The fall hunting season has come and gone, and spring turkey and bear will be opening before we know it, but what do we do as hunters in between seasons? You know that time of year where everyday just drags on and you search catalogues and on-line stores for the newest and greatest gear, or those closeout items you couldn’t bring yourself to buy until they dropped to 50% off. Or if you are smart this is the time of year you catch up on the honey do list that has been collecting dust since before hunting season (no one has ever referred to me as smart though). This year instead of dreaming of the season to come and what it may bring, I challenge you to try something new. Something that may change the way you hunt, and may bring you more success in future seasons. Start a journal.

After every hunt successful or not, I write a summary of the hunt. I include what I did that worked or didn’t work, what I did or didn’t do, what time of day I found most productive, where the animals were, their behavior, how my equipment performed, and what changes I may need to make before my next hunt. By replaying the hunt through your journal you may notice something that you didn’t think of on any other hunt. Or better yet you may be validated in a decision you made in the heat of the moment.

Every hunt we go on should teach us something about ourselves and our quarry. If we don’t learn we will continue to repeat the mistakes that we made the previous season. If a lion fails at catching his prey because he zigs instead of zagged, you better believe next time he will zag. The learning curve is much steeper when failure means you don’t eat for another day. There is a lot of down time between seasons, but if you write down a summary of every hunt you go on you will be able to relive that hunt whenever you want and possibly save yourself a lot of money in unnecessary items bought in a bout of boredom.