7. Hardy Hunters
Getting back in shape isn't just a necessary step for hunting dogs, says Texas hunter Dallas Branch. Over the past decade, the Avery pro-staffer has gotten more serious about pre-season training.
"You read all the time about having your gear
ready before the season starts, but more important is getting yourself in shape," he explains. "Waterfowl hunting
can be a very physical activity, and your body can wear down over the course of the season. Running, lifting weights and proper nutrition before the season starts will help you haul gear through those muddy marshes, which makes watching the sun rise over the decoys in that spot no one else was willing to try and reach that much more enjoyable."
8. Landowner Relations
Investing the time to visit with a landowner in the off-season can pay dividends come opening day, according to Vance Stolz, who hunts along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in northern Colorado
is at a premium in this area, with more ground being sold or developed for housing or leased every year," Stolz says. "We try to maintain the relationship with the landowner by stopping by before the season begins. It just isn't fair to see birds in a field, knock on a door to get permission, hunt and then never talk to that landowner again until there are birds in his field the next year. Do it right; take care of those landowners, or someone else will."