Indian summer is what they call this time of year. It has been extremely hot so far in September, with the mercury being higher than many days in August. However, the hunting season dates don’t change because we aren’t getting the weather we want. This is where years of experience in the same unit truly pays off.

My phone constantly blows up this time of year, with people in a panic about burning their coveted tag that they have waited so many years to draw. They applied for years and in some situations, decades in hopes of getting a crack at that once in a lifetime animal.

The major problem with most of these tag holders is that they are now in a unit they have absolutely no experience in and they weren’t willing to hire an outfitter. After all, it takes buckets of points to draw this tag, which means there should be an abundance of good bucks or bulls in the unit – right? The unit might be managed for more trophy quality animals, but those bucks and bulls have reached maturity and even though you haven’t hunted this unit while you were building points, other people have hunted this unit each and every year. I guarantee, there are outfitters that hunt this unit each and every year and know all of the nuances about the animals, weather and terrain. They consistently harvest some of the best animals the unit has to offer and that is because they know where to go on years like this, when it is extra hot.

So, get out and hunt. Quit waiting to get into the game and don’t spend decades waiting to draw a tag for the holy grail of opportunities. Trophy animals are the byproduct of hard work and dedication. Find a unit you can hunt every year or every couple of years and start learning the unit. Go spend this hunting season in the unit, even if you don’t have a tag. It’s amazing how much other hunters will share information about a unit when you are just checking things out and don’t have a tag. It doesn’t hurt to share info you are finding with them as well, although I might not be inclined to tell them where to find that trophy buck that you are hoping will make it through the season. Travel roads, find lookout points and talk to as many people as you can. If there is an outfitter in the unit, look at the quality of animals they are taking and it will tell you what the unit holds. And most of all, don’t forget to enjoy the experience.

This is the time of year many of you are looking to buy optics, rifles, knives and various other outdoor products. With the internet, it is easy to look up reviews and see what some folks have to say about products you are considering buying. However, some of the people posting reviews aren’t knowledgeable enough about products in general to truly be testing the products.

Sportsman’s News is the official publication of Sportsman’s Warehouse and our primary duty is to field test products that are sold within the walls of Sportsman’s Warehouse and online. My team spends roughly 1,000 man-days in the field each year and we put some of these products through some pretty hardcore testing. If it will stand up to the rigors we put stuff through during one season, it will likely make it through a decade of seasons for the average outdoorsman.

Some of these write ups are in the pages of Sportsman’s News and some of them are done on video. If you purchase a Sportsman’s News Television DVD at the cash register, all the current video reviews are on them as well as 4-hours of great content to share at hunting camp. The DVD purchase will also get you an entry into the New Zealand Red Stag/Tahr Hunt package, worth over $20,000. You can also sign up for our YouTube channel, sportsmansnewstv, which has all of the past video product reviews we have done. When you are talking about spending thousands on a new rifle or optics, it’s hard to just check them out in the store. So, take a look and see what some real-time field testing looks like and let us help you make that buying decision.

Best of luck with the remainder of the hunting season and don’t forget to send us your stories about your exploits for our story contest. Good luck to all.