For avid whitetail deer hunters, the months from the end of one season ‘til opening day of the next are long indeed. The social distancing and other restrictions of the pandemic are making this year even harder than usual. However, there are still steps you can take to make this time meaningful in preparation for the time when the hunt returns.

Prepare Your Gear – One impact of the pandemic is disruption of the supply chain. While it may not occur to you, many of the items you pack from clothing to boots, binoculars and more come from overseas manufacturers. Inventory your gear and order early to ensure that you’re fully prepared when the season rolls around.

Social Distance With Bow and Arrow – If you are a bowhunter, your work from home time can include some practice time. It offers a chance to get outdoors and let off some steam as well as hone your skills. Take advantage of this time to increase your accuracy and range, try new equipment, or hold an on-line competition with friends.

Share Venison – While it hasn’t hit yet, the explosion of Covid-19 cases in meatpacking plants in the Midwest is likely to cause a reduction in the meat supply throughout the country. If you have a stock of venison in the freezer this would be a good time to consider donations to food banks or other non-profit organizations. It would be a good idea to research venison donation programs in your area in preparation for the season. Many areas have regulations for donations so it is good to check in advance.

Shop At Home – In a time when shopping is difficult, shopping in your own freezer may be a great idea. Practical Self-Reliance website offers 70+ recipes for venison. Save money, time and social distancing by feasting on last season’s success.

Online Training – There will likely never be a better time to take advantage of the array of online courses related to deer hunting. Whether it is Udemy’s course for whitetail deer hunter beginners or the Colorado Advanced Guide School online course to certify as a profession guide, there is online learning to make you a better hunter.

Make the most of this difficult time so that when the hunt returns you will be prepared, and ready to make the most of the day.