I have been back in Iowa for the past week and I am surprised by the number of things to do related to deer hunting. Though this can be a period of longing for the whitetail hunter who is wishing it was October, there are a number of ways to stay busy and improve as a hunter in June.
Move and Improve Treestands
I mentioned in a recent instagram video that it’s a good idea to move as many treestands as you can in the offseason. If you think the stand is in a good spot, then just move it to a nearby tree. Last season I shifted a stand twenty feet down a fence line and the deer in the area were noticeably more comfortable. Also, even at my best stands I can find a better option for a tree after hunting it for a season.
Scout for deer
Scouting can be difficult at this time of year because a lot of undergrowth is covering sign that was obvious during the winter. I still like scouting during this time of year though, because only the heavily travelled trails are visible and you will start to understand the true highways.
Shooting your bow
June can be a hard time to stay motivated to shoot your bow. Making plans to compete in a tournament in June, July, and August can combat the lack of motivation. I found when I planned in advance to take July 5th off work last year for a bow shooting competition I was shooting much better than I would have if I had I not signed up. Another benefit of competition besides motivating you to shoot, is that competition creates a pressure-filled situation like hunting.
If you really don’t want to compete, just focus on shooting for fun this month. Shooting at water balloons, teaching friends to shoot, and taking up bowfishing are all strategies I have used in the Summer months to keep shooting fun. See if you can shoot at 100 yards. It doesn’t really matter if it isn’t practical for hunting, if you are still focused on improving form while shooting at long distances. I also think you will be amazed at how much better you shoot when you don’t care where the arrows are landing. June offers a great chance really enjoy the long Iowa evenings and improve as an archer.
Over the past week I have seen does with fawns, ducks with ducklings, and a hen pheasant with over ten chicks. It’s a pretty good time of year just to go out, walk around, and just enjoy nature.
“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” -Henry David Thoreau
Harrison hunts in Southwest Iowa and New Zealand. He creates videos and writes blogs for Iowa Slam with his brothers Stuart and Max Hoegh. You can follow along on Facebook and Instagram @iowaslam and on Twitter @harrison_hoegh.