As outdoorspeople we typically hate this time of year.For both hunting and fishing, we're between seasons, the tweener time.Hopefully, we can hang on to our successes from the fall and look forward to the next opportunity to get back to what we love doing the most--spending time outdoors. Until then, we can leverage this time to do things we never seem to get around doing when we're in the middle of the active outdoors seasons. Consider these activities to fill the gaps during the "tweener" times:
- Get ready for opening day now and save lots of time and eliminate unnecessary expenses when you cannot find those necessities later: Drag out those turkey calls and tune them up: Pull out the decoys and make sure they are in good condition (no dry rot, color fading, etc) and check to be sure you have stakes. Soak those diaphragm calls and chalk those boxes and begin to practice your favorite calls. Unload, check and then reload that turkey vest. Change batteries in your trail light and check the condition of those shells. Pull out the scatter gun, re-clean and lube that action. Find your cushion, seat and blind.
- Spring cleaning can start now: If you have a boat, now is the time to clean and polish it (you won't have the time when those first warm days hit and you get the urge to be on the water). Sort and organize your fishing gear. Untangle those lures and organize your tackle that always seems to get "un-organized" during the off season. Check those rods to ensure they are in good condition and lube those reels. Check the line for dry rot and fraying; it's normally a good idea to change your line at the start of your fishing year. Check hip boots or waders to make sure they survived the winter; repair/patch any leaks that you find as early season streams can be mighty cold when you discover water seeping into your boots.
- Unpack and air out your camping gear: Tents, bed rolls, and sleeping bags can use a good dose of fresh air after sitting in the garage or basement all winter. Check your supply of propane for that stove and heater. Make a list of those"must haves" for your first camping trip to make sure you don't get caught "short" of the necessities.
- Get out and get strategic: Early year"tweener" time is a great time to get back into the deer wood to remove those stands and retrieve that camo before they get weathered. Consider shed hunting (focus on edges bordering fields and food plots). It's fun and provides great exercise and a perfect excuse for being in the woods. Meet with fellow club members or hunting partners to discuss your plans for next deer season like planting foodplots, movement of stands, work days and responsibilities. And, it's not too early to begin scouting for turkeys on your property.
- Do an evaluation of the regulations. Check the expiration date on your existing license to see if it needs to be renewed before the start of the next hunting or fishing season. Get the latest information on hunting and fishing regulations so you stay up to date on any changes that have taken place since the last season.
- Share the love! As you ponder how best to spend your time in the outdoors during "tweener" times, don't forget to consider getting your wife, children, and grandchildren involved. We all know how precious the time is we spend in the great outdoors, and I can't think of anything better than to share this time with the ones who support our love of the outdoors.Follow these suggested activities and you'll wonder where "tweener" time went. Who knows, you may end up with a new hunting or fishing partner for the upcoming seasons!