The dog days of summer are said to be July 3rd through August 11th and foliage is thick, green and rich. These days are typically hot and humid, perfect for growing antler mass. It’s exciting to check the trail camera and find a large mass of velvet attached to a big brown body on the screen. It is not too early to begin inspecting your archery equipment and if need be upgrade to a new sight, rest or whatever the budget will allow.
I’ve been shooting at least once a week since archery leagues ended in March. Last season I missed a few deer by shooting over them from my 16’ ladder stand so this spring I set up the stand and shot from it. I was amazed that at 12 yards my arrow was hitting almost a foot high. Just about everyone that shoots realizes that you need to aim low when shooting down but it was surprising to me just how far off the sight was at 12 yards. I don’t intend to blow any of the changes at back strap filets this season. The other tune up to my shooting prowess was the interchanging of field tips for the practice broad heads that came with my hunting Grimm Reaper tips. The broad heads and field tips don’t fly quite the same and it’s great to know that my hunting arrows are hitting the mark. Now that all of my equipment is ready I find that being out in the woods is frequently in the back of my mind. It’s a good time to make a trip out to where your stand or stands will be and clear away any brush or branches that may have grown into your shooting lanes. Deer are really in tune with their surroundings and clearing brush the day before opening day is a big mistake. Clear it now and they will be at home in the clearing on the morning of opening day. In the state where I live it’s legal to bait deer and I have a great salt and mineral formula for whitetail. I take this opportunity to spruce up my mineral lick and make sure there is plenty of enticement to last the next couple of months. It has been extremely dry in our area and much of the normal standing water and small streams have dried up. If there is a good water source in the area you hunt that would be a great place to plan an ambush on some unsuspecting game.
The dog days of summer will soon be the cool days of fall and any early preparation and practice will pay great dividends when the hunting season begins and even if you don’t connect with a trophy this year, the opportunity to spend time in the outdoors is a blessing none of us should take for granted.