Tips before hunting season starts

By Roger Wolfe Outdoors Columnist

Hunting season is upon us.

The migratory bird season has opened, the early bear season is under way, and squirrel season is just around the corner. If you haven’t already started, it is high time to get tuned up for all the hunting seasons to come.

Bow hunters are anxiously awaiting the season opener fast approaching on September 26th, and if you haven’t started already, it is time to knock the dust off all that equipment and get sighted in and dialed in to make that all important shot when that trophy buck, or freezer filling doe walks by.

If taking a buck or a bear with a rifle or muzzleloader is more your style, there is no time like the present to get those sighted in and tuned up as well. You want to make sure to shoot and check the sights on every weapon you intend to use this fall.

Not only does this help ensure that you will make the quickest most humane kill possible, it helps eliminate those unexpected mechanical failures that can make a good hunt go bad in a hurry.

Those trips to the range, not only tune up your rifle or shotgun before the hunt, it also tunes your skill and proficiency with the weapon. This will help give you the confidence to make the shot with ease when the moment of truth arrives.

Luckily, our local rifle range at the Chief Logan Wildlife Management Area recently got a tune up of its own, thanks to some used mining belt that was recently donated by Hobet Mining and Alpha Natural Resources. The used belt has been put in place to make for some great backstop material to hold your targets during your target practice.

Perhaps the most important thing to tune up is you. Each year we hear tragic stories of the hunter that has waited all year to get out and hunt, and ends up pushing a little too hard with disastrous results.

Sometimes it is a pulled back or twisted knee, but going from sitting around all summer to climbing to the highest mountain top can cause even more serious health issues. Each year we hear of hunters having heart attacks from all the sudden strenuous exercise.

Don’t let yourself turn into one of those stories. One of the best things you can do to start tuning up for hunting season is to get out and start walking. Start slow and gradually build yourself up, so that you don’t hit the woods running on that first day of deer season and run right into a serious medical situation.

If hitting the walking track or the treadmill isn’t your style, have I got a deal for you! With small game seasons opening up, what better way to get started tuning up than to get out and do a little slow and steady hunting.

You don’t have to carry all the gear you normally would for bigger game, and squirrels or doves don’t weigh all that much to have to carry out of the woods. We won’t even get into the added benefits of the tasty and healthy side of the dinners those small game hunts can provide.

So don’t wait till the night before the season to start getting ready. Take the time to get tuned up now. Start with your favorite hunting equipment, and be sure to tune up everything you will need this season. Most importantly, do not forget to give yourself a little tuning along the way.

By Roger Wolfe Outdoors Columnist Roger Wolfe Outdoors Columnist
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