Hunting Preparation during these “Hot” Summer Days

As we all bear this intense heat, one ponders what to do on the weekend.  Do I get ready for the Cross-Bow season that will start on September 15th, or something that gets you out in the outdoors, and on the cool side?  I knew that pre-scouting of my hunting area was not a good idea for the heat would make it very uncomfortable, and like people, deer don’t like the heat either and they would be seeking cooler areas and not necessarily moving.  Regardless, some outdoor activity would be good for it would help me get conditioned for the September hunting season.  A short trek in the woods still seemed to be the ticket.
Now where does one go with heat in the 103 degree level?  Well, my 5 year old son had the idea of going on a hike and climb a mountain, but given the closest mountains we may want to trek are in Western Maryland, I thought of something closer to home would be better.  Plus hiking a mountain in this heat would be just asking for trouble.  Make sure you have your cell phone speed dial set is to 911 when you get heat stroke.
So where can you go that is close and on the cool temperature side?  That is when I thought of Saint Mary’s River State Park.  This was a great idea for it would be a viable trek since the cool lake water would keep the surrounding area cooler with the constant wind blowing over the lake.  Plus, since it was right down the road from my house, so much the better.  If I got too hot, I could always go home and jump in my pool.
Well I gathered up my small camouflaged backpack that had a water bladder in it for self hydration.  This was a good choice for one could hike and drink water as the same time.  I put in some extra water bottles so we had enough for this 103 Degree day.  Some bug spray; hiking sandals to keep the feet cool; hiking shorts, and we were good to go.
My son was very excited and wanted to carry the pack all by himself.  I knew this excitement would only last a little for it would soon get too heavy, and he would want me to carry it.  I did not mind for I was a kid once and can remember such things and you only learn by doing.
We arrived at Saint Mary’s River State Park Saturday afternoon and there were only 2 cars in the parking lot.  I paid my parking fee of $3.00 and strapped on the back pack on my “Eager Beaver” 5 year old son.  We headed into the loop trail that went first to the earthen dam and was the short trek I was looking for.  Once we got into the woods, I definitely felt cooler.  Now to say it was so cool, I ceased to sweat would be an exaggeration, but it was definitely cooler then standing out I the open, and the cooler wind coming off the lake helped.
We hiked about a quarter of the way when my 5 year old son said the pack was getting heavy.  This was expected and I gladly took the backpack.  Well, no sooner did I take off the pack that my son, he felt so light and lively that he ran down the trail.  I just reminded him to look down and not trip over the roots that went across the trail.
We hiked to the earthen dam, and once in the open, the summer heat was upon us.  The high wind coming off the lake and over the dam helped, but I felt like I was being air dried.  We definitely hydrated the entire hike, and more so when we were on the earthen dam.  My son did not seem to mind the heat, for he started to pick flowers for his mommy.  I shared his enthusiasm with extra sips of water for the two of us.
What still amazes me it that Saint Mary’s River State Park is only 4 miles as the crow flies from downtown Lexington Park.  When you are on the earthen dam and looking over the lake, the area almost gives the appearance of Vermont, or some other remote state.
We did an about face and headed back in the woods and welcomed the lessoned heat.  It was a good hike that helped get ready for the upcoming strenuous Crossbow hunting season in September.
My next trip will be to 3J’s ARCHERY ProShop, located on Morganza Turner Rd. in Mechanicsville.  I need to see if they have Bolts (Arrows for Crossbows) that will go with my crossbow and get some field points for target practice that have the same performance as my hunting heads.  Plus, to minimize any lost bolts, I will look into getting them fitted with the LED lights at the nock that illuminate once they are shot.
There are 7 weeks left before Crossbow season.  Prepare any way you can to be physical capable, and make sure your hardware is ready to.  Good luck, be safe, and stay cool.

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