Duck and goose seasons are over, quail, dove, deer and bear seasons are over, and if you’re anything like I am, some of that equipment and gear and clothing is still in the garage, storage room or your in-house “hunting room.”
POST SEASON CLEANUP is an important part of hunting, and while decoys are part of the equation, there are a lot more things to think about and take care of before you close out the hunting seasons. WON PHOTO BY BILL KARR
There’s so many small (and big) things that need to be done after season, that by putting them off, what might be a small task right now could become a very time-consuming chore before next season.
Here’s some things you should take a look at, and maybe take care of right now!!
— Most certainly, your guns should have been dismantled, cleaned, lubricated and put back together and stored in your gun safe. If not yet, and you just ran a rod down the barrel and wiped them off, take the time to give them a detailed cleaning.
— Waders need to be cleaned, dried out, and stored upside down, hanging from boot hangers in a dark, climate controlled environment. If they get too hot or cold between now and next year, your waders could easily become sieves by next season.
— Go through your “blind bag” and make sure any shells are dried out and still usable without corrosion to the primers or other damage. Check your calls, chokes, gloves and other things that you keep in your bag so you’re ready to go next season.
— Now is the time to check out all your decoys. If you are like most of us, you left them in the bag, threw them in a corner, and there they sit. Now is the time to identify the “sinkers” that need to be patched, and to clean them up, get the mud off and check the lines and anchor weights.
— If you have ever read the cleaning instructions for your camo, waterproof coat, you will find you aren’t following any of them! They need cleaning, some need re-coating, and they need to be kept in consistent, temperature-controlled climate during the off season.
— For big game hunters, if you were successful, you need to wash, dry and clean up your deer and/or elk bags. When done, stuff them all together in one place — maybe your packboard — for next season.
— Your big game backpack, if like most folks, has overnight emergency supplies, matches, knives and sharpeners, a roll of fluorescent tape for marking trails, snacks, gloves, extra shells and maybe more. Make sure they are all cleaned up, used items replaced, and that it’s ready for next year.
— Finally, the big things!! If you use a quad, side-by-side or other 4x4 vehicle for your hunting and blind access, make sure you clean the thing up, check all the vital fluids, and make sure it’s read for a year of storage if you only use it during hunting seasons. You don’t want to jump in your 4x4 and have it not functional at the beginning of season next year.