Getting ready for the fall transitions

by Steve Carney

As we head into late July and early August, now our thoughts turn to the transition from open water fishing to the upcoming hunting seasons, which are just weeks away. As I continue fishing at this time, I am also doing my planning and equipping in preparation for the hunting seasons, which come all too quickly. Here are some thoughts as we head into late summer and some early preparations that should be done soon.

Bow tuning

Late July and early August is prime time to get into your favorite archery shop and get that bow tuned or re-equipped. Many shops are not busy during this late summer period and have time to address your needs and spend quality time with you to improve your equipment. If you wait until crunch time in September you’ll never get the one-on-one attention you deserve. By getting your bow in order during this late summer period, you will still have the month of August and early September to get in shape for the season.

Obtaining permission to hunt 

I have always found that late July and early August is prime time for approaching landowners to obtain permission to hunt. The crops are in the ground and the farmers have time on their hands in July and August. If you wait until September or October they will have zero time on their hands and many won’t have the time to deal with hunting requests. Once again, everyone waits until the last minute and landowners are often besieged by requests in October and November— they have the upcoming harvest on their minds, not hunting.

Hanging stands

The upcoming period of late July and early August is my favorite time to be in the woods and hanging stands. The deer and most critters are well into their summer loafing patterns and a human intruder in the woods isn’t as significant as later in the fall. There is lots of leaf and ground cover to mask your presence and make hanging stands much less of an impact.

All my portable stands are in the field in both Minnesota and Wisconsin no later than Aug. 20 every year. The stands then are allowed to blend into the landscape and deer often get used to seeing those stands within a couple of weeks, well before opening weekend.

Preparing ATVs

Every August I make sure my ATV is serviced by a professional long before the hunting seasons kick into gear. This means changing the crankcase oil, lubricating the chassis and getting an overall check up well ahead of the busy time of fall. It doesn’t hurt to have your ATV trailer checked over and especially checked for the wheel hubs. The hubs are the most important part of the trailer and need to be serviced at least once a season.

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