10 Uses for a Hunting Journal – Foundry Outdoors
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10 Uses for a Hunting Journal

As good as your memory may be, there are so many little details related to hunting that can be forgotten over time, but could have benefitted future hunts. I find my own journal entries from just a couple years ago and read information or stories that I completely forgot about. Keeping some notes in the form of a hunting journal, with as little or as much detail as you see fit, can pay off down the road even when things are fresh today. Here’s how: 

  • Memories! Some hunts are just special, and writing it down when all the details and feelings are fresh is a great treasure to have later on and look back at. Kids can read the stories of their first hunts, memorable hunts with friends or remarkable events that took place during the hunt. Write it down and read it later.
  • Natural history. I’m a nerd, but keeping notes on the natural history you observe while hunting or scouting is good information to keep track of. Dates of finding morels, certain species of migratory birds returning to an area, fish activity, and animal behavior are good to keep track of, especially if you hunt or live in the same area year after year. You’ll know roughly when to expect certain things and act accordingly. 

  • Population monitoring. On the same note, keeping an idea of numbers of deer, turkey, geese… any animal, really, can be vital information when kept track of for any length of time. How is the turkey population actually doing? Does it just seem like you’re seeing fewer birds than usual or is there truly a trend in population numbers? Keeping tabs on the wildlife populations you interact with is an important management tool and can inform your hunts and how you manage properties throughout the year. 
  • Weather and wind. Weather is one of the biggest factors in hunting. Keeping track of where animals are during different types of weather can help you make decisions when hunting in similar weather in the future. Same goes for wind– certain stands or waterfowl setups only work in specific wind directions. Keeping track can help with stand choice locations, as well. 

  • Food sources. Notes on food plot choices and how they perform, which food sources wildlife are choosing at different times of the year, and unique observations about food sources can be great information to have on hand when planning hunts or future management activities. 
  • Important locations. One year, I wrote down the locations of all the shed antlers I found. The next year, I went back to those spots knowing they had produced the year before and found sheds in the same spots. You’ll remember your best spots, but sometimes the ones you write down and then forget about pay off later. 
  • Gear and ammo choices. Writing down how different types of ammo is shooting from your guns is great information to have. Shot size used or reloading notes can help guide future decisions when it comes to ammo choice and performance. 
  • Trapping and fishing bait and lure notes. How do different lures perform in different locations, species and conditions? You may notice patterns and things that stand out over time to improve success rates. 

  • Tips and techniques learned from others. When someone is kind enough to teach me something outdoors-related, I try to write down as much detail as possible to consider and implement later. Diagrams, notes and stories may take a little while to draw, but if it helps later it’s worth it. 
  • Posterity. Keep all your hunting stories to yourself or share them with future generations to help them learn, your choice! I know I’m glad my dad keeps a hunting journal because it’s fun to read his hunting stories from when I was little. Others can benefit from your hard-earned knowledge, too! 

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