July, 2003. This
time of year folks are gearing up for fall bird season. It may sound
early, but read on!
If you're not getting
ready, you must be one of the fortunate ones that has a place to hunt, a
trained, in-shape healthy dog, a great shotgun, great equipment/supplies and
friends to hunt with afield.
I have a mental
'pre-season' hunting check list that goes through my mind each year. The
list has deadlines to meet so it keeps me busy the day after season ends.
My list goes like this:
March through May:
1. Look for new
opportunities to hunt, reclaim your old hunting grounds by obtaining new leases
or updated permission slips. Talk to outfitters or friends in faraway
places to secure a far off wild bird hunt. Take Alaska for example if you
were to hunt Ptarmigan, they start hunting in August! MAKE RESERVATIONS!
2. Evaluate dogs
for next season. Is my number one dog getting old? If he's 6 years
old, I'm looking for a new prospect...that alone may take up to one year to find
the breeding that most appeals to me. Then I get on that list which could
take another year. A year or two of training for my new pup and now my 6
year old dog is 9 or 10 years old!
3. Do I have a
young prospect in need of professional training, make your reservations now.
Most trainers stay booked several months in advance!
4. Do I need to be
saving money for something big? If so, start saving the day you get home
from the last hunt of last season!
June through August:
1. Ensure that my
current dogs are continuing to get good physical exercise, refresher training,
etc. Make sure my dogs health exams are done and that all vaccine
requirements for all areas that I plan to hunt are up to date. Consider
snake avoidance clinics, professional help for a glitch in your dogs training,
2. If you haven't
made reservations for hunting trips by now, you should be starting to panic as
all the good dates are filling quickly!
3. Look at my dog
supplies/equipment. Need a new beeper or e-collar? Look at your own
gear; Is it up to date and in good working order? Did you remember to
replace that rain gear that you discovered had a hole in it or maybe you've
'outgrown' your brush pants? Did you ever send that favorite gun with the
broken firing pin to the gunsmith??? How about those new choke tubes???
4. Transportation issues
come to mind. Now's the time to get that new dog box or repair your old
hunting truck. Maybe you use an ATV that needs new tires or replacement?
beyond!: Bird season has started in many states, whether it is Dove in
Texas or Sharptails in North Dakota! If you've done little or nothing,
your panties are sure 'nuff twisted in a knot.
There's a billion other
tiny details that could be listed here but you get the idea, now get going!
Y'all take care and give
your dog a fancy treat for me!
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