Updated: Mar 28, 2020
Don’t let the Corona-virus get you down!
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Matthew 6:25-34
Are you stuck at home because of the CoronaVirus? Well, here are 8 things you can be doing to keep yourself and your mind occupied in positive ways.
1. Organize Fishing Gear for Spring
Photo Credit: InnoFun
Re-spool Fishing Line! Every spring I spool new line on my most heavily used reels from the previous season. This is something that needs to be done at least once every few years, but replacing line every year gives me peace of mind. One year I stored all my fishing rods in the rafters of my folks barn, and some mice ate away at my braided line. Always inspect your gear after long periods of storage!
Clean and Organize Your Tackle Box! My tackle box gets one true cleaning a year and that almost always takes place sometime during the dark winter months or just before the spring rush! Some things I do when I go through all my tackle: identify and replace bent hooks, replenish popular lures, sharpen hooks, sort similar colored lures, and throw away pieces of line or garbage collected over the past season. It’s a task that requires time and patience but is always well worth it in the end.
2. Clean your Camping Gear
Clean and Air-Out Your Tent! I can’t remember the last time I packed up my tent when it wasn’t completely damp. Most times when I break camp it’s in the early morning after the dew has already saturated the exterior fabric. Realistically, you should immediately re-open your tent once you return home to eliminate mildew from ruining your tent. Letting the tent air out in a breezy location in the yard for 30 minutes is all that is really needed. I’ve done this indoors before as well, right in the middle of the living room.
20 miles outside Miles City Montana
Wash Camp Pots, Pans, and Silverware! This is a commonly overlooked chore in my opinion. I often clean most of my eating utensils and cooking gear right after I use them in the field in the nearest stream or creek. For a long time this was the only true bath my gear received. With that being said, there’s nothing like a good dobie pad and a squirt of blue dawn dish soap. This simple once a year soap and water scrub can help keep your gear in good shape for a long time. Not to mention it helps to reduce the chance of bacteria growing on your cooking items.
Wash Your Sleeping Bag! There’s nothing like clean bedding which can help your stay in the bush feel more comfortable no matter how many nights you spend in it during the year. I would strongly recommend following the manufacturer’s directions printed on the tags. Different materials call for different cleaning methods. If you have a down insulated sleeping bag, make sure to research the correct way to clean your down sleeping bag! Most down sleeping bags require a different cleaning process than those made of synthetic materials.
3. Gun Maintenance
Photo Credit: therange702
Clean Your Guns! This activity could be viewed as a joy, a necessary task or a chore. No matter your opinion on how often one should clean their gun, at least take some time to observe your weapon and make sure things are operating as they should. Running a few patches down the barrel certainly won’t cause any damage. Maybe today is your day!
Reload Your Favorite Rounds of Ammunition! Not everybody reloads their own ammunition, but if you have the supplies and materials already purchased, this can be a great time to prepare a dozen or so rounds for your next outing. This may be a good time to experiment with a few different load charges you have been wanting to shoot. Maybe you are trying to find a higher velocity but just haven’t had the time to figure out the right combination; here is your chance. If you don’t reload your own ammo, that’s no problem, take time to research how reloading can increase your accuracy.
4. Read a Good Book
Undaunted Courage: by Stephen Ambrose! A great book for any true outdoorsmen or woman wanting to know more about the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the exploration of the west. One of the first books I ever enjoyed reading as a young man. I highly recommend this read.
Bowhunting Pressured Whitetails: by John and Chris Eberhart. John Eberhart is one of the Nation's top pressured whitetail hunters year in and year out. He has put many deer in the record books over the years and has a system dialed in that doesn't fail. A great read for those who hunt pressured areas such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York.
5. Sharpen your Knives
If you aren’t the best knife sharpener, check out this video that shows the proper way to sharpen knives on a wet stone. Sharpening knives has a way of calming and soothing my mind with each flick of the wrist. Almost all knife related injuries I have witnessed happened with dull knives. Knives that are extremely sharp and cut well don’t require tons of pressure to get the job done which translates in my mind to less self-inflicted injuries. Learning the skill of sharpening is well worth it your time. There is nothing more satisfying than having a super sharp blade you created yourself.
6. Practice Shooting Your Bow!
The coolest thing about shooting your bow vs. your gun is that it’s free if you have your own target, and it can be done quietly. It doesn’t matter who you are, we all could use some extra practice. Try really focusing on your mechanics when shooting. Take a deep breath, anchor, let the pin float, squeeze the trigger, and follow through. Over and over and over again! Only five shots a day, with proper form, will have you feeling deadly by the time October rolls around.
7. Practice Your Game Calls!
Whether it’s turkey yelps, elk bugles, duck quacks or deer grunts, they all need some attention. In the past few years, whenever I know I will be traveling in the truck by myself or staying at home for extended periods of time, I like to listen to live game calls on youtube and try to mimic the sounds down to the exact pitch or tone. I have never been taught by anyone on any type of game calling. All my knowledge has come from personal experience and practice in the off season simply trying to copy the sounds I hear. Another technique to increase the authenticity of your calls is to record animal sounds with your phone when you hear them in real life. I have numerous different goose and duck tracks recorded on my phone that I can pull up in only seconds when I want to get some practice in!
8. Get Outside!
Go Hunting or Fishing! Last time I checked, the woods and waters are open for business folks! Many states still have open seasons for squirrel, rabbit and trapping. Turkey season is just around the corner as well. With spring knocking on the door, many different species of fish will soon be running and spawning across the country. This is an exciting time to be out and interacting with nature; don't miss it!
Plan a Hunt for this Upcoming Fall! A great use of your time could be used to research other states you have always wanted to hunt or fish in. A great tool and resource I would highly recommend using is GoHunt. GoHunt is a company that offers big game draw odds, strategy articles, and harvest statistics for western hunting. They sponsor our show here at Painted Arrow and have a great company mission to help you acquire the tags you desire. Go to their website and try their free trial called the "Insider" today!
By: Nate Hicks