PREP FOR SUCCESS By Jake Rush ~ Outdoorsmans Store Manager
With the temperatures rising and summer in full swing, most of our days are spent in an air-conditioned building dreaming of chasing our prey this fall. These months, however, are the best time of year to prepare yourself for success this upcoming season. Scouting new areas right now could truly be the difference between a freezer full of meat, and the awful taste of a bowl full of tag soup.
Whenever I start scouting for next season my first stop is typically Google Maps on my computer and OnXhunt maps on my phone. These two tools allow me to map out terrain, find bedding areas, food sources, and year around water sources. After mapping out the areas that hold the best potential for sustaining a healthy population of game animals, I start planning short scouting trips into the areas to see if my hunches pay off.
Typically, these scouting trips are short half day trips getting to the area well before sunrise and only staying until the heat gets overbearing around mid-morning. Since these scouting trips are usually done whenever I can find time, I keep my summer scouting bag in my truck at all times. My favorite summer scouting trip bag is an Outdoorsmans Muley pack, which is our smaller 2,000ci lumbar pack that works fantastic for these situations.
Inside my pack, I try to pare down my gear to only the essential equipment, so I am able to pack more water for those hot early morning hikes into the hills. The essentials in my pack for these summer trips consists of my optics and tripod, toilet paper, a knife, paracord, hard paper map, portable phone charger, and some sort of small tarp shelter for shade later in the day if I decide to stay out longer. All of these items fit perfectly into the Muley that is tucked under the backseat of my truck and ready to go whenever I can make it out.
Scouting during these hot off-season months can be dangerous so before you head for the hills make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back, carry more water than you think you will need, and as a secret weapon get yourself some Wilderness Athlete Hydrate and Recover to drink while on the mountain. That stuff is a life saver and replaces everything you sweat out while hiking in and out of your glassing area. So this summer get out from that air-conditioned building and prepare yourself for success this fall!