Pro Tips to Look After Your Hunting Gadgets and Gear
Hunting is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the US. In the US, every state requires you to have a permit. In 2021, the number of hunting licenses, tags, permits, and stamps issued in the United States amounted to approximately 39 million. In the same year, the number of participants (aged six years and above) in rifle hunting was nearly 10.76 million.
Practice makes a successful hunter. But one of the cardinal rules of hunting is to keep your hunting gadgets in excellent working condition. That’s the key to your next successful excursion. Even basic equipment maintenance can help your shooting accessories last longer. The bottom line is that all hunters need to learn how to keep their hunting gear clean.
Here’s What You Can Do to Keep Your Hunting Gadgets in Top Shape
Keeping your full-fledged hunting supplies clean and tidy means taking care of everything - from your hunting clothes to your hunting gear. Let’s start with your hunting clothes.
1. Wash Your Hunting Clothes
The first order of business is to wash your hunting clothes. We know this sounds obvious but it’s a necessary step. Most people throw their hunting clothes into the washing machine without a second thought. However, each piece of clothing comes with specific washing instructions.
Usually, you can use a mild detergent or a scent-free sportsman’s wash for outdoor clothing, such as coats and over-trousers. Remember, the scent will be a concern for big game hunting like deer. So, using a scent-free wash is necessary.
Also, don’t forget to turn your shirts and trousers inside out before washing them. After washing, it’s best to hang them up for drying. Throwing them in a tumble dryer can decrease their life. If the scent is a concern, don’t stuff your hunting clothes in a dresser drawer with regular clothing.
2. Clean Your Hunting Boots
The next in your hunting supplies are your boots. Hunting boots protect your feet when you are exploring the outdoors. In other words, you need to look after your hunting boots from day one.
You can start by scrubbing off the dirt, mud, and sand from your boots. Use a hard-bristle brush to get everything off quickly and efficiently. Sporting goods stores also offer several different footwear cleaning materials. Use a specific cleaning agent depending on the boot material.
Also, keep your hunting boots waterproof, especially full-grain leather boots. Leather can get damaged quickly without proper waterproofing. So, apply a solution to re-waterproof your hunting boots. Again, check the manufacturer’s instructions to find a suitable solution.
3. Check All Your Electronic Hunting Gadgets
While skills still play a critical role in hunting success, electronic hunting gadgets can help you enjoy a more successful hunting experience. Whether GPS and radios or game cameras and specialized optics, all your hunting supplies need to be in excellent shape.
Most electronic hunting gadgets run on batteries. If you are not going to use them until next season, remove the batteries. This will protect the battery compartment from leakage and rust. Moreover, keep all your electronic gear clean before storing it for the next season. Dirt, debris, and moisture can cause the gadgets to rust.
Lastly, organize all your hunting accessories when storing them. Most hunters prefer storing them in small bins so they can easily find what they want. It’s also best to create a checklist of all your shooting supplies.
4. Ensure Proper Rifle Care
The most important of your shooting supplies is your hunting rifle. Your rifle needs a thorough cleaning before the hunting season begins. Your cleaning schedule will depend on your rifle and its use.
It is necessary to clean your rifle after a hunting trip if:
- You shoot a couple of dozen rounds.
- You got debris like sand, mud, or saltwater down the barrel.
Getting your gun barrel cleaned requires a few tools and some hard work. You are probably better of investing in a gun cleaning kit. Mot cleaning kits include a three-piece bore rod and an assortment of jags, brushes, patches, and other accessories.
You will also need a gun cradle or vise. It ensures both your hands are free and you have a solid surface to clean your rifle. Make sure to keep your kids away when cleaning your hunting rifle. You should also wear protective gloves and glasses.
Here’s a quick roundup of the cleaning procedure.
- Run a few solvent-soaked patches through the bore using a clean rod and jag. Alternate between solvent-soaked and dry patches. Repeat this process until the patches come out clean.
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions before using a copper solvent. Usually, when cleaning hunting gadgets like a rifle, you need to use copper solvent after every fifth-sixth cleaning.
- Run a lightly oiled patch through the bore if you want to store your gun until the next hunting season. This will protect the barrel from rust and dust. Don’t forget to run a dry patch through the bore before using it.
- Finally, spray the bolt with a powder solvent. You can use a toothbrush to clean the caked-on crud.
It’s best to store all your hunting accessories, especially guns and ammunition, in a gun safe. Store your hunting gear at around 70 °F and 50%-55% humidity. This will protect your hunting rifle and other accessories from damage.
5. Clean the Rest of Your Hunting Supplies
Finally, clean your other hunting supplies, such as sleeping pads, backpacks, and other equipment. Make it a point to clean your dirty gear as soon as possible. Don’t delay cleaning your hunting accessories because it prevents unnecessary corrosion.
Clean your hunting gadgets and gear the moment you return from your hunt. Wash/clean and dry everything before putting it back into the storage. This simple step can help you enjoy a highly successful and memorable hunt - every season.
The Bottom Line
Cleaning your hunting gadgets and gear is essential for a successful hunt. Well-kept hunting gear also helps you stay safe in the outdoors. Fortunately, even small steps can help your equipment last longer and perform better. Once you clean all your gear, store it in a cool, safe, and dry space until the coming season.
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