It is important to maintain and properly store all hunting gear between seasons to keep everything ready to go for the following year.
For a lot of us it's the end of big game hunting season. All of your gear is still thrown around your house or in your vehicle waiting to be put away. Don't just forget about it in the garage and let it get lost until next season. Pack away everything correctly and save yourself the headache of running around trying to find that deer call or jacket next year.
Scent elimination is a big factor for most successful hunts. Start early by following this guide to keeping your clothing scent-free during storage.
1. Inspect all your clothing for signs of tears, fading, and normal wear. If anything is found toss it and look for a replacement. Most places have their camouflage clothing on sale at the end of the season so it will be cheaper to replace now than later.
2. Wash everything with baking soda or your favorite scent-elimination detergent, like Wildlife Research Center Scent-Killer Gold Detergent.
3. Drying everything on a clothesline is the best way to keep unnatural scents off your stuff. If that isn't an option use scent elimination dryer sheets such as Scent Killer Dryer Sheets.
4. Fold everything up neatly and place them in large scent-free plastic bags. The best way is to put them away in vacuum storage bags which can be picked up at any sporting goods store.
5. Place these in a storage container with a tight-fitting lid to keep out unwanted smells and pests. Place a few small bags of cedar chips in the container as well to help keep everything smelling natural.
A good pair of hunting boots will last you a long time if properly cared for each season. If not, rubber will dry rot, leather will crack, and you will be spending a lot of money of new boots every few years.
1. Inspect your boots for signs of wear, like your clothes, and replace them if necessary. Check removable thermal liners and other inserts if you have them as well.
2. Brush or wipe off any dirt and debris with water. Do not use soaps or detergents as they can stain or leave residues on your boots.
3. Apply conditioner to leather and rubber boots to keep them from drying out during storage. Do not use too much on leather boots as it can soften the leather and make them lose some support.
4. Reapply water proofing treatment and they are ready to store. Boots should be stored in cool, dry places away from extreme heat or temperature fluctuations. A dark closet or basement is a great place to keep them.
Look over all your other gear the same as your clothing. Make sure nothing is damaged that needs to be replaced. Most gear can be placed in smaller bags to keep them organized and kept together in a large backpack or storage bin.
- Make sure any aerosol sprays or plastic bottles will not be punctured by anything.
- Take all batteries out of any electronics, like your GPS, to prevent corrosion. If they come with cases make sure they are in them to prevent being smashed or scratched.
- Keep calls organized in a closable pouch to prevent them from spilling out or getting damaged. Calls with latex reeds need to be stored in cool dark places out of sunlight.
Never store anything next to any type of gas-powered equipment as the smell will destroy hunting gear. Try to store everything in one area or container if possible.
Store your gear like this and next year you will start smooth, and easy like a pro.