When an outdoorsman moves, these are the first eight things they do every time.
It is said that every person moves an average of 11 times in their lifetime, and that seems to be true. While it's also true that many of us have found our home and lived there for many years, it is still possible that even those folks have had to tend to their outdoor gear more than once.
For those of us, like me, who have recently relocated to a new dwelling to concentrate our outdoor attention upon, it should go without saying that all of our outdoor equipment, firearms, fishing and hunting gear, clothing, and even our mounts will be going with us.
With an obvious nod to our life partners for understanding the need we have to care for all things outdoors in our lives and giving us the space to do so, let's look at some of the things we do when we restart our outdoor lives in a new place.
Take Stock/Reacquaint Themselves With Their Old Gear
And I mean every single piece.
There is nothing like a move to a new home to give us a chance to really take a close look at everything we own (or don't own!) It gives us the opportunity to get to know it all over again. If you're like me, you have gear that only gets used at certain times and in certain places like my Simms flyweight fishing waders vs. my Cabela's Advantage Max 4HD, brush-busting chest waders for second season waterfowl hunting on the Great Lakes.
Each time we move, we have the unusual opportunity to recreate space for each piece of gear to keep it ready at a moments notice instead of having to search for it when we really need it. This is all due to the fact that we seem to have no choice but to see everything come out of its box, crate, or bag, again for what seems like the first time. When this happens, it gives an opportunity to remember all the good times, a few bad times, and those moments in the field that are yet to come.
Kick Themselves for the Lack of Care
When you realize that all of your soft plastic baits have been left out in the sun, or that those bags of decoys are in the most miserable tangled condition that you ever left them in, you'll know what I mean. In fact, anyone who has opened up the gun safe to see the contents shifted and two riflescopes have banged together will cringe. Because all the care we seem to take sometimes gets thrown out the window during a move.
This goes back to taking stock of everything you own, but is one of the most blessed uses of our time as outdoorsmen. Because this is when we get all of our gear in our hands again, separate it into categories, and decide where it will all get stored. Sometimes you may find stuff you forgot you even owned.
The best part is that you've probably done this all before and not only have a good idea how to do it, but have learned many lessons over the years on what not to do. For instance, avoiding putting your trolling motor batteries on a shelf and not directly on the concrete floor. I can't put my finger on the reason why we love to reorganize our gear, but when we do it gives us a sense of satisfaction that we cannot ignore.
Create a New Trophy Room
Trophy room, man cave, whatever you prefer to call it. This is usually a labor of love that cannot be denied. In fact this one reorganization may just be the icing on the cake for most of us making a new home somewhere. Transporting the mounts is often a trip in itself. If you live close enough to your old place, it's probably a special trip with your mounts all buckled up to keep them safe for the drive.
It's not often we both have the means and reasons to re-hang our mounts, turkey fans, or dad's old side-by-side shotgun, but when we do we turn into an interior decorator of epic outdoorsman proportions.
Hang It All Up
This includes the afore mentioned waders, hunting clothes, rods in their rod racks, kayaks, canoes, and all the paddles just to name a few. There's nothing quite as satisfying as getting our gear up onto the wall, the rack, or in the air in some way to give us a sense that all is well with our hunting and fishing lives.
Find a New Place To Park the Boat
You may be stuck with the fact that your new home is in a neighborhood or town that doesn't allow sportsmen to park their boat, RV, camper, or other recreational vehicles in sight in the driveway. If you don't have garage to store it in there are usually many other alternatives in the area such as self-storage. Quick pro tip for those who don't want to pay for such things, do your research on your town and neighborhood's rules on such things before you buy or rent a new place.
Get Your Bearings
This is to say that if you are new to the area, you are going to need to take a walk, hike, or drive around to find things like state land entrances, boat launches, and of course parklands. A few visits to the state or local websites that pertain to your new home region should be quite helpful and may even allow us to review areas that we are already familiar with. If you're like us, and your new home includes hunting land, it won't surprise us if you spend more time prepping for your first hunt than you do unpacking at first!
Meet the Locals
Here's where you will need to put your best foot forward to make new outdoor friendships and possibly find land or water to hunt and fish. In my case, I have land to hunt, but I immediately reached out to the adjacent land owners to discuss with them my intentions to hunt lands near them.
I made an instant friend in the man who hunts the property around my new stand. We made arrangements to walk the area before the deer season to show me his stand and the area where it was positioned, he even has a daughter who uses a ground blind to bow hunt from.
He was quite glad to hear that I already knew of the antler restrictions in the zone where I now live, and sadly that I was well apprised of the fact that EHD was having a bad effect on the deer herd here. That's another benefit to making new outdoor friends, they'll let you in on what to know locally that you cannot find out about anywhere else.
Moving As a Sportsman
While moving can be daunting for anyone, it can be doubly so for an outdoorsman or woman. We may have to find a new place to hunt or fish, learn the local restrictions, and meet strangers who have been using the outdoors there for a lifetime. Sometimes it's tough to make those new connections simply because they just don't know or even trust you yet.
Don't sweat it. There are so many things that we love to do as outdoors loving people that it stands to reason that you will find these new folks and make fast friends due to the simple fact that we all have so much in common. Remember: hunters and fishermen in different regions have different customs about how they go about their business, but that doesn't mean it is against the law. Do your research on game laws.
One of the greatest things that you will do when you first move to a new home will be to get reacquainted with hunting and fishing all over again, and that's a best-case scenario.
Please check out my book "The Hunter's Way" from HarperCollins. Be sure to follow my webpage, or on Facebook and YouTube. Go to Rack Hub and use the coupon code Craiger for a new way to display those antler sheds!
NEXT: 43 HUNTING AND FISHING TERMS, AND THEIR (TONGUE-IN-CHEEK) MEANINGS