I think winter is on the ebb. It's already mid-February and Woodchucks PA Phil and GA General had differing views on whether or not we would get 6 more weeks of winter. I don't put much stock in either of the prognosticators, and live day to day this time of the year. I know spring is around the corner, and look forward to the warmth and re-greening it brings. I also know that it's not too late to get really warm days in February/March, or late winter snows in March/April. I just go with the flow.
It is rather exciting this time of year as the planning for the early fishing season, or the start of turkey season seems to be just around the corner. But, don't forget all the other activities that you can enjoy this time of year. Here's my list of like to do's when the weather is uncertain:
1. Plan for openings. When the weather keeps you in, it's a great time to ready your fishing tackle, or organize your turkey gear. When the seasons do come around comes it saves considerable time when you are ready to hit the outdoors. And you won't find that, in your rush to prepare, you've forgotten those most important items you need: that special lure for early season fishing or your bug net/repellent for the warm turkey season days. It can make your early season miserable without those items, so preparing them will help you be successful.
2. Just get out. If you are a deer hunter, this is a great time to walk the property; looking for sheds, for rubs and old scrapes and just look at areas you are not familiar with, but always wondered what they held. You might want to also get in some predator hunting, if your regulations permit. This time of year food sources are somewhat scarce and predators are more easily called to your set up. You might also consider small game hunting if seasons are still open.
3. Exercise. Good hikes and walks will help you shed those pounds you likely put on over the Christmas/New Year's holidays. Early morning hikes are refreshing and if you make it a regular activity you can really appreciate mother nature and the process of the spring green up. It's absolutely amazing to see the changes the woods undergo as plants begin to bloom, trees begin to leaf out, and new growth sprouts. You might want to take the time to visit a local bookstore and pick up a book that lists local trees and plants, as this may be the perfect time for you to identify the different trees and shrubs on your hunting property that you might consider fertilizing to ensure good, healthy growth and food for the animals that populate your property. Take your kids or grandkids with you as this is a great learning experience for them. When trees are leafed out go again to show them how to identify different trees by the shapes of the freshly grown leaves.
4. Go camping. This time of the year is a great time to get out the tent and camping equipment. Cool or cold nights make for great outdoor sleeping, yet warming days make being outside comfortable. Camp grounds tend to be lightly populated this time of the year and just getting away for a weekend camping trip will be relaxing and a great time spent together with your family or friends. Being in the outdoors any time of the year is a pleasure, but early season outdoors, with the fresh greening that will take place, helps create a different perspective. If you've been "holed up" due to severe winter weather, this is a great time to "air out" your body and equipment. If you have reason to look forward to a "fresh new year", there is nothing better to reinforce this objective that sharing in the freshening of the outdoors as the browns and grays turn to green. Being an outdoor enthusiast, we don't need reasons or excuses to enjoy our favorite pastime and only need to take advantage of all the activities available to us. "Get out and smell the roses"