The first few weeks of the 2014 hunting season have passed and some enthusiastic hunters were have already been on mountaintops looking for Dall sheep. Others were, and  maybe still are, are scouring the valleys and ridges for caribou or moose.

Whatever your desire is, there is a huge benefit to knowing in advance what you might be up against. Pre-season scouting can alleviate many surprises; if you didn’t get out to scout this year, try next year. On a one pre-season sheep-scouting trip we were unable to find water anywhere. This Such a situation would makes for a long walk up and down everyday for water, as you can guesswhich is less than ideal, soand we decided to find another spot.

Now that we have gotten through the opening day rush it’s time to settle down and make sure you are ready for the rest of the season., Ffrom my experience the guys that have harvested an animal or been on a trip already have just begun theirre season;, pace yourself, ; we still have three months. Like us I’m sure a lot of people have at least a few trips planned.

One friend of mine took all of September off. He’s not going to sit on a beach, if that’s what your thinking.

In preparation, keep in mind your physical condition and mental state. Things can go from bad to worse really quickly., But if you have prepared for the worst, bad isn’t such a big deal.

Well in advance, I try to make a list well in advance of stuff I need. If you try to put do this together at the last minute there is a good chance you’ll forget something. Days before I leave, mMy list sits beside my pack in the middle of the living room with my gear days before. This way I can walk by, see everything sprawled out and see notice that I dondidn’t havesee my flashlight, or the spotting scope.

Once you leave, you can’t add stuff to your truck or backpack. If you forgot gas for your stove to cook; it is going to be a long weekend, or even a few weekstrip. A little extra time now will make your stay inhunt much more enjoyable.

We have a sheep and caribou hunts planned for August and September. I’ve spent the summer getting into sheep shape to deal with the rigors of climbing up and down mountains. It is physically and mentally tough; don’t forget the ibuprofen.

Sat phones, SPOTSpot devices or DeLlorme communication devices have made it possible to talk to loved ones, making them feel  a lot more secure in your absence. Recently I picked up a DeLlorme inR reach;, it is able to send and receive text messages. It has given Heather and I great comfort knowing all is well. I can find out in a few words that things are ok at home or in the field.

Good luck to all my fellow hunters and be safe out there. Bring your kids and pass on the life changing skills they will learn.

 Playing Big Buck Hhunter on the Xbox has never put dinner on my table!