Honing your Hunting Skill in the Summertime

July 28th, 2008    Author: Staff Report    Filed Under: Opinion

Everyone who pursues game with bow and arrow already knows that to be successful you most practice year round. It’s hard to keep focus as shooting the same target time after time can become very boring and soon interest is lost. You’re not ready when hunting season does roll around; it’s a mad rush to get your gear ready and tuned or worse you go into the woods unprepared which always invites disaster. Here are some new ideas that will recharge your bow shooting batteries. Bow fishing will not only improve your shooting skills and stalking abilities but also add a new aspect to your repertoire. Basic bow fishing kits come with reel, line, and arrow that attach to nearly any bow and cost under $30. All local waterways offer great bow fishing for carp, gar, and suckers. Another way to put some spice in your bow shooting life is shooting at moving targets. Not only is it fun and leads to countless games to play with your shooting partner, it will help your confidence when shooting at non stationary game. Hang one end of a rope in a tree and attach the other to the ground at the length of your rope away from the tree. Using a pulley hang your target from the rope. A close pin with a pull rope works great to hold the target until you are ready to shoot. A back stop is recommended to prevent arrow loss. An old pillow or couch pad can be used as your “running” target. The lighter the target the faster it moves adding more difficulty.

I’ve heard the complaint of how Ohio doesn’t allow the rifle shooter any game to pursuit. This is not true at all. Ohio’s laws allow you to take certain game year round with whatever caliber weapon you feel will work best. Both coyotes and wild boar have no limit or closed season here in Ohio. A rifle caliber with heavy load would get the job done for either of these problem critters. If you want to shoot a smaller, cheaper load go after groundhogs. There is no limit and the season is only closed during deer gun season. Before stepping outside to hunt any of these animals consult your Ohio Hunter’s Handbook to insure you are in appliance with all Ohio rules and regulations. State ground holds all three of these varmints, yet you may find better numbers on privately owned property. All of them pose problems to farmers and land owners so getting permission should be fairly easy.

This time of year causes several troubled issues for those of us who own dogs. Fleas and ticks can make any dog, hunting or pet, extremely ill if not treated. Fleas have been quite a problem in our area this year. Check your pets and follow the proper steps to eradicate the fleas. Pests are not the only trouble that comes with this time of yea; fat out of shape dogs also are a problem. Hunting dogs are fine tuned athletes. Don’t expect your companion to perform at its best if they aren’t in proper shape. Our American Olympians don’t begin training a week before the games or worse don’t train at all; like some owners do to their dogs. East Fork and Indian Creek Wildlife Areas both have designated year-round dog training areas where you can exercise your dogs. There is usually always water close by so you hounds can keep cool, but bring water along to insure your dog won’t over heat. Wing shooting goes hand in hand with working dogs to bag game.

Wing shooting has always been a very popular method of hunting. It may be the riches in tradition of all hunting methods dating back to its beginning Europe’s royal families. Like most everything else in hunting you can’t just start doing it without practice before hand and expect to do well. Trap shooting is probably the best way to tune up your shooting. A box of 90 skeet cost around $10 and shells run under $5, making shooting clay birds relatively cheap. Indian Creek W.A. has a shotgun trap range so you can shoot while you’re there with your dogs. If you are planning on taking a first timer out in the woods this coming season this may be the best way to get them familiar with the responsibility of handling a firearm and also improve their capability with one. Beginners aren’t the only people who benefit from shooting; even the most seasoned of hunters need to knock the summer rust off before heading into the woods. Crows offer another avenue of shooting in the summer. Calling for crows may be an adequate substitute for you long beard chasers, too.

I’ve hit on almost every type of hunting except for the one fanatics care the most about; Deer Hunting. The big bucks have dropped their antlers long ago and now are working on growing them back again. Most antler shed seekers have already been in the woods this spring when the bucks first lost their trophies. Now is the time to begin scouting, selection of possible hunting sites, planting and maintaining food plots, and talking to land owners about hunting possibilities. Head to your favorite hunting ground this evening armed only with your camera and binoculars. Take picture so you track the progress of those monster bucks and also prove they are there to your buddies. Leaves on the trees make clearing shooting lanes much easier because the problem limbs are not as hard to identify. Survey flags take away the guessing of distances when they are used to pre-mark the ranges in your shooting paths. If you are a bow hunter take a target out to your stand so you can practice shooting from your stand.

Hopefully this article has given you need ideas or at least lit your fire for hunting season. Even if none of the mentioned passions are shared by you there are still things to keep you occupied in these long humid days. Go through all your gear. Sort out everything that you no longer need and pass it along to someone who can use it. Find the things you need this year and shop around for the best buy. Once you have all your gear together and organize you’ll be ready to take to the field at a moment’s notice.

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