The Joys of Planning ahead

With the upcoming season ahead I’ve been doing a few chores, and with that comes together headaches and excitement.

  • Scouting
  • Planning
  • Preparing

Scouting

This has been interesting as I haven’t really done any real E-scouting before. I knew of some good local areas that fit the general habitat where I’d like to go, for what I like to hunt. Generally that just meant finding an area that was clear cut and now full of thick nasty aspens and blackberry/raspberry bushes.

This year I have some out of state trips planned so I did some more scouting than I had in the past as I want to make every moment the best I can when out of state. I listened to a few podcasts, joined a free webinar as well put on my OnX and Tyler Webster.

Using OnX – like everyone else does now a days it seems. I started to 1st narrow down where I can hunt. In particular I was able to see if something was Electronically posted in ND, which is nice. However reaching out to some locals I was told that maybe 50% aren’t electronic and just physically posted. So some leg work will still be required when I get there. I also marked areas where there’s public land. With this comes some headaches as I have a lot of pins placed in the areas I’m looking now. So then it comes down to choosing a couple of tiers of pins and ranking them high to low. I haven’t done this yet, but it’s going to get done in the next week or so on my slow time at work. I’ll use a combination of looking at terrain and coverage, as well as the nearby availability of water and types of crops to choose Tier 1 vs Tier 2 spots. I’ll probably change the color of Tier 1’s to Green so it’s easy to distinguish.

I’ll scout differently for my pheasant/mixed bag hunt in October, but I need to keep a few things off my plate for now.

I also bought the Scout-N-Hunt app. This will apply a bit more for ruffed grouse, but I will take a look when I finally get some free time to evaluate it for the ND hunts as well.

Planning

Planning. Something growing up I was never great at, has somehow become something I’m pretty good at now a days. While I’m not exactly a type A personality, I’m pretty close. So having a good idea as to the who, what, when, where, and how of it all is pretty important to me. I think my wife rubbed off on me for this.

I’ve already got more than enough time reserved at a hotel for both my visits, and it’s refundable in case I change my mind. In terms of choosing this it basically came down to – what’s cheap, what has a hot tub, and does it allow dogs? I’m also going to put in a rest day where we (or maybe just I if my friend doesn’t make it out) go to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. As I’m sure Lainey could use some rest through our travels. Haven’t looked to see if she’s allowed in the park, nor do I even know what’s there. So there ya go, still more to plan.

I know I need to get some organization down yet. I want to have some nice containers for all my gear, as right now I have some basic emergency kit in a tool bag. My dog emergency gear in a tool bag. Some more dog emergency meds in a diving goggle case. And carboard boxes holding shells. I found a few containers on Amazon that I like the look of for storage.

MTM ACR5-72 – this one looks great for holding shells and maybe smaller gear like dog meds/bandages https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00T4XL2MO/ref=ox_sc_act_title_10?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

MTM ACR8-72 – this one looks like it will be great for the larger and bulkier gear https://www.amazon.com/MTM-ACR8-72-Crate-Utility-Large/dp/B00T4XL4HM/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2GMRQXW57GDQC&keywords=mtm+acr8-72&qid=1661779738&sprefix=mtm+acr8%2Caps%2C242&sr=8-2

Then of course I know there’s some medical supplies I’d like to have. My grandpa gave me a bunch of his old dog medical supplies, but they are from the 80’s and 90’s. I went and sorted through a bunch of it. Tossed a lot out, but kept a lot. Either way a ton of it is very expired so I need to get some quick clot, Benadryl, and a few other things to make me feel a bit more prepared.

Some of the areas I’ll be hunting will be WMA’s/WPA’s and require non-tox ammo. So I went down that rabbit hole. I signed my email up for notifications when they will be back in stock. Whilst in Peru on vacation, I finally received an email from Boss saying the 2 3/4″ 20g #7’s were back in stock so I ordered a case. It took all of 3 days to arrive at my door before I was even back from traveling. They even came with a cool bag. So I guess I’m just another on the bandwagon of Boss shells. Tried as I might to find something different, it just didn’t happen. Quite frankly they were the most affordable as well, so who’s to complain?

I also need to put together a good bird cleaning kit to put in my car. I don’t have any poultry shears, so those are on the to-buy list.

Other odds and ends I’d like to get. Some Lysol wipes, and wet wipes for the car/truck. T post step to make that easier. Probably get some nitrile gloves for cleaning too so I don’t need to wash my hands so often. Water and Food storage for the dog.

Preparing

Well, there’s still a lot I have to do. Decide if I take my car or truck? The big rig needs a new caliper installed as I ordered 2 when I had one seize. Really, I would like to replace all the pads and rotors as well just to feel even better about that all. If I take my car I think it needs new engine mounts. Oh the joys of owning shitbox vehicles.

Organizing and making a list. I’d like to put all the gear together in a nice tidy way and have an orderly list I can cross off when I put it all in the vehicle.

My wife needs me to finish a chicken coop. It’s been a fun project but I’m ready to be done with that. I’ll share photos of this when I finish, documenting start to finish the steps.

I already have 2 vests for me and whomever decides to join me, if they do. I need to put all my blaze orange together to make sure I have hot weather to cold weather covered for wearing during the hunt. Plenty of water bottles for each vest, so water shouldn’t ever be a limiting factor.

Collar – Lainey doesn’t every seem to range too far, so debating whether or not I should get a GPS collar. Of course I’d love one, but for $500-1200 depending on the model I don’t know. I think I’ll wait for the first trip to decide.

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