Now is the time for those pre-season rituals. We have 7 cameras set out and check them every Sunday and move some around as we find other areas to watch. Our “scouting outing” yesterday is the first time in several Sundays that we have not encountered a rattlesnake. I found out yesterday that snakeboots are also fire-ant proof–I am thankful I had them on. Now that I have them broke in I don’t mind so much wearing them….but breaking in a pair of knee-high lace-up snake boots was about like wearing your corset top, laced-back wedding dress during a full course meal..UNCOMFORTABLE!! (Okay…for you guys…a tuxedo with tight cumberbun during that meal)

Laced up HIGH!!

Laced up HIGH!!

We have been scouting for acorns and were successful in finding some areas that have some loaded trees. Of course, the idea trees are a pretty good hike into the woods and none so convenient as what I was hunting in last year–but you know the saying, “Anything worth having is worth working hard for.” So I plan to lace up my boot straps and trek deeper into the woods this year. With that being said, I imagine I will be spending more time in the stand, instead of coming down and out for lunch only to have to trek back in several hours later. I logged 289 hours on the hunt last year so I guess I will be partaking in a lot of audiobooks and quiet time hours!!
Glassing the treetops for acorns.

Glassing the treetops for acorns.

Yes, preparations are abound. Knowing I was going to be using several different climbers this season, I was able to take the time to practice with a new climber, getting some coaching from Richard and rehashing that men and women really do things differently. I will take the others out this weekend and check everything on them as well as our safety harnesses. I started washing our designated “hunting” towels and bed linens in specialized scent eliminating laundry detergent. I took stock of all of my hunting clothes, mended what needed repair, removed garments that didn’t fit any more, checking my wool sock count, conditioned and weatherproofed my leather hunting boots and snakeproof boots. I emptied the entire contents of my backpack and pilfered through it, replacing only the items I plan to use during bow season. I took the time to make sure that all the items in my First Aid kit were still in tact and not outdated; replenishing the aspirins. I checked my ThermaCell butane canisters and repellant pads, making a note to pickup some more butane canisters. I made a list of the few things that I would need to pick-up prior to opening day.

We even took some time Sunday to plant the seed from my Whitetail Institute Prize Package that I won on I will keep everyone posted on how the experimental plot does at different stages. The only thing that I didn’t have time to get to this weekend is shooting my bow. I have plans to shoot every afternoon this week working on setting up my 35-50 yard pins. Seems like I just did this…oh, I did…with the other new bow. Arrgghhh!!

I hope your pre-season rituals are well underway, I truly believe that the season is going to be here before we know it. I hope I am ready when that morning comes. Practice often, hunt hard, and harvest big–good luck to you this season.

Pre-season check list:
-Inventory hunting garments and accessories, replacing anything that needs replacing or mending anything that needs repairing. Remember to take stock of your socks, boot liners, base layers, designated skivies and designated sports bras for us women.
-Condition and waterproof hunting boots. Now is the perfect time to replace the insoles with new ones or replace laces if they need it. Spraying your boots with an aerosol water repellant agent will leave a smell on your boots until it is completely dried and aired out. Always try to do this weveral weeks before opening day.
-Wash all washable hunting garments in your favorite brand scent destroying laundry detergent. As well as your designated hunting towels, bed sheets and night clothes. Now is the time to use UV-Killer or Spray-In/Wash-In water repellants on garments, if you plan to do so. Give raingear a good once over and if needed, spray your raingear with weather/waterproofing so it will have the time to air out. It is a good idea to spray the entire garment with scent destroying spray after the product dries. I use a hand pump sprayer that works well at applying a fine mist to your clothes or body. It is even small enough to keep in my backpack to use in the stand.
-Start using scentless shampoos and conditioners such as Neutragena during the work week making it much easier for my scent destroying shampoo and conditioner to do its job on the mornings I plan to hunt. Use scent destroying deodorant exclusively for the rest of the season. Refrain from wearing any perfumes or lotions that might permeate my pores.
-Replensh stock of scent destroying sprays, foams, towelettes, handwarmers, cover scents, attractants, and wicks. As a general rule if the scent destroying spray has been opened from the previous season, discard it and buy new spray. Some chemicals have a limited shelf life and oxygen destroys the usefulness of the spray.
-Start taking Chlorophyll tablets one week prior to opening of the season and through the end of bow season. This will eliminate body odors that we as humans cannot detect but game can.
-Inventory your backpack to make sure that all of the items needed are there. Check the First Aid kit to make sure everything has been replenshed and replace the items that have expired. Include a butane lighter and cotton as a fire starter in your kit and an extra set of batteries for your flashlight. Keep a few zip lock bags in your backpack-comes in handy to keep your cell phone, GPS or other electronics dry if an unexpected shower comes up. Check the batteries in flashlights, GPS and walkie talkies.
-Check climbing stands to make sure all parts are in good repair and touch up any squeaky or metal to metal moving parts with bow wax to keep them from squeaking.
-Check safety harness to make sure it is in good repair and all parts are accounted for.
-Set out your designated hunting arrows, check the fletching and refletch if necessary, sharpen broadheads, screw broadheads into arrows using a dab of bow string wax and securely place in a quiver for opening morning. Check all screws, cams and parts on bow, re-wax bowstring and check release to make sure it is in good repair.
-Purchase your license if you haven’t done so and store it in a mini waterproof document sleeve or camera film container in your backpack.

© Nancy Jo Adams 2009