Staying busy during COVID-19
Spring, in my mind, means glassing up black bears roaming lush hillsides, slinging dry flies as trout rise with the early morning fog, and thunder chickens shock-gobbling as a green hunter slams the car door. All hunters relish the spring bloom, the rise in temperature, the new signs of life and, most of all, the upcoming scouting season. 2020 has brought us something most have never experienced: social distancing, stay-at-home mandates, quarantine and, unfortunately, the closure of some hunting/fishing seasons, the postponement of others, tags that would be allocated turned into preference points returned. In essence, an extension of what many of us have deemed the “offseason.” What is a typically avid hunter turned to a stir-crazy homebody to do? Here are a few tips, tricks and motivational ideas to help you prepare for this upcoming season and make the most out of this time.
Take a hike!
With the majority of us either working from home or out of work right now, there is no time like the present to be physically active. Take a minute every hour to do a dozen push-ups, squats or sit-ups. You will feel much more alert, attentive and able to complete your upcoming workload. We understand that it is easy to sit around in your pajamas all day, but we implore you to put on your workout clothes and seize the day. Even if it is just a 10-minute walk around your neighborhood — any activity is better than no activity.
Plan hunts with friends and family
If you are like me, more than likely hunting is often a group affair. Perhaps your hunting buddies live across town or even across state lines. Use Zoom, Google Hangout, Skype or another video chat service to collaborate on strategies, what tags you’re putting in for and areas to hunt. Crack a cold one, open your laptop, pick up a pen and make this upcoming season the best yet. Be sure to check out goHUNT’s INSIDER for the latest and greatest on draw odds.
Call the old hunter that lives down the road
We all know at least one old guy or gal who used to hunt or still does. More than likely, they are just as lonely as the rest of us so check in on them. Give them your ear to bend for an hour or two. You’ll probably hear the best hunting story you ever will and leave knowing you brightened someone else’s day.
Read a book!
With all of this extra free time on your hands, there is no time like the present to pick up that dusty old “how-to” book you’ve been meaning to read. Be a student of the hunt and take some notes. Give the animals the respect they deserve and go into this hunting season trying out a new skill or technique.
Plan to introduce a friend, kid, work associate or relative to the outdoors
We are a shrinking population within the United States and without meaningful efforts from everyone, we will continue to dwindle in representation. It is a daunting task to bring a new person into the outdoors and it will require a ton of patience on your part, but the reward of seeing someone fall in love with hunting, fishing or camping for the first time is like nothing else.
A few tips:
- Start small. Too big of a task/hunt/adventure sets the newbie up for failure and puts too much pressure on yourself.
- Do not do everything for them. Allow them to fail, they’ll learn more that way.
- Keep it fun. Lots of newer hunters or anglers lose interest quickly, so having alternative distractions built in will keep the learning and excitement moving forward.
Be sure to check with your state and local authorities concerning COVID-19 restrictions and mandates before leaving home.