Who really follows New Year’s resolutions? If I had a dime for every time a friend of mine said they were going to lose weight or get in shape in the New Year I’d have a pile of dimes, and maybe a nice down payment for a Kansas whitetail property.
People promise to budget better, spend more time with family, work out and even volunteer, but let’s be honest: Life gets in the way of many of those pledges. Career, family activities and unexpected obligations shove most resolutions to the back of a “to do” list that’s longer than Santa’s naughty and nice list.
As a hunter, you probably have some New Year’s resolutions you’d like to see come to fruition. Maybe you want to shoot your bow more, accessorize your rifle for sniper perfection, or even put extra time into scouting. Here are some resolutions I’ve been pondering for the New Year … and please feel free to snatch a few of my thoughts to add to your own list.
1. Plan for great hunts. You only live once. If you haven’t started applying for choice hunts in premium units, you’d better start now. Begin by daydreaming and putting your fantasy hunts on a bucket list. Next, look at acquiring preference points to land one of those great hunts. I use Cabela’s Trophy Guide and Application Service (TAGS) to help me manage my license conundrum. Lastly, begin a bank account to fund the hunt and squirrel away extra money to complete your wish-list adventure.
2. Mentor others to be hunters. The future of hunting rests on our shoulders. If we, as adult-aged hunters, don’t get more kids involved in hunting, then the tradition we cherish will become a footnote in some history book. It’s easy to mentor. Bring a neighbor kid hunting from a single-parent home. Get involved with hunter safety courses. I help out at our local 4-H Shooting Sports program. You don’t have to give up every weekend to the task, but even a couple of hours a month makes a huge difference.
3. Hunt more with your kids. We all love to tag a big buck or admire a limit of roosters, but don’t leave your young hunters out of the equation. If your kids are of hunting age it’s time for you to give up some of your hunting time and put your youngsters behind a gun and/or bow. More often than not, when I have time to hunt with my kids, I film and they hunt. It’s a winning combination we all enjoy.
4. Scout more. Yes, I mentioned this one in the opening remarks and it’s something I fall short on every year. Making a living requires long hours at my job and yours. That means something suffers, and for many of us, it’s our scouting time. To get more time out of my scouting, I plan on dedicating several weekends for backcountry previews and putting more game cameras into play to scout for me when I can’t be on site.
Remember how fast 2013 flashed before your eyes? 2014 is posed to be just as NASCAR fast. Get going now.
If you have some hunting resolutions you’d like to share with North American Hunting Club members, comment below!