Summer Survival Tips for Hunters

by
posted on July 10, 2015
summer_survival_tips_f.jpg

Some folks revel in the idea of summertime; the picnics, barbecues and time spent at the beach are simply the best experiences of the year. For us hunters, it can represent a lull in the action. The turkey guns have been cleaned and stowed away, the waterfowl, upland game and big game seasons are months away, and although the sights at the beach aren’t always intolerable, inevitably our minds wander to the time of golden-yellow leaves and chilly air. What can we do to survive the summer?

1. Take a hike.
Gather the kids and your significant other, and hit the woods. It gives you a low-pressure opportunity to share your favorite spots, check on stands and share some of your favorite hunting experiences. Even though your best spots may look different in summer, it beats mowing the lawn. If you have public land in your area, like the Catskill and Adirondack State Parks here in New York, it makes for great fun to take a compass and GPS to have a summertime adventure, and you may just find a new honey hole.

2. Wage war on the varmints.
The prairie dogs and woodchucks make for fine sport, and the small targets that they present will certainly sharpen your eye. Bring the sunblock, and some cold refreshments, but do get out in the field. Heck, the varmint game may even require you to go in search of a new rifle, and wouldn’t that be torturous? Woodchucks especially can present a fun game of cat and mouse, and you’ll be helping the farmers and ranchers out. You might even gain access to new hunting land for the fall.

3. Bust some clay.
Grab your favorite shotgun and a few boxes of shells and have fun breaking clay birds. It’s time well spent, and you can easily bring a new shooter into the fold. Watching the ‘birds’ smash to pieces in mid air can expose those who are sensitive to the idea of killing game to the fun of shooting sports, and you may gain a new shooting partner. 

undefined

4. Bust some more clay.
I recently had the privilege of shooting many different big bore rifles while on safari with PH Danie Wingard in South Africa. There were six of us, with as many rifles, but instead of punching holes in paper targets, Danie broke out a case of clay birds, and set five or six at the base of the target berm. From field positions, it was great fun to shoot at the orange discs, knowing that a broken disc equaled a definite hit to the vitals. This practice was a bit more interesting than traditional targets, and gave immediate visual confirmation of a hit. It also makes a more dignified fate for those clay birds that were slightly chipped during shotgun practice. I wish I’d thought of this.

undefined

5. Grab the rimfire.
Summer can be a good time for teaching new shooters, and a rimfire makes a good choice for a training tool. Inexpensive (when you can find ammo) to shoot, the mild report and lack of recoil will help a new shooter to develop good skills early on. There are some fun targets available, from zombie hogs to a battleship grid to keep things interesting.

The summer months will pass a bit quicker if you keep a rifle, shotgun or bow in hand. If you absolutely cannot stand the lack of hunting, book an African safari to ward off withdrawals, but that may lead to another addiction!

Latest

Anaconda 4 Inch
Anaconda 4 Inch

#SundayGunday: Colt Anaconda 4"

American Hunter Editor in Chief Scott Olmsted was on hand in December at Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Ariz., when Colt introduced its four-inch-barreled Anaconda.

New for 2023: Remington Premier Long Range in PRC Chamberings

Featuring Speer’s revolutionary Impact bullet, Remington has now announced three new PRC loads that will be available in late 2023.

Beretta Launches A300 Ultima Turkey Shotgun

Beretta has announced the launch of a new turkey-hunting shotgun—the A300 Ultima Turkey.

Winchester Awarded U.S. Army NGSW Ammunition Production Contract

Winchester, the largest manufacturer of small caliber ammunition for the U.S. military, has announced that the U.S. Army has awarded the company a contract to manufacture, test, and deliver 5 million 6.8mm Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) cartridges.

How to Build a Home Butcher Shop

Any space including a garage, shop or storage shed can be turned into a game-processing center. Learn about hoists, knives, vacuum sealers, grinders and dehydrators you need to build your own butcher shop.

Head to Head: .348 Winchester vs. .358 Winchester

Between the .348 Winchester and .358 Winchester, which cartridge is the better all-around choice for the hunter? Contributor Philip Massaro examines the pros and cons of each.

Interests



Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.