Be Ready For The Next Hunting Opportunity

Kids Outdoor Outpost - January 2016

Joe Schuster | January 10, 2016

Even though deer season is winding down, today we’re discussing how you can “Be Ready” for the next hunting opportunity. I like to have my clothes, boots, gear and gun or bow ready to go at all times.

I got invited at the last minute to go on a blackpowder hunt in the Chattahoochee National Forest this season. The next day, my gear and gun were ready, and I met my friend immediately after work. No kills, but a fantastic hunt with a beautiful sunset in October. You don’t ever want to find yourself missing an opportunity to hunt just because you couldn’t quickly find your hunting stuff.

Now is the time to clean your gear before you put it up. I try to do this immediately after my last hunt.

This year, I arrowed a mature doe on a nice afternoon in early December. Very proud of this one as I dropped it, field-dressed it, dragged it out, skinned and quartered it myself. Might not seem like much, but to a guy like me, it was quite an event.

My point is that I had all my clothes washed with baking soda to remove blood stains and smells and line-dried by the next day. Another “be ready” moment.

Before you put that gun up, locate the gun manual and grab an adult that is familiar with cleaning firearms. Cleaning it now will save you a lot of time and effort later. There’s nothing is worse than grabbing your gun to go on a hunt and finding it with a coat of rust and a sticky action.

I wax my bow string often and throughout the season, but make sure that your string is well waxed before you put it up. I like to remove accessories like the sights and get rid of any signs of rust on the screws and the quiver.

Although I always check my bow for cracks or problems, I visit my bow tech during the summer to have it looked over before the next season. This year he spotted a problem with one of my limbs. It was a warranty item and fixed in about a week, well before the next season. Another “be ready” moment.

After the season, I visit my tree stands and put slack on the ratchet straps of the stand and climbing sticks. A tree will grow significantly between seasons and make it virtually impossible to work the ratchet. It could even result in weakening or breaking one of the straps. A better practice is to lower them all and put them back up before the next season to avoid weathering and rust.

Make sure you check and replace any strap that shows rips or tears, and oil any moving part with a spray lubricant that has a tube or nozzle to direct the flow.

Check your stand every time you hunt so you can avoid a life-altering accident. We read about tree stand accidents every year. Don’t be one. “Be ready.”


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