It’s resolution season, and whether you admit it out loud or not, most everyone has a resolution of some sort. While you may decide to focus on losing weight or working out more, there are also plenty of outdoor resolutions you can make, and many of them go hand in hand with exercise so it’s a win-win. Here are some ideas on how you can be more active outdoors this year and reinforce the outdoor lifestyle you like to live.
Stockpiling ammunition can be one of the hardest things to do, especially if the ammo is somewhat rare and expensive. For example, you want to take your AR to the range for a day of plinking, but it’s no cheap endeavor to buy all the ammo for that range day. Then consider buying a box or two that goes straight back into the safe, and you’ve got a pretty expensive ammunition bill. There’s no easy solution to this problem unless you reload your own, but not everyone is set up to do so. The only choice left is to devote some of that plinking budget to stockpiling ammo. It will be a lot easier to build a decent stockpile if you do it slowly over time. This year commit to putting a box aside every time you go shooting, and don’t forget to diversify if you own several different caliber firearms.
You can get a 500 round case of Fiocchi 9mm Luger rounds for $355.50 right now at 1800GunsAndAmmo (prices and availability subject to change). With a big box of ammo like this, you can use some for self-defense training and plinking and stockpile a portion as well.
You may also consider purchasing bulk ammo if you can find a quality brand you trust. You’ll get a little bit of a quantity discount, and you could devote 3/4 to now and 1/4 to your stockpile, or whatever works for you. Make it a point to stockpile ammo this year and you’ll be set up for future “just in case” scenarios.
Hunt Or Fish Something New
Chances are there are plenty of hunting and fishing opportunities in your area that you’re not pursuing. Make this year the year that you try something new in your region. Some ideas include predator hunting, squirrel hunting, upland hunting, wild boar hunting and alligator hunting – the list goes on and on. As for fishing, you may want to try your hand at fly fishing if you haven’t before or try surf fishing if there is a nearby coast. The more you diversify your outdoor pursuits, the more options you have to get out and enjoy your time. In addition, some game tags take time to pull, and the earlier you start putting in for them, the more chances you have to get the tag you’re after.
If gator hunting is an option in your region, starting putting in for these sometimes difficult to obtain tags this year (photo courtesy of Pete Rogers Outdoors).
One other suggestion, if you’re crazy about whitetail hunting with a firearm, this year might be the year to try bow hunting as well. We stock a wealth of archery equipment and accessories, and the sooner you get out and start practicing, the sooner you’ll be ready to bow hunt this year.
Save For A Hunting Trip
You may find yourself mired in a “hunting the same old thing” syndrome, and if looking for new hunting opportunities in your region doesn’t solve it, then you may need to go outside your local area for the cure. There are plenty of outfitters around the world that offer exciting hunting and fishing trip opportunities, and many are more affordable than you may expect. You’ll find different levels of outfitters from true safari guides in Africa to hunting trips in states like Texas. Of course you’ll still have to save for these trips, but the earlier you get started, the sooner you’ll get to go on the trip. Set your sights on something reasonable (or something extravagant if you can afford it) and start putting away money for it this year.
Channel your inner safari hunter (or start saving for a future safari) this year.
Upgrade Your Optics
Are you still using that cut-rate rifle scope that doesn’t quite hold zero as long as it should? Have you found yourself on a hike or scouting trip without a pair of quality binoculars? This year might be the year to set aside some funds for new optics. Modern sport optics come at a very affordable price (for quality entry-level models) and you get an impressive amount of performance for that price. Sure they won’t perform like top of the line optics, but they will be more than enough to use on any scouting trip or nature hike. As far as scopes are concerned, you can get an excellent entry-level scope starting around $200, and there are so many varieties available that you can get the right magnification setting and reticle for your needs without any trouble. Decent entry-level binoculars start in the $120 – $150 range, and while you won’t get the top performance out of them, they are still more than adequate for hunters and nature observers on a budget. Of course, optics are a prudent investment, and if you can spend a little more, you’ll get even more long term value out of that optic.
The Vortex Crossfire II rifle scope line is extremely affordable ($129 and up) and it offers plenty of performance for the price (prices and availability subject to change).
You don’t have to buy these optics today either. There is still plenty of winter to slog through, and if you put aside a few dollars each month you’ll be closer to your goal come spring. We recommend optics brands like Hawke, Nikon, Leupold and Vortex as starting points for your optic search.