Even though we are right in the middle of the hottest days of summer, fall and hunting season will be here before you know it. Now is the time to sort out your hunting gear and prepare for the upcoming season. Making sure your clothing and equipment are ready to go ahead of time can prevent a multitude of problems when it’s time to hunt.
Let’s start with guns. Depending on the type of firearms you use, and your gunsmithing ability, you may want to do a complete disassembly and cleaning, or have a gunsmith do it for you. At the very least, properly lubricate the actions, clean the bores, and check that all action screws are properly tightened. Also, on any scoped firearms, check the mounts and rings to make sure nothing has come loose. Run a few dry patches through the bore to remove any excess oil or solvent, and shoot a few rounds on paper to make sure they are still zeroed.
Now is also the time to make sure you have a sufficient supply of ammunition for any guns you plan on using during the upcoming season. Putting in a couple practice sessions not only helps make sure the guns are reliable and properly sighted in, but is also very beneficial to the hunter’s marksmanship.
The same type preparation is even more important for bow hunters. Don’t wait until the last minute to make sure that your bow and any accessories are in good working order. Archery equipment requires even more practice than firearms for a hunter to be proficient.
If you plan on bow hunting this fall, you should already be shooting. If you aren’t, get on it!
What we wear can make or break a hunt as well. Take inventory of your hunting clothes. Make sure you have what you need to be comfortable for any hunting you might do this fall and winter.
Do some hiking in the boots you plan on wearing for upcoming hunts. You can break in the boots, build up your cardio, and do some scouting all at the same time.
Depending on your individual needs, your style of hunting and what types of game you are going after, there are numerous other things that may be on your list.
Make sure your vehicle is ready to handle any conditions in which you may be driving. If you plan on using a camper or tent, make sure they are good to go. Replace worn or aging straps on treestands. If you use an ATV or UTV, make sure it is properly serviced and in good working order. The same goes for boats or any other specialized equipment you may use. Everyone’s checklist will be different.
A little preparation now can go a long way towards having a safe, enjoyable and successful hunting season.
Besides, it’s a great excuse to play with all your toys!
Wade Shambaugh has lived in Morgan County his whole life and is a lifelong outdoorsman.