Although the pressure some put on themselves to reach their New Year’s goals is intense and often causes more stress than motivation, you can set some achievable resolutions for yourself this year. Here are nine New Year’s resolutions for hunters or anglers.
1. Organize Your Gear
This chore is incredibly useful, although somewhat tedious. By going over all your bullets, bolts, and lures, you’ll know what you need to pick up before you head out into the woods or on the river next.
And it’s not just replacing gear that is worn out or useless; regular maintenance makes your gear last longer, saving you time, money, and the inevitable annoyance of a broken line or a fouled shot.
How many times have you had to turn down a last-minute invitation to hunt or fish because your gear was not ready for action? The more time you spend making sure your equipment is in working order and accounted for, the more time you’ll be able to spend on the water or in the woods.
2. Take a Novice Out
If you love hunting or angling, the best gift you can give someone this holiday season is a new hobby. Make a resolution to take one new person out hunting or fishing this year.
Some people are intrigued by these sports but hesitate because they don’t have the technical expertise, gear, or outdoor skills to explore the river or woods. Taking a novice and showing them how exciting hunting or angling can be is the gift that keeps giving.
If they’re not quite ready to hit the water or the woods, you can take them to the shooting range or enchant them by making fishing lures. There are so many outdoor hobbies, like fishing or hunting, and sparking someone else’s interest is a beautiful reward.
3. Plan a Trip Far Away
Whether it’s buying hunting land or merely checking out a new locale a day’s travel away, there’s nothing like the thrill of finding a new favorite hunting or fishing ground. Read articles, ask around, and scour maps for your new favorite fishing hole or hunting location.
Fishing for a new type of fish or setting your sites on a brand new prize is like rediscovering the sport all over again. Trying out a new piece of land or water makes you learn new things about old hobbies, and you may meet some new friends to round out the package.
4. Explore a New Spot Close to Home
Sometimes you’re so used to your old routine you overlook a new spot in your well-trod area. Look at local maps for a corner of wilderness you may not have explored yet.
Your hunting or fishing peers might also have secret spots they don’t often talk about, but they might divulge their secrets if you ask nicely.
5. Become a Better Shot
The off-season doesn’t have to be inactive for hunters or anglers; you can use it to hone your skills. That way, by the time you’re ready to get on the water or into your blind, your aim and casting skills will be sharper than ever.
No matter if you wield a muzzleloader, shotgun, bow, or fly fishing rod, continual practice keeps your aim on point, your reflexes honed, and your mind in the game. Your hobby will always be close to the forefront of your mind, and you’ll be ready for anything next time you’re out.
6. Refresh Your Outdoors Skills
Even the most seasoned hunter or angler can sometimes be caught unawares. The New Year is a perfect opportunity to brush up on your survival skills.
Those who spend their free time in the woods hold an increased risk of hyperthermia, hypothermia, lightning strikes, and accidental injuries. Sign up for new survival skills or a first aid course, either online or in-person and ensure, when disaster strikes in the Great Outdoors, you’ll be ready.
7. Make One Environmental Change
Since you spend a lot of time outdoors, one of the best resolutions you can make in the New Year is to adopt one change that benefits the environment.
It can be an act as simple as picking up trash along the river or the parking lot where you park before heading out on a hunt. Or it could be more involved like planting trees or guarding against invasive species. Even small changes make a big difference.
8. Learn a New Skill
You may have been angling and hunting since before you could walk and talk, or you may have discovered these thrilling sports as an adult. No matter when you start practicing, there’s always room for improvement.
Maybe you’d like to take your chances with a new weapon or fishing rod. If you’re predominantly a surf-caster, perhaps you’d like to try fly-fishing for some freshwater trout instead. New lures, different bait types, and various types of prey all present unique challenges, and with those challenges come new skills.
9. Try a New Wild Game Recipe
If you enjoy time in the kitchen as much as spending time outdoors, the New Year is the perfect opportunity to expand your palate. Explore new recipes and unique ways of preparing your catch or kill.
Trying building your own smoker for succulent smoked trout or salmon. Or invest in a dehydrator and make your own jerky. You could even attempt ancient cooking techniques like creating an earth oven or stone-boiling stews and soups.
Resolutions often let you discover a new aspect of yourself. The New Year is an excellent opportunity to reassess your old routines and imbue them with some new life. You may be able to spark a love of angling or hunting in a friend, family member, or acquaintance, or you may discover something new about yourself.
Mossy Oak can help you be prepared for your next expedition. Before you head out into the wilderness, explore the Mossy Oak online catalog to pick up the latest gear.