25 Things to Do While Still Surviving the Pandemic

Well, here we are a year later and the pandemic is still part of our lives. Spring has sprung early so here are few things to do while we wait for better, warmer weather. The best thing is that many of these things can be done at home, but if all else fails, don’t be afraid to take a long slow ride in the car. Bring a camera and be ready for wildlife.

  • Pack a bag filled with sunscreen, Chapstick, bug spray, bottled waters, granola bars or other non-perishable food for snacking, towels, and a change of clothes for every person in your household. Keep one bag in every vehicle. This way you’re always ready for an unexpected trip.
  • Set up your fishing lines with new line and tackle. Don’t be afraid to try out some new lures. I’ve been avoiding plastic baits due to the recent findings on their impact on fish. If I’m not fly fishing, I’m usually in waters where I can use the real thing, and I’m okay with that.
  • Get a Gazetteer Map and search out new places to fish, hike or hunt.

  • Rearrange your tackle boxes so that everything is neat and easy to find. There’s nothing worse than trying to untangle lines with hooks on them when you’re reaching for a Mepps or realizing you’ve run out of the special green spinner on a #4 hook when a store isn’t nearby.
  • Learn how to fly fish. I don’t mean hire someone to teach you. You-Tube has wonderful examples of how to cast. Get an inexpensive set-up that uses a dry fly. Making sure no power lines are around you, practice the hello-it’s for you method and try to cast so that you can lay a fly onto a target. Once you do that, you’re ready to either stand in water or cast from a boat or canoe. Don’t get discouraged, and persistence will pay off.
  • Hang game cameras to watch the wildlife in your area. I have cell cameras so the pictures come right to my phone, but it is fun walking to the cameras and checking pictures too, so don’t let not having a cell camera deter you from seeing what’s out there. Some cameras are as inexpensive as $20.
  • Move your tree stands, even as little as thirty feet… rumor has it that deer recognize stands that are in one spot year after year, and will avoid them.
Wild Ramps
  • Try to find wild ramps. They are delicious and are a great way to start off the foraging season.
  • For a rainy day project: Shellac your wooden snowshoes now so that they’ll be ready next winter.

  • Start looking for ant hill dirt to gather for next season’s trapping. Mark your spots so that you can get it later.
  • Get out your archery target and start flinging those arrows. It won’t be long before bow season will be here. Heck, expand your challenges and try to shoot a turkey with a bow!
  • Speaking of turkey hunting. If you haven’t tried it, you don’t know what you’re missing. Turkey hunting is a great entry hunt for beginners.
  • If you turkey hunt, learn how to use a mouth call and try hunting solo. Try locating and getting turkeys to answer back at roosting hour.
  • Register your boat. Get out in it. Catch some sun, take someone fishing, and/or watch for wildlife.
Mr. Bluejay checking out my game camera
  • Look for deer or moose sheds. I’ve written about hunting for moose sheds in a previous blog.
  • Learn how to use a map and compass. And practice, practice, practice! You never know when you’ll need it. Electronics are neither as reliable, nor any easier to use.
  • Buy some permethrin and spray your outdoor/hunting clothes so that ticks won’t tag along once you start spending more time in the woods.
  • Buy some deer fly patches to keep in the glovebox for when they hit. We put them on our hats, and make a contest on who can attract the most.
  • Start watching for morel mushrooms. They’re one of the first to show up, and they’re gone before you know it.
  • Fiddleheads are already sprouting so while you’re looking for ramps, keep your eyes open for fiddleheads…and remember, fiddleheads aren’t just found on the banks of rivers.
  • Listen for peepers and croakers at dusk
  • Learn the constellations in your sky: Orion, Cassiopeia, Northern Cross, Big and Little Dipper, and Pleiades, and spot them in the night sky.
  • Sign up for email notifications for the International Space Station and watch for it in the night sky
  • Build a campfire from scratch with wood, sticks and bark you collect…and for extra challenge, try to start it using flint and steel striker, or try building the camp fire with different tinder such as Old Man’s Beard, cattails, pine bark, birch bark, or Vaseline on a cotton ball. Kids love to do this.

I hope this gets you excited for the Maine outdoors. These are just some of the things we do every year. There is always something to look forward to when prepping for time in the Maine woods. Now get out there!

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