Off-Season Hunting Tips


| 10/21/2014 5:42:00 PM


Across the FenceDelaware has one of the longest continuous bowhunting seasons in the U.S., stretching from September 1 through January every year. But those 30 weeks in between can seem like an eternity for the avid hunter wanting to stay sharp at his craft.

The hunting offseason should be regarded like any other sport's downtime. These are the months that will decide whether you remain an average hunter or become a master marksman. These four activities are sure to improve your next hunting trip from both ballistic and schematic standpoints.

Scouting

Rifle hunting seasons typically end around mid-to-late December in most states. But winter is the perfect time to scout and track deer movements. A fresh blanket of snow means anything that moves through the woods has to leave tracks leading to their current locations and sleeping areas.

Head out to your favorite hunting spot the morning after a decent snowfall. Any deer tracks you see indicate recent movement either the night before, or pre-daybreak wandering. Use the GPS on your smartphone or draw an old fashioned map to remember these patterns in the summer.



The typical "home" of East and Midwest whitetails covers less than 4 square miles of land, according to a 2013 study by the state of Washington Fish and Wildlife Department. This method may not be as useful in the Northwest, as researchers observed a doe that traveled 20 miles between summer and winter homes.





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