Dedication and Preparation

In Diana Lyles by Diana Lyles

Dedication and Preparation1

Dedication and Preparation
Over the years, I’ve had several people ask me, “What do you do when you’re not hunting?” My answer to that is always, preparing for the next season. When hunting is your passion, you spend all year preparing for that magical day in September when the season opens to Bow Hunters. If you are not working on something hunting related, then you are thinking about it; for most of us, it is never far from our minds. As soon as the sun sets on the last day of deer season, you start thinking about shed hunting and Turkey Season. You have to try and understand that this is a passion, an obsession, a way of life. It’s not just my hobby, it’s who I am. If you slack off and don’t plan and prep as you should, you’ll see poor results the following season. I am proof of that. At the end of the 2015 deer season, I slacked off. I had killed the buck I was after the first day of bow season and the #2 buck on my list went MIA after the second week. My sister and brother-in-law had hunted with me and the buck I had picked out for her was killed on the property next to mine. I was bummed! There weren’t any more nice bucks on my land and although I am not a trophy hunter, I had wanted my sister to get her first buck and I wanted it to be a nice one. Therefore when the season ended, with all that had and hadn’t happened, I slacked. I didn’t do my usual prep for the next season. I didn’t take care of the food plots, I don’t scout the land for new signs, changes in bedding areas, etc. I did nothing. We didn’t clean up the hunting paths and shooting lanes, we didn’t shoot our riffles to keep in practice, and we didn’t do any predator control. I messed around and did a little shed hunting but I knew I wouldn’t find anything so no effort was put into that either. Around August, I started to get back in the swing of things. I rushed around to get things ready; I put out corn and hoped for the best. Well guess what, the best didn’t happen and I regretted it from day one! Because of the lack of preparation, I only killed two deer during the season. I just didn’t see many deer. As a matter of fact, I only saw 4 deer throughout the entire season. I missed the first deer because I hadn’t practiced and I hadn’t checked my scope. One of the biggest mistakes a hunter can ever make is not checking their gear prior to going in the woods. What hurt the most was that because of me slacking, my granddaughter didn’t get her first deer. Another thing, the coyotes didn’t follow suit and slack off when I did. Nope… they kept right on being the menaces they are and their population grew. Between not taking care of food plots and not taking out the coyotes the deer disappeared. I would have them on camera at night at the corn piles but they would move to the land beside me that had more nutritional food during hunting times. The soybean fields and the acorns were their go to places. Their bedding areas changed, along with their usual patterns of when they were on my land versus my neighbors. The lack of dedication I had, not only hurt our hunting season and the amount of meat in our freezer, but it also changed the way I have been preparing for the 2017 season. I have to get them back on my land and I have to provide them a safe place to live and feed. I only have 14 acres of land but I’m surrounded by prime land that offer the deer everything they need. It is extremely important that I give them something extra, something that they can’t get on the other land. Food, water, bedding, and love are my targets. Water and bedding are there, so I have to give them something else to eat that they can’t get on the other land and I have to put little love in the air. I’ve been providing them the Max Rack Supplement from Ugly Buck Outdoors Wild Game Products and they absolutely love the stuff! For the first time in at least eight months, I have deer feeding in the middle of the day. I actually have deer feeding all throughout the day. I am giving them something that is not only good for them it taste good to them; a winning combination!! Now, last on the list…….to put a little love in the air! I’ll soon start creating my mock scrapes with buck urine. You need to start around June with this so you can get them coming to the scrapes and keep them on your hunting property. I will then switch to an estrous when the rut starts kicking in. I know there are some nice bucks on the neighboring properties and I need to give them something besides food to get them on my land and keep them there. Like most young men, they have two things on their mind…… food and the ladies. I have provided them the Max Rack Supplement and the mock scrapes will occupy their minds with the other things bucks like to think about. All of this will keep the bucks interested but it will also keep the ladies on the property. If you have the ladies, the men will come. The only thing left to do now is some predator control. We will be having fawns drop before long and we need to make sure they can grow up safe and strong. I have a trap set up but catching a coyote in cage trap has proven to be challenging. I will have to start trying to call them in or set out other style traps, but the population has to be reduced. Dedication and preparation are necessary for a successful deer season. Slacking off just a little, can ruin your season. So hunting for me is a year round passion that gets fed September through December every year with a shot of adrenaline April through May when it’s time to work on those Gobblers…… but that’s a story for another time.