Manly Man's Survival Guide to the Off-Season
The time has finally come, the days we've all been dreading. The last few months have been filled with countless early mornings, long walks in the woods, hours spent in preparation and execution, and hopefully a full freezer. You've been living like your ancestors in a primal state, and now you're forced to come home, shave your beard, wash off the face paint, and behave like a normal member of society.
I'm here to tell you there's hope. Even though the weather is warming and the adrenaline rush has come to a forceful halt, there are still things you can do to ease the transition until next season. Follow these tips and you can outwardly appear like a regular person again while still feeding your endless addiction.
1. Practice in the Car
Take the calls off the lanyard and place them in your glove box. When riding alone, or with someone in your local hunting addicts support group, practice your calls. This is the best 6-8 months to work out all the kinks and become the caller you always wanted to be. Video taping and listening to the playback can be a very useful tool.
Little extra tip; disregard the confused looks you may get at stoplights or from passing traffic. Some just may not understand.
***Keep all eyes on the road and for the love of God please clean the calls before you begin. They've taken a beating for 60+ days and could use some TLC.
2. Hit the Gym
So you've basically lived off of Pop Tarts and Oatmeal Creme Pies as of late and you're wondering why that new jacket fit a little tighter toward the end of the season... Time to get in shape!
Think about all the times walking through the mud to get to a hole or chasing a bird and thinking "I'll probably just lay down in the water if I have to do this much longer." A couple good months in the gym could make that trudge a lot less painful when the time comes again. No one will know the whole time on the stair climber you are day dreaming about marching through ice in the marsh after a double sprig Pintail rather than just trying to look good and be healthy. Come on, we know what matters.
Pick up some heavy stuff. That full blind bag and shoulder full of decoys won't seem near as daunting. All of my boat riding readers can't relate to this section and the real struggle, or maybe you can and that is why you own a boat...
3. Pick Up Another Hobby
The wives/girlfriends will be thrilled at this recommendation. Just when they thought you were back and ready to get some stuff done around the house, Boom! Fishing.
Easy as that, find something to fill the void that hunting season has left. Baseball is coming full swing, the bass are in rut, or have migrated, (I don't know but they're biting), and the skeet range is always open. Now there may have to be some trade off to this final step. If you're in a relationship, you'll have to sneak in a few dinner or movie dates, mow the lawn, or even act excited to be at some kid's birthday party. No worries, the pain is worth it.
If you're like me, you're reminiscing on all the great times you had this past season. Whether you killed a lot of animals or not, hopefully you were fulfilled and satisfied with the time spent. Now while you're transitioning back in to this "normal" life just know that there are others out there dealing with the same withdrawals you are, and we are here to help. Feel free to reach out at any time.
Thank you so much for reading!
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