt? Will you be hunting large animals like deer, or small animals like ducks? Will you be hunting on public or private land? These questions are not only necessary, they each have an answer and some have homework attached to them. Figure out exactly what you plan to get yourself into and study the regulations and procedures set out by the landowners, hunting program and your state.

Research Your Game. Before doing anything else, you should know your adversary. There is a wealth of information available online on game behavior, habits and habitats. Find out what your game eats and how it follows the terrain so you can put yourself where they will be.

If you want to hunt on private land, get out and introduce yourself to landowners. Find out who will allow you hunt on their property and what there rules are. The more people you meet, the more hunting options open up to you. Always be friendly and courteous and make sure your follow their instructions if you want to be invited back.

Start Scouting

Before the season begins, go out and explore the areas that you plan to hunt first hand. Get a good topo map, and try to put yourself in the animal’s shoes. Where would deer go to eat, where would they bed down, and what path would they take from one to the other? Get a sense of the game animal and where they would most likely be found.

After select an area where you would like to hunt, it’s a good idea to get a game camera put out so you can visually verify the animals are there and how they travel through the area. You will also need to figure out where to put your blind or stand so you have the best angle on game while they’re moving through the area. Make sure your shooting lanes are clear of brush and limbs. If you’re preparing for deer season, you’ll want to put up some mock scrapes and rubs and use scent lures and baits where legal.


Some of the most successful hunters are those that can cover the most ground in one day. Staying fit and in good physical condition can be a factor when it comes to hunting success. Before hunting season starts, it would be wise to shape-up early. Go for a walk, visit the gym or start jogging twice or three times a week. An improved physique can help you last longer when hunting from dawn to dusk.

Don’t forget your dog! If you decide to bring your hunting dog with you as your trusted hunting companion, spend some weeks before and train him or her up. Maybe take them with you out for a jog, or up and down some stairs, but make sure your dog is physically healthy for hunting season. Give them dog treats when they find game, and reinforce learned behavioral commands.

Start Shooting

Get your gun or bow out and make sure everything is clean and in good working condition and you have plenty of ammo. Finding ammo can be a trick some times, so you should stock up whenever you can.

Go to the shooting range and make sure your sights or scope are dialed in. You should practice as much as possible. The more you practice shooting, the better and easier it will become. Get used to the basics of trajectories of your bullets or arrows, and the performance of your cartridge at different distances. You should also try shooting from different positions, standing, sitting, prone, etc. You never know how you’ll be positioned when the game shows up.

Stay Organized

Make a checklist of everything you will need and inspect all your gear. The worst feeling is arriving at a good day for hunting and forgetting an equipment home or being stuck with a piece in poor condition. Don’t arrive there with a broken compass, or a torn blind. Make sure your equipment has been cleaned and old or broken equipment has been replaced with new.

Check out hunting pamphlets for important dates and get them written down on your calendar. Schedule ahead of time what days you plan to be gone for the hunt, and request vacation time from work sooner, not later.

The more thought and preparation you put into this season, the better your chances of hunting success.