Yep, it’s that time of year when we start thinking about resolutions; we got through the stress of the holiday season; hopefully, you got your dream gift. Maybe you need to share this gift idea article with your loved ones if you didn’t. We sit and wonder what I will do now for the next few months waiting for the next open water fishing season or the next opening day of hunting. Let me give you some suggestions to answer that question; here are eight New Year’s resolutions for hunters or anglers.
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1. Organize Your Gear Like A Pro
This handy tip helps you take inventory of your gear. Throughout the year, we are busy enjoying our outdoor experience and neglect maintenance on your equipment.
Take this time to see what you may have torn over the year and needs to be replaced or sewed. We all know the stress of keeping ammo on hand, so go through your inventory and see what needs to be replenished. Try to buy a box or two of ammo every payday to take the hit of rising ammo cost better. One item that I like for organizing is ammo boxes. I can mark them as to what it’s holding and keeps my ammo secure.
Grease your fishing reels, and replace the line. Go through your hooks, lures, sinkers, and boobers. Check out your rod tips and guides to see if any need to be replaced. Now is a great time to get them into the repair shop so you can beat the procrastination crowd.
Give yourself more time to spend on your outdoor experience by using these months to get your gear repaired, restocked, and ready to go to your favorite lake or the woods.
2. Hook A Novice Angler or Hunter
You have spent years learning the outdoors from a parent, relative, or close friend. Learning something new can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be if you can help share your expertise. Learning the outdoors can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.
There are many ways to share your outdoor wisdom; it can be a traditional one-on-one experience, or if you want, you can reach a larger audience and share your expertise online by creating a blog. Click here to sign up for a free course on building a website.
Grab a camcorder or GoPro, capture some video and start your own YouTube Channel. You will not only be sharing your outdoor wisdom, but you will be learning new skills yourself.
Being a mentor can be rewarding, seeing a fish caught because of your help on how to tie a knot; maybe that first buck is from an article you wrote about how to scout new public land. Having a talk in a ground blind about what the sunrise looks like today. These experiences can be some of the most rewarding.
3. Explore A New Spot
Ever heard the saying so many lakes, not enough time, or so many spots to hunt, not enough time? That will always be the case if you don’t make some time to try out a new area.
It’s hard to give up that old lucky spot; the outdoor world is about having confidence in your area. So it can feel risky to go out to explore a new section. That new section might become your new favorite secret crappie location.
With today’s technology and so much information on the internet, it is easier now than ever to explore a new location or get some intel on new spots. I have enjoyed the use of phone apps of ONX Maps and Basemap. I’m a little old school, though, and carry my Garmin Montana 680 on my adventures. Having that extra device to log my points of interest is just a little comfort.
4. Improve Shooting or Casting Skills
You don’t have to wait until the week before your opening season to start honing your skills. You can use the off-season to hone your skills. That way, when you’re ready to get on the water or into your blind, your aim and casting skills will be sharper.
Whether you wield a flyrod, handgun, bow, or shotgun, continual practice keeps your aim on point, your reflexes honed, and your mind in the game. Here are some suggestions on how to get your skills honed:
- Enjoy these challenging fly rod casting targets Evan Jones shares in his post: 5 Homemade Targets to Improve Your Casting Skills.
- Dry fire training is one of the best methods to improve handgun shooting. What is dry fire? It means shooting without ammo and is a surprisingly helpful skill builder.
- Want to improve your archery skills, join a winter 3-D target league; it not only helps you improve your skills, but you might also find a new hunting partner.
- Like to shoot clay pigeons throwers, several options are available to you:
Practice, Practice, Practice will keep your muscle memory in tune and ready to pursue your game!
5. Refresh Your Survival Skills
Mother Nature can catch even the most seasoned hunter or angler off guard and find yourself needing survival skills. The New Year is a perfect opportunity to brush up on your survival skills. Watch this short clip to learn some cold weather tips!
6. Make One Environmental Change
Since you spend a lot of time outdoors, one of the best resolutions you can make in the New Year is to adopt one change that benefits the environment. The environment is the resource we all use to enjoy our hobbies, so if we can work together to protect it, the better, the more we can enjoy it together.
It can be as simple as picking up trash along the river, parking lot, or trail. Or it could be more involved, like planting trees, building a wood duck nesting box, or you could join a conservation club. All these changes can make a big difference.
7. Learn A New Skill
Your current skills of hunting and fishing you have been mastering for probably a long time now, some of you probably as long as you were knee-high to a grasshopper. No matter when you start to learn your current skills, there’s always an opportunity to learn more.
A new skill I picked up was lure-making, which brought back memories of watching my grandpa pour jigheads in his basement. I took it one step further and learned how to pour plastic baits. I find it rewarding to catch fish on lures that I made myself, allowing me to get creative with colors.
8. Try A New Wild Game Recipe
Many of you enjoy the outdoors for the experience of also sharing your harvest as table fare. The New Year is the perfect opportunity to expand your palate. Explore new recipes and unique ways of preparing your harvest. Spending time in the kitchen is a great way to share your outdoor experience with those who do not join you.
Learn a new and simple chili recipe, make your jerky, and improve your smoker skills.
Resolutions often come and go and are soon left behind. I hope you find at least one of these resolutions to be something that will be part of your outdoor life as you continue to celebrate the experience of the outdoors.
Celebrate The Experience!