Its time to begin again! Every year there is an ending point and a point to start anew. Hunters call it “New Deer Year”!

Oh no what can a Deer Hunter do? Except for some late season doe hunts, private hunts, or maybe a crop depredation hunt, Deer Season has ended. The next time we get to hunt is maybe for Sheds, or Spring Turkey, but that’s months away.

First, unpack and reorganize. Wash your bloody, dirty, scent covered clothes in a non-scent detergent. Dry them using a scent free Foil Ball instead of a dryer sheet. Examine them for any tears, broken zippers, popped buttons, or damage. Make all the repairs and fold them. Place the clothes in a sealable, scent free storage tub and label.

As you are going through your equipment and gear, make a list of any needs. Maybe you lost a glove or hat. The boots have a few too many miles on them. Your arrows have all been used too many times and need new fletching, or a new set. The rifle scope needs an upgrade, or lenses cleaned. Perhaps the sling swivels need to be replaced. Keep a clip board handy to make your possible list. The goal is to be ready, organized, and well equipped for the new deer season.

 Hunting Buddies are a special gift. Start looking for some New Deer Hunt Buddies, if needed. Reinforce your bonds with your current friends.As we travel through a lifetime of hunting seasons, great Buddies will come and go. You need to maintain and support these precious relationships, or you will be hunting alone. To have a friend, you need t be a friend.

Clean you rifles and guns. An annual inspection and overhaul are always a great idea. Use the good bore cleaner, and the new cleaning brush, that was in your Christmas stocking, now check out every screw, and fitting. Use dummy ammo to recycle through the action. Treat the leather slings with some conditioner, then store them properly back into your gun safe or cases.

Send out the “Thank You “cards to the landowners that allowed access to their property. A simple card will help keep the gate open for next season. Sending a fruit basket or maybe a stick of Deer Bologna are thoughtful. I usually make a gift that the landowner will display every day of the year. Take a silhouette goose decoy and paint the landowners name on it. Place it at the end of their driveway with a note on the back from you. When it gets old and faded, make a new one. I have also made a timber deer from logs. Place it in their garden but their front door. Hang a note around its neck saying thank you. It is the thought that counts.

Plan a Party! Get your hunting Buddies together in the next few months for an annual hunting gathering. Take all the cell phone pictures and videos and organize a slide show. Add some Power Point effects and present last years greatest hunting highlights! Have everyone bring their favorite deer recipe for the buffet. Think about giving some fun awards to each buddy. The more the merrier. Biggest Buck, Smallest Buck, Best Story, Worst Excuse, etc. Maybe have some grab bag gifts. We al have gear we never use, old NRA membership gifts, or unused gift cards. Silly gifts are fun too.

Respect your past trophies! Get the step ladder out and recondition your past trophy mounts. They get dusty on the wall. Brush the cobwebs off the hair, clean the antlers, and perform any maintenance. Build a frame around the mounts, if they do not have a display board on them. This simple look trims the mount nicely. Trophy mounts are not about bragging, they are about memories and memorials. It is how we show respect, and never forget the gifts and adventure of the hunt.

Start dreaming and planning for the New Deer Season. Where will you hunt? How will you change your plan or strategy? When will you start scouting? Is there any maintenance or repairs needed for a hunting stand or blind? Does the landowner need any help repairing fencing or planting trees or…?

We only have so many hunting seasons in our lives. New hunters are immortal, and rarely think about this. As we age, the joints and muscles get stiffer, our bodies slow down, and fellow hunters fall by the trailside. Getting up before daylight is tougher, more coffee is required, our pants get smaller, and, well you know the rest.

Keep your body healthy and in shape. This can’t be done with a pill or overnight. An exercise routine that is properly implemented over months is required. Consider your diet, and other habits that may impact your future hunting performance.

Deer Season never really ends. It just morphs into new and exciting ways to enjoy it. Use your new optics to monitor the deer herds. Take some video or pictures with that new cell phone. Start breaking in that new pair of hunting boots. Hunt for sheds along the edges of your deer areas.

Deer hunters never count sheep at night. We count bucks jumping over a fence or log. The sight of antlers moving across a field, or through the forest never fail to excite us.

Hunt harder, hunt harder!

Montana Grant

For more Montana Grant, hunt him up at www.montanagrantfishing.com.