Green grass. Just-born fawns. New antler growth.

Spring is a time of change and its arrival always seems to spark a renewed focus for me about the changes I want to make before or during the next deer season. Lately, I’ve been thinking, and I’ve settled on three adjustments that I want to concentrate on this fall.

Today I wanted to share what those three changes are, and then also encourage you try this exercise yourself. Think through what went well and what didn’t in 2014 and reflect back on what lessons you might have learned. Once you’ve done that, try to decide on at least three things you can change, based on those lessons, in 2015. Grab a pen and write them down. I know that might seem old fashioned these days, but it’s amazing how much a simple list can help guide your priorities and actions. Here’s mine.

1. Going to bed
Over the past few years I’ve learned a substantial amount about mature buck bedding habits and this season I’m hoping to put those lessons learned to even better use. Hunting field edges and avoiding bedding areas might work on large managed properties, but in areas of high hunting pressure I’ve found that most of the year you’ll typically need to get tight to beds to see the older bucks during daylight. This October, buck bedding is going to be the name of the game for me.

2. Getting aggressive
We all know that close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, but this cliché is especially relevant to those of us who bow hunt for big mature bucks. It’s easy, when seeing deer just out of range, to settle for being close enough and hope that things will be better next time. But this year I’m going to push the envelope with a more aggressive hunting style. Close isn’t going to cut it for me anymore. If I see a need to move, I’m going to make my move.

3. Increasing my odds
I’ve blogged before about the importance of acquiring new hunting access, and this year I need to take my own advice to a whole new level. My plan for 2015 is to work harder than ever to acquire at least 3-4 new hunting properties across a couple different states. It’s going to require a lot of research, plenty of door knocking, maybe a little of my savings, and a few trips–but I’m confident that finding new spots to hunt will be one of the greatest changes I can make to improve my odds for success.

Already know what changes you want to make for the 2015 deer season? Let us know in the comments!