Shed hunting helps you prepare for the upcoming season in many ways. Not only is it fun but it helps get you and your gear ready for the upcoming season. Ill break down a few pointers that I think are beneficial for preparing you for the coming season.
All winter long we have researched and researched different gear that might help us have an edge this fall. Well now that you’ve bought that piece of gear you really wanna see how it performs before you hit the mountain on opening morning. For example I spent all winter researching packs, I wanted lighter, stronger, good hauling capabilities, and a good fit. After lots of research I decided on the new Exo Mountain pack. When I recieved my pack I new I had to get some miles on it to really decide if it was right for me. So I loaded it up with all my gear I would have for a 3 day elk hunt minus a few things and headed out on an 2 day horn hunt. On the trip I found out all sorts of things about the pack, from how comfortable it was, to how well it hauled heavy loads, and how well all my gear fit in it. All these things were crucial to me and now I had confirmed that the pack was exaclty what I was looking for. So get that new piece of gear out and go put it through the ringer before you decide to take it on a hunt. The last thing you want is to head into the backcountry with an unproven item. It could lead to a miserable trip and totally change the outcome of your hunt.
Glassing for sheds can really fine tune your eyes for big game. As you sit glassing for sheds your looking for something that is extremely close in color and shape to a stick or brush, so scanning for them you really have to break down the terrain. Taking your time is key as in any glassing situation don’t just glance over something and call it good. I don’t know how many times Ive glassed the same piece of ground for over an hour to finally find a small piece of tine sticking out of the grass or laying in a brush. It also helps you build a pattern of how you like to break down terrain with your optics. I like to section terrain out, and start from the top and slowly work my way down. Becoming efficient behind a set of optics can totally change your level of success. The more time you spend behind them the better chance of finding that monster shed or that old sly buck hanging in the buckbrush. Let your eyes and optics do the walking for you.
Of all things that shed hunting helps you with I think fitness is the biggest. It really helps get your mind and body ready for the strains and struggles that your bound to come across this season. Theres a difference between being in shape and mountain shape. Theres no exercise that prepares you more effectively than actually throwing that pack on loaded with some gear and hitting the hills for a few hours. It helps build your physical endurance and stamina as well as your mental. Challenge yourself whenever you can. You’ll find things out about yourself you may not have known, such as maybe figuring out how much water your consuming or how many calories of food you need to stay focused and alert. Get your body used to packing that 30lb pack as much as possible, not just throwing it on the day before opening morning and expecting your body to be ready for it. You’ll be amazed how much more confident you feel heading out on a hunt knowing you had put those miles on. The gym and workout routines can get boring and stagnant, putting miles on in the mountains will never bore you.
Colter Ingram is a resident of the Wood River valley right here next to the shop for more info on Colter check him out on the team page.