Summer scouting is one of my favorite activities.
You wake up early, load up your gear, and head off in search of wide open spaces and elusive game animals.
For all the similarities to true hunting, it's also a very, very different experience.
Scouting removes the inevitable pressure and intensity that a limited hunting season brings. When you only have a few days to hunt, and the game aren't cooperating, or the weather takes a turn, you can find yourself scrambling for Plan B, C, and D.
It can really test your focus, resolve, and patience.
So, if you have friends or family who are new-ish to hunting, and wanting to learn, don't wait for opening day to get them in the field... take them Summer scouting with you.
The unspoken lessons they can glean from the experiences are innumerable. They can get familiarized with the country, the glassing, the hiking—learning when it's time to be quiet and when it's time to MOVE.
Plus, having a second set of eyes can be priceless. My friend Stephen brought his kids with him on a Spring bear hunt, and his kids were the ones who first spotted the bear that he eventually took.
If you have folks in your life who have expressed a desire to learn more about hunting, take them scouting with you this Summer. It will be an incredible education for them and will have them better prepared to tag along on a future hunt.