Hunting Equipment: Get in Shape Now

Most hunters, including myself, are guilty of waiting until the last minute to get their equipment in shape for the upcoming season. Trucks, jeeps, ATVs, stands, blinds, and feeders, as well as the hunting camp itself are all usually in need of some improvements or repairs. Why wait until the week before the season begins only to try and do everything in a couple of days?

What I like to do is scout around waterholes and feeding areas very early and late, and use the rest of the day to start whipping the camp and equipment into shape. It’s a good time to tune up the old hunting vehicle. You’d be surprised how much easier it is to start a well-tuned engine on those cold mornings. Then there are those tears in the upholstery from all the long-bladed hunting knives and other parts of your arsenal that are carried on your belt. If your vehicles are anything like mine, you probably have several flat tires or at least a slow leak or two. Now is the time to get that taken care of.

Leaky valve cover gaskets and faulty carburetors may cause smells that you don’t need in the deer woods. So take the time to check and fix them before heading out. How many stands and feeders were you going to repair as soon as the season was over, only to be forgotten until the season started again? Take the opportunity to do it all now. A good portable welding machine will be handy here. If you don’t have one, I’ll bet you can find a friend who would be more than happy to loan you his, if you’d let him come along and help, and maybe shoot a hog ot two, or maybe some varmints.

Keep in mind that the days will reach temperatures of over 100º, so be sure to take along plenty of liquids. Depending on what kind of physical condition you’re in, be sure not to overdo it. The heat can creep up on you before you know it.

The kids are out of school now so take them along. It’s a good way do some bonding, as well as teach your children about the great outdoors. Who knows, mom might even want to go along and cook for the crew. All-in-all, this is a good and productive excuse to get away and get out in the country for a few days.

Remember, while enjoying the great outdoors, respect the rights of others, treat the property you’re hunting on as if it were your own and obey all state game laws.