Spring turkey season is over. Fishing and riding four-wheelers are some of the top outdoor activities right now in the outdoors. For hardcore waterfowlers though, we’re just that much closer to opening day.
Lock ’em down
One good move this late spring and summer is to lock in hunting days, or you’ll be left negotiating with your spouse or work boss.
You heard me right. All of us have a calendar or two hanging from the walls of our house. But do you have one dedicated solely to hunting? This time of the year you can pick up year-end planners in the bargain bin. Do it. Then write in those September-December waterfowling days. Be sure to check with your hunting buddies. As a dad, I also add important school dates to my hunting plan, balancing family events as well. Do this now before things get busy.
Run those calls
A summertime calling session is always in order.
You can do this yourself, or with a couple hunting buddies in your man cave. Get a recording device, and take turns running your duck and goose calls. Listen to how you sound. Is there room for improvement? Try to add a new vocalization to your repertoire. Share calling tips. Stay busy. Watch those old duck and goose hunting DVDs as you practice. The season opener will be here before you know it.
Shell and shotgun checklist
If you’re like me, a serious shotshell inventory is in order, as well as a firearms off-season cleaning.
Go to your gun safe. Gather all your shells. Chances are you left some there in disarray at the end of waterfowl season last year. Now’s the time to sort them out by shot size. After doing so, put them in original boxes if possible. Put random loads in small plastic bags, take a Sharpie and note the contents. And don’t forget to check the pockets of your camouflage apparel as you do this pre-season housekeeping. Next, handle all your shotguns and clean them accordingly. Get together with your hunting buddies and shoot some rounds too.
How about some decoy touch-up work?
Do you shadow your significant other at the craft store? Hey, there are supplies there you can use too! Go to the area where they keep felt materials. Pick up some black felt, and use it later to touch up the necks and heads of your goose decoys with a realistic look. Go to the enamel paint section. Grab yellow and green bottles and detail your drake mallard heads and bills, and also by mixing the two pigments. Pick up polyurethane spray and spot-fix your old battered decoys. Grab some white latex paint, and do detail work on your diver and sea-duck decoys. Have a waterfowler weekend at camp to catch up with friends.
Image courtesy Steve Hickoff