I know it is still summer, and it has been brutal. This summer has been hard for both plant and animals, but it too will pass and the cold crisp days of autumn will soon be upon us.
First of all, hit the gym. If you plan to hunt with a compound bow start improving your arm strength by doing exercises that help you draw back a bow. Work on your biceps, triceps, and chest muscles. The rowing machine is a great exercise. Start walking on an inclined treadmill to improve your aerobic stamina; try to do 30 minutes at 3 miles an hour to start and work up. Those hills and valleys are killers, especially in cold weather. If you have not been doing exercises, start slow and work into it. Not only is it great for deer hunting, it helps to be in shape in everyday life.
Hunting is hard work; get a check up from your doctor before the season. Dragging a 150 lb. deer out of the woods is no time to find out you need bi-pass surgery. Do you need glasses? Now is the time to get them. Getting new glasses right before a hunt is not the time to be getting used to the new prescription. Now is a good time to check your equipment, all of it.
Do your knifes need sharpening?
Are your hunting clothes in good condition?
Check your boots for cracks or torn seams, give them a coat of waterproofing.
Check your deer drag line. Is it frayed or worn? Replace it.
Check your bow for cracks, rusted, missing, loose hardware or a frayed bowstring. Give your cams a good look, are they loose? Place a drop of oil on the bearings.
How are your sight pins? Are they all there, are they tight?
Check your arrow rest, see if there is a nice spring action; make sure that it is not sticking, give it a drop of oil on the bearing. If you need to, take it in now for a tune up before the rush. Most large sporting good stores have experts who will check your bow, it is well worth the price for the peace of mind.
Check your arrow shafts for cracks and loose flights. Sharpen your broad heads.
Practice, practice, practice.
Many states, like Ohio, start hunting license and deer permits in July. Also, if you buy your permits on-line, take advantage of entering drawings for special hunts. For a small fee you can enter your name in a drawing on government property and if you are lucky enough to get picked you have and excellent chance to harvest a deer.
There are drawings in Ohio for both gun and bow hunts. If you are lucky enough to hunt on a farmers land now is the time to give that person a call to see if they need help on the farm with something. This shows the farmer that you appreciate his generosity and that you are giving something back to the farmer and his land. Treat the landowner and the property with respect, leave it better than you found it. If cattle gates are open, leave them open, and if they are shut, close them.
According to the calendar, the rut starts in the first week of November this year, you better be ready!