What does the word “summer” make you think of? A barbecue with your closest friends and family? Lazy weekends at the beach? Fighting off mosquitoes? For some, the idea of summer brings to mind the best hunts of the year.
Summer isn’t usually thought of as prime hunting season. Many people think of turkey hunting in the spring or deer hunting in the fall. However, people that hang up their rifles in the warmer weather are missing out on some of the hidden gems of hunting. Here are a few tips to have an amazing hunt this summer.
Consider hunting squirrels and other small game
Small game hunting is on the decline, which is a shame. Squirrels are nimble climbers and incredibly quick, which makes for a thrilling hunt. It might not be as satisfying as taking down a 200-pound buck, but if you like a hunt that challenges you mentally as well as physically, you should consider hunting small game.
Don’t forget deer
Fall is normally regarded of as prime deer hunting season. However, summer also makes for a great hunt when it comes to this prey. Summer is the time deer tend to munch on the all-you-can-eat buffet of plants while getting ready for mating season. This makes them slower and fatter. If you have friends or family who are beginners, these slow-moving deer excellent targets to practice on.
When searching for deer, you’ll have to look in different places than you’d look in the fall. In the summer, deer make ‘cool beds’ which are little homes in well-shaded areas. Search for these, and there will be deer nearby. They are often near bodies of water, such as bogs and swamps.
Another great place to wait for deer is by their favorite foods. Persimmons, apples, and wild pears are all favorite treats of deer. Hiding out near these food sources is a near guarantee that you will see some hungry bucks.
Invest in summer gear
Thick camo jackets and heavy boots are perfect for hunting in fall, but will turn you into a puddle of sweat before you even spot a deer in summer. Pair your favorite pair of shorts with base layers to keep yourself cool while still being covered from bugs and poisonous plants. We hear Sitka carries great “next-to-skin” warm weather hunting gear.
Don’t get bugged by bugs
Summer brings a lot of wonderful things: ice cream, longer sunlight hours, and Fourth of July fireworks. One of the not-so-wonderful things that come with summer is the host of bugs that love to sting and bite.
Bugs can be annoying at best, deadly at worst. Mosquitos carry a host of diseases, including the Zika virus and West Nile virus. Ticks, which are increasingly prevalent in most areas of the US, can carry Lyme Diseases and cause other illnesses. To protect yourself from these pests, invest in some good bug spray. Look for anything with DEET or permethrin in it.
Hunting is a physically draining activity. The heat and sweat makes you dehydrated much faster. Dehydration can have serious effects on your body. It can cause you to faint, throw up, and can even have negative long-term effects on your organs.
There are two important things to remember about hydration while hunting: drink even if you don’t feel thirsty and cut back on caffeine which dehydrates. It can be hard to remember to drink water in the middle of a high-energy hunt. As we sweat, we sometimes get so dehydrated that our bodies struggle to send signals to the brain that they need water. Prevent this from happening by taking a long drink of water anytime you are on a break. Deer got away? Drink. Bathroom break? Have some H20. Stopping to catch your breath? You know what to do!
Coffee is a classic hunting drink. Is it even really a winter hunt without a hug mug of coffee? But caffeine flushes water out of the system, leaving you dehydrated. You don’t have to cut out all caffeine (we never could!), but consider alternating between coffee and cold water or try substituting hot chocolate or tea made with water for a warm beverage.
The heat of summer makes many people reluctant to put on their hunting gear and drive out to their favorite hunting spot. But those who are willing to put up with the heat just might have their best hunt of the year. Happy hunting, land lovers!
Disclaimer: Opinions and viewpoints expressed in this piece are not necessarily endorsed by the REALTORS® Land Institute and information should not be construed as recommendations for any course of action regarding financial, legal, investment, real estate, or accounting matters without further consultation by an expert. Please check your local hunting regulations and laws before taking any action.