It’s Christmas week. First and foremost, Merry Christmas! Many of you will be capitalizing on the mid-week holiday with some extra vacation days. Good for you! Nevertheless, don’t waste all of your time in front of the big screen watching football. Take a couple of hours out of your much-needed break and spread some holiday cheer. Here are a few ideas to get you moving in the hunting/holiday direction.
1. Thank a landowner. Do you hunt on property that you don’t hold the deed to? If so, then you should drop a thank-you note in the mail, stop by with a gift or even offer to help the landowner out for a few hours over your break to cut wood, scoop snow or repair something in need. A little consideration goes a long way in keeping gates open for the coming hunting season.
2. Do something nice for your better half. Does your spouse give you plenty of leeway for your hunts? Now’s the time to bring that special someone on a date, purchase them a present or, even better yet, let them pick out the present of their choice. Hunting takes up a lot of time. It pilfers money from the family budget and creates a black hole when you’re away from home. Remember to pay back the family for your absence during the hunting season.
3. Introduce someone new to the outdoors. A warm winter day is ideal for introducing someone new to the outdoors and hunting. Do you have distant relatives visiting your abode? Does the neighbor kid watch you each and every time you load your truck for a hunting adventure? Does your new girlfriend or boyfriend live too much of an urban lifestyle? Change that with a day in the field or at the range. Take that inquisitive person out to watch wildlife, check game cameras, shoot a rifle or fling some arrows. It’s fun and good for the future of our hunting heritage.
4. Feed the wildlife. Lastly, I know wildlife agencies say over and over again not to feed wildlife, but you can do it in a non-invasive way. First, there’s nothing wrong with feeding the birds. I scatter grain all winter for the pheasants, grouse and songbirds that inhabit my Wyoming property. I enjoy watching the show and they appreciate the boost in energy. I also leave a portion of my winter horse hay open to browsing deer. My horses clean up the daily dose I give them, but every few days the local mule deer herd swings back to my property and are able to nibble on outside bales and spilt hay in our open-faced shed. And if you’re planning on food plots for the coming season, do the math to create a year-round nutritional buffet for your property. Hunting plots are great, but a year-round nutrition program will make your property a true wildlife magnet.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!