Spring Break, North American Hunter Style

You don't have to remind me that spring hasn't arrived yet as I look out the window at yet another 4 or more inches of fresh snow. Despite daylight savings time, and a spring notation on the calendar and some hardy robins rooting through the snow in my front yard, it is time for spring break! Pack the truck with outdoor gear, load the kids, toss in the dog and head outdoors.

College students might flock to the beach. Shoppers might invade the malls, and people with no ambition will be keeping couches warm across the country. If you're a true North American Hunter, then your spring break has an outdoor theme. Are your creative juices dry? If so, take a look at some of the ideas below that will keep you and your kids busy for the entire length of your spring break—snow or no snow.

Think turkey season.
If you're waiting for turkey season like I am, then do some housekeeping. Go through your gear, but to have some fun with the kids, get out the shotgun, the turkey loads,and the turkey targets. Now, pattern that shotgun to ensure your kids are on target when tom turkey struts into view.

Visit a wildlife refuge.
Spring is an ideal time to witness nature's greatest movement, the waterfowl migration. Canada geese, snow geese and a variety of duck species fill the skies as they travel northward. The sight alone is spectacular, but you can also use it as a training tool on waterfowl identification, and simply to see just how many different species of waterfowl pass by during your visit.

Hit the gun or archery range.
If you're days off are blessed with decent weather, take the kids out to the range. If the weather is foul, then visit an indoor firearm or archery range. Whether you plink or fling doesn't matter, but get some

fun targets. Balloons work great for archery, and you can even put clay targets on some plywood for .22 LR plinking. Kids love it when targets do more than just tear paper.

Go shed antler hunting.
It's an excellent time to hit the woods and try to pick up a shed antler before the spring green up. Bring a binocular to increase your take. While you're out hiking, be sure to point out game sign such as old rubs or scrapes. And take along a bucket. Morel mushrooms could be in season and they add a tasty addition to a game meal.

Enjoy your break and think spring!

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