As we enter the final months of winter, the dreaded cabin fever has started to set in. To say most of us are itching to get back into the woods would be an understatement. Although the cold temps and lack of open hunting seasons can be a drag, there are plenty of outdoor activities that can help scratch the itch and get us off the couch and into the wild.
Here are 5 ways to kick cabin fever over the last few weeks of winter:
1. Habitat Improvement
Hinge cutting is a great technique to provide living cover and browse for your deer herd. This method is done by using a chainsaw to cut half-way through a tree, then bending the tree over towards the ground. This cover gives deer a windbreak, and natural protection from predators. The connective part of the tree trunk will also allow the tree to sprout new growth the following year and provide fresh browse.
Managing water sources can prove to be just as important as any other piece of the puzzle. Consider taking a walk alongside your properties waterways. If you see natural obstructions, or shallow points due to foliage, rocks or branches, dig these out. Movement is water’s best fiend in the cold.
Frost seeding is a method in which seeds are spread out on the surface of snow, and then essentially planted by means of the freeze-thaw cycle. As spring arrives in March, soils begin to move up and down based on rapid temperature changes. When temperatures drop, soil moves upwards. When temperatures rise, soil begins to move downwards. The seeds essentially plant themselves.
2. Spring Scouting
Deer are nomadic creatures that won’t always settle in the same spots year after year. Take a few walks on your property to scout trails, bedding areas, food sources, water and new locations for tree-stands. This will help you get acquainted with what to expect for the upcoming hunting seasons. Keep an eye out for sheds too!
3. Master New Wild Game Recipes
Winter is the perfect time to master a new wild game recipe. After all, most of the fun is enjoying and sharing your harvest with those you love around you. Many of our favorite recipes can be modified to accommodate wild game meat, and others can be specifically crafted around the meat we have in the freezer from our prior season. We’ve curated some of our favorites to get you started in the right direction.
Check out our awesome recipe page found here: (Link: Mathews Recipes)
4. Small Game Bowhunting
Hone in your skills on quick, small targets. Squirrels and rabbits are a great small-game hunt and can be a fun and challenging target with archery tackle. Sometimes it’s worth sitting in your tree-stand just to see how nature has changed on your property in the last few months. If you can shoot your bow too, it’s a win-win.
Check with your local and state small game regulations before hunting, as these laws will vary from region to region.
5. Join An Archery League
Archery leagues are a year-round affair, and sometimes you just need to shoot your bow. Leagues range from competitive to casual events, and can also be a way to win some spending money and bragging rights.
Not sure where to find leagues in your area? Stop by your local archery dealer to learn more.