If your hunting gear is in good condition, you're more likely to be successful on the trail. It’s especially true for those who hunt small game like squirrels and rabbits, which are notoriously difficult to kill.
If the gun or other equipment you use isn't properly maintained, it won't be efficient and might even misfire. Last year, a Minnesota hunter lost his life to the negligent discharge of a firearm. That's something we should all avoid.
This article will cover a few useful tips to ensure your hunting gear is in top shape before heading out into the woods this season.
Clean Your Firearms
When it comes to cleaning your firearms, there are a few different ways to go about it. The traditional method is using a gun cleaning kit. You can find such kits online or at your local sporting goods store. They come with everything you need to clean your weapon, including brushes, solvents, and lubricants.
If you're more of an old-school hunter who likes to keep things simple, it’s likely the best option. Cleaning your M&P 9mm ahead of the upcoming season will ensure you have a hassle-free trip. According to Zippia, 18.8 million firearms were sold in 2021. Maintaining your gun with proper cleaning will give you an edge over other hunters.
Another tool that makes cleaning more accessible is a bore snake. It’s a long cable with loops on both ends that allow it to be fed through the barrel of a firearm without having to remove it from its case or stand.
It’s crucial because the average number of hunting incidents annually from 2013-2022 is 6.4, according to the Mid-West Farm Report. You wouldn't want to experience such mishaps during your trip.
Re-check and Re-align Your Sights
Make sure your firearm is in working order. A quick check can save you from a potentially dangerous situation when the time comes to use it. Ensure that all screws are tight and all moving parts are lubricated regularly. If there is rust or corrosion on the gun’s barrel, clean it with metal polish or another appropriate cleaning product before shooting again.
Next, check the alignment of your sights. If they seem misaligned, look through them at some distant object, like a tree branch or telephone pole, then align the target into view while keeping both eyes open. You should be able to see both things clearly. If not, try adjusting either side until they line up properly before reassembling and firing.
Test Your Scope Rings and Bases
The next step is to test your scope rings and bases. Make sure they haven't loosened up over the years and are still aligned correctly. Tighten them if necessary.
Check that everything is leveled by placing a level across the top of your rifle, looking through the scope at it from eye level, and standing up with a normal stance. If everything needs to be leveled, adjust your scope accordingly.
Clean Your Hunting Clothes
Cleaning your clothes is something you should do before any hunting trip, but it's imperative this time of year. Why? Because animals will be looking for signs of food and other scents on their potential prey. If your hunting clothes have the smell of food or other scents on them, you'd be giving off an easy target for predators.
How do you ensure that everything is clean? Start by washing your clothes with gentle soap and hot water. Don't use bleach or fabric softener. These can damage the material and make it less effective when worn in the field.
After they've been washed, let them air dry completely before storing them away, so they don't develop mildew or mold over time. Next, ensure all your gear has been thoroughly cleaned and dried. Don’t forget to clean and dry your knives, too.
Stock Up on Ammo
One of the most important things to do before each hunting season is to stock up on ammo. There are many options, and it can take time to know which is best for you. If you're unsure what kind of ammunition your gun uses, check online guides. Once you have the correct type of ammo, ensure you have enough for your next trip into the woods.
When you buy online, you'll get your ammo faster and at a lower price than if you were buying from a store. The only downside is that some stores might not accept returns if something goes wrong with a delivery. If possible, stick with local stores that can resolve any issues quickly.
Prep Your Trail Cameras
As you prep your trail cameras, you should also check for damage. If you haven't used a trail camera in the last few months, inspect it for cracks, mold, or other issues that could affect its functionality. Make sure that the batteries are charged, and insert an SD card into the camera if necessary.
We hope these tips will help you prepare for the upcoming hunting season. Whether you're a seasoned hunter or just starting, we can all agree that being prepared is critical. Taking care of your equipment and ensuring everything is in order before heading out into the woods makes you less likely to encounter problems when it comes time for your hunting trip.
You can read this post to know how to make hunting easy and fun.