I sometimes start out my blog by making a statement like "I can't believe it's already _____ (fill in the blank; fall, the end of deer season, the beginning of turkey season , etc., etc.) Now I'm saying "I can't believe it's so cold, and spring is so far away". This has already been as cold a winter here in North Georgia as I can remember in many years. We haven't had any snow, yet, but it certainly has been cold enough to snow.
While this kind of weather tends to keep folks inside, where it's warm, it is an opportune time to get in some great outdoor activities. Here are some of my ideas of how to break the mid-winter blues;
1. Walk your hunting property. If you are like me, I have always developed a "comfort level" with areas I traditionally hunt. I'm familiar with the movement of the animals, stand placement, food sources, etc. There typically are many areas I just don't know much about because I've never spent any time "roaming" those areas. This is a great time to seek out potentially new and exciting places to hunt the next season; turkey in the spring or deer in the fall. You'll discover new food sources, travel patterns, bedding areas, and handouts. These walks will allow you to discover stand placement areas, where you might set up for "turkey traffic" and how you will enter and leave new areas. Having the foliage out of the trees will give you perspectives on shooting lanes. Who knows, you might even pick up a shed or two during your walks. These "walk abouts" might lead to new, favorite hunting spots on your property.
2. Get out and hunt! Mid winter usually still means several hunting opportunities exist. You may find small game seasons are still underway, as well as hunting for varmints that have open season all year round. This is not a time of "plenty" so small game and varmints are normally on the constant move looking for food sources. It can be a great time to fill the stew pot with rabbit or harvest some coyote or bobcat pelts. As always check your local fish and game regulations to ensure seasons are open for animals you want to hunt.
3. Exercise. Mid winter exercise can be "invigorating". While most people tend to stay indoors, and let themselves get a little "flabby", the true outdoorsman is outside, appropriately dressed for the weather, and staying active. This is a great time to get some "honey do's" out of the way. Pick up the leaves and branches that have fallen in your yard. Do some limb trimming, clean up the deck/patio and/or put together your spring planting plan for new shrubs, trees, etc. Check and keep the bird feeders in your backyard full; the birds will really appreciate it. If you are fortunate enough to have additional wildlife frequent your yard, don't forget to offer them some feed; corn and animal pellets will keep animals coming to your house during the coldest periods of winter.
When the day is done, no matter what activities you did outside, get yourself a nice hot shower/bath, then sit back and relax with a beverage of choice (hot cocoa, coffee, tea, toddy, etc., etc.) You will reflect on your accomplishments, will get a warm feeling of satisfaction, and will "sleep like a baby".
Don't let the mid-winter blues keep you from enjoying your passion for the outdoors.
Spring is around the corner.