Off-Season Gear Care

By Brook Richard

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While we all dread the off-season, it is the prime time to get all your ducks in a row (pun intended) for next season. Here are a few tips that will save you trouble.

Decoy Management: Untangle decoys and clean them. I prefer to use a pressure washer. A lot of people like to use soaps and chemicals on their decoys, but this can drastically decrease their longevity. Most cleaners have harsh solvents that will deteriorate the paint. A little elbow grease with a brush and pressure washer will go a long way!

Gun Cleaning: Don’t over-clean your gun. Try not to drench it in oils and grease. Lightly lubricate your gun and store it in a dry place. This prevents rusting and buildup of unwanted dirt and debris. I like to take my choke tubes out when I know I’m not going to be using my gun for extended period. A clean gun is one that won’t leave you hanging this fall. Don’t skip out on a professional gun cleaning every so often either. We all like cleaning our guns, but gun shops and dealers often have tools that are better suited for your gun and can save you some headaches.

Boats, ATVs & Trailers: If it has wheels, lights, or a motor, you had better take care of it. Decoy trailers, side-by-sides, boats and trucks all require proper maintenance. Don’t get stuck on the road or in the middle of the field. Grease your bearings on your trailers, check the wiring on your lights and change your oil. This is common sense, but when the season is in full swing, we often forget to check these simple things.

Clothes & Gear: Your hunting clothes probably stink. Before you wash your gear, read the fine print on the tag. Don’t dry waterproof layers. Don’t fold your waders up in a knot and throw them in a hot attic. Take some time to identify what you need to replace for next season or what additional gear you may need to be more comfortable on future hunts.

Some of it is common sense, but it’ll all mean more days in the field and fewer disappointing drives home.


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