It’s time to plan, dream, and scheme for the year of bowhunting that lies ahead. Here are a few of my top New Year Bowhunting Resolutions for 2016.
Build Some Funky New Arrows
Mid-winter is a great time to devote to one of my favorite projects, when I like to squeeze it in between tying some flies and generally shoring up, tweaking, and repairing all my well-used bowhunting gear from the previous season. With the wide range of easy-to-apply, cool-looking vinyl adhesive wraps and vibrant fletching and vane colors currently available, there’s no reason you can’t make up some great-looking custom arrows that will be ready in time for spring turkey and bear seasons. Interested but don’t know where to start? Begin by checking out the supplies offered by Sportsman’s Guide, including products from Bohning, which will lead you to pretty much all you need to get started. You’ll also want to take a gander at Gateway Feathers as well as Trueflight Feathers.
Get in Elk Shape Early And Stay There
I’ve been a gym rat virtually my entire life, but there are days (big surprise) when it’s tough to stay motivated. It’s true I did a fair amount of running this past spring and summer, ate fairly healthy beginning in early spring, and even dropped a few pounds. But after changing gyms I’ve been hurting without my favorite, regular, mid-winter racquetball routine. While challenging someone with a similar skillset, I’ve found there simply isn’t a better (or more enjoyable) cardio workout. This year I’m making the commitment to step up my cardio routine, and, come September, hit the elk mountains in the best shape of my life.
Arrow a Wisconsin Northwoods Gobbler
Ever since I began running into these majestic birds in my favorite northwoods public-land deer haunts many years ago, I’ve dreamed of arrowing a Badger State longbeard in this pristine bigwoods setting in springtime. Sound intriguing? Plan your adventure well and this can be a great, multi-faceted hunt that can be combined with some serious shed hunting and even some trout fishing, two more favorite pastimes. Wisconsin continues to tweak its spring turkey hunt and I’m waiting patiently to see if I’ll draw a coveted tag.
Shoot More Traditional
I carried a favorite recurve bow on several hunts in 2014, and all were great fun. I really enjoy all the practice and preparation that is required to become a deadly accurate traditional bowhunter, and I’ll be doing more stick-and-string hunting.
Shoot More in General
In recent years I’ve really stepped up my shooting practice whether it’s with compounds or recurves, and I’ve seen the benefits. This past year, with help from a backyard range, I extended my effective compound range a good 10 yards and it showed in the field. In 2015 I shot more confidently and more accurately than ever, and I want those results to continue in 2016. Regular shooting really does help.
Return to Minnesota’s BWCAW
Adventurous deer hunters looking for an exciting new challenge need to give this bowhunt a try. Like its name suggests, Minnesota’s lake-filled Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, located in the state’s far northeast near the Canadian border, can be accessed only by canoe until you reach your chosen campsite, a trip that typically requires portaging your gear from lake to lake depending on how remote a trip you’ve planned. And there’s plenty of planning to be done, so you need to start early. Be forewarned that this is a gear- and details-intensive endeavor that demands you make smart choices or suffer the consequences. I’ve made this hunt several times in late October/early November—hunting deer that see virtually no human hunting pressure—and each time I’ve encountered trophy bucks, as well as wolves, and had a blast camping and canoeing in one of the most scenic wilderness areas on the planet. The potential for winter kill from the brutal winter of 2013 was one reason I didn’t make the trip in 2014, but the wilderness is calling, and I’m thinking I need to get back there in 2016.
What are some of your own New Year Bowhunting Resolutions? There’s nothing like jotting them down in black and white to keep you on track and motivated. So what are you waiting for? Make your list…then start preparing for your best bowhunting season ever!
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