5 WAYS TO PASS THE TIME UNTIL BOW SEASON

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FISHING

I love fishing, however, it's not as big of a passion as bowhunting is for me. I've found that it's a great pass time while waiting for hunting season though. I've spent YEARS trying to catch a musky without luck. I've had follow-ups and close calls but nothing ever in the boat! Even though I've never caught one, musky fishing is one of my favorite ways to pass the time in the off season. Another would be bass fishing! Years ago, I even did tournaments, which seemed to satisfy my competitive side! If I had all the resources, I would probably get back into those! As of recently, I had never caught a walleye or a catfish, but I'm quickly getting those things crossed off my Outdoor Bucket List! Perhaps my goal for this summer will be to catch fish I've not yet caught, in ways I've never caught them (fly fishing, topwater, etc).

BOWFISHING

I just learned how to bowfish in the last couple of years and I am absolutely hooked! Although you're still using a bow, it is far from being the same technique as bowhunting. Regardless, using a bow to shoot game or fish, provides a whole lot of fun and intensity. Unlike bowhunting, you get opportunity after opportunity to shoot! Bowfishing, however, will keep most of the same muscles used for bowhunting engaged, while managing the number of invasive species in our waters! You don't even need a boat to bowfish. I've seen it done by people wading in the water and even from shore, day and night. If you haven't given it a try, I highly recommend it. There's even tournaments for bowfishing, which I have yet to experience. Bowfishing is definitely at the top of my list as a favorite pass time!

3D OR CLAY SHOOTS

I just did a 3D shoot this weekend and man, was it fun! The boys of Working Class Bowhunter got a bunch of people together for a fun "shewt" with different games, tournaments, and giveaways! What's better than getting to meet new friends, enjoying time with old ones, all while doing some shooting?! These are popping up everywhere in Wisconsin. 3D shooting events like the R100 and Bowfest, keep bowhunters occupied during the off season, as well as trap shooting events that seem to be happening almost weekly. These are great ways to pass the time during the summer. 3D shoots keep your skills sharp, while clay shoots are just as fun, because, well, shooting and breaking things mid-air is always fun, especially if there's a little competition involved!

BOW LEAGUE

Nothing breaks a week up like a league of any sort. Bow leagues however, allow for fun and competitive weekly practice. It's a great way to meet other hunters, keep your bow dialed in, and just hang out with your buddies. This is something I've always wanted to do, but I've never had a consistent schedule to do so!

VOLUNTEERING

If you haven't guessed it yet, this is something I love to talk about and do throughout the year. I'm mostly involved in Whitetails Unlimited and The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, but I'll lend a hand in just about any conservation effort if I can. So far during the off season I've volunteered searching for elk calves. This is a great way to still get outside and witness the wonderful world we live in and the amazing wildlife we have. Searching for elk calves is easily my favorite way to volunteer. Although it can make for a long morning/day, getting sweaty, sometimes bit by bugs or covered in ticks, it's immediately rewarding when you find one! It's exciting to get to interact with the animals and see them in the first several days of their lives. Another great way to volunteer in the off season, is helping work banquets. Banquets are a great way to raise money for the community and our wildlife, meet new people, and learn more about what's going on with a certain population. I personally think everyone should try to set aside just one day to do volunteer work in an area they're passionate about!

BONUS-CRY

While there are plenty of ways to keep yourself busy in the off season...sometimes all you can do is just cry and wait for bow season to roll around.

So, what's your favorite? How do you pass the time in the off season?