They said computers and smartphones would make our jobs easier. They were wrong. Modern careers have more demands than ever, and technology hasn’t created more expendable time, especially for hunting. If you’re looking to get in more hunting time, or at least more quality time, consider some of these options. If you execute them correctly, they won’t get you fired, and they might just add a few more hours to your hunting outings.
Alter Your Schedule
More than ever, employers are allowing employees to work in a manner that fits the definition of a modern lifestyle. Many of you now work from home and telecommute. That alone frees up hunting time. Unless you have a career with a strict work schedule, many employers can be flexible in what hours you work as long as you get the job done. Of course, this needs to merge conveniently with family time, but consider working early or late to free up primetime hunting hours. Before I was a freelance writer, my past supervisor allowed me to come into work early and leave early for hunting. I often was at work before 5 a.m. and left at 3 p.m. I dressed in my hunting clothes along an old farm road and was in my tree stand a little before 4 p.m. That gave me approximately 1½ hours of whitetail hunting time. I did a reverse for turkey hunting and hunted in the mornings and stayed late at work.
Nobody wants to work weekends, but it’s an option you may want to consider during the best hunting windows of a season. By working a weekend, you gain several advantages. First, you don’t have to battle the weekend hunting crowds, especially on crowded public lands. Some employers still allow you to accrue comp time, which are extra working hours that you may be able to take advantage of during hunting season. Working a weekend could prove to be a more productive work time as well. You won’t have other staffers bothering you, and you’ll be able to finish projects in record time, which would be in your favor if you wish to ask for additional time off during hunting season.
Few of us have the advantage to work ahead, but if your job allows, it is yet another option for finding a few extra hours during hunting season. I always plan my summer and winter around working ahead. That means working longer hours and being as efficient as possible in months without a hunting season. Trying to get in as many hunting hours as possible can be a dizzying venture, and your smartphone isn’t always helpful. Be creative with some of these ideas and hopefully you’ll discover more hours for field time instead of desk time.