A hunter without a rifle is a sad sight to see. To prevent finding yourself in such a position, you should always take proper care of your equipment. A little bit of maintenance work can go a long way toward enjoying plenty of successful hunting trips.
Besides regularly washing your hunting camo clothes and storage bag, it would be wise to clean your rifle from time to time, along with any other accessories you use. These accessories range from grunt calls and game cameras to archery and firearm accessories, such as optics. After all, what good is your best AR-10 scope if its lens is all covered in mud?
Here’s a brief guide on keeping your hunting gear in optimal condition:
Regularly Wash Your Hunting Clothes
Your hunting clothes are one of your most important pieces of gear. They must withstand all sorts of elements, including rain, snow, and dirt. If you don’t regularly wash them, they will eventually become caked with grime and start falling apart.
As it turns out, washing your hunting clothes is actually not too different from washing clothes you wear in everyday life. In both cases, you will want to keep the detergent mild. Opting for a formula with a neutral pH level will help prevent damage to your hunting clothes and increase their longevity.
To wash your hunting clothes, simply toss them in the washing machine with regular detergent. You can also add a bit of vinegar to the wash cycle to help get rid of any lingering smells.
It would help if you also used minimal agitation during washing. If you go overboard with it, you risk damaging the fabric of your clothing.
Washing your hunting clothes regularly, especially in cold water, can help you get rid of blood, dirt, and other debris that may have accumulated over time. Such debris can hold onto undesirable smells, even if they are undetectable by human noses.
Clean Your Rifle
Your rifle is another crucial piece of equipment that needs to be appropriately maintained. After each hunting trip, you should disassemble your rifle and give it a thorough cleaning. Doing so will remove any dirt, debris, or gunpowder residue that could damage the firearm over time.
To clean a rifle, you’ll need the following:
- a toothbrush with soft bristles,
- oil (one that is specifically made for cleaning rifles),
- gun soap or gun solvent,
- a clean, dry cloth or paper towel.
Cleaning your rifle is relatively simple. First, use a brush to remove loose dirt or debris from the barrel. Next, remove any ammo from the chamber, then wipe down your barrel with the gun oil. If you find rust, use the toothbrush and gun soap to scrub it off.
Once this is done, wrap a new cloth around your cleaning rod and run it through the barrel using a pulling motion. Finally, use a clean cloth to wipe down the rest of the rifle, including the stock and action, and completely dry the barrel.
Store Your Gear Properly
After a successful hunt, leaving your gear out in the open to boast is tempting. However, this is not a good practice to follow. Instead, keep all your equipment, including your hunting camo clothes and accessories, in a safe place.
The main reason for keeping your stuff out of sight is that it prevents theft. If your gun safe was left unlocked or accessible to others, you might come home from work one day to find it missing.
Ideally, you should store your gear in a cool, dry place – a closet or storage shed would be perfect. If you don’t have access to either of these, you can store your gear in a sealed plastic container.
Remember — when you’re not using your hunting gear, it’s essential to store it properly. It will help ensure that it stays in good condition and is ready to use when needed.
Inspect Your Gear Before Each Trip
Before each hunting trip, it’s vital to inspect your gear to make sure that everything is in good working order. It will help you avoid the inconvenience of repairing or replacing a piece of faulty equipment while on the field.
If you’re hunting with a rifle, inspect the scope and all other accessories prior to each trip. Make sure there are no cracks or scratches that can worsen over time, as these can affect both your shooting accuracy and the reticle. You should also check if there are any cracks in the stock or trigger guard.
On the other hand, if you’re hunting with archery equipment, make sure to check the string and cables for any signs of wear and tear.
In addition to inspecting your gear, it’s also essential to practice with it before each trip. Thanks to it, you’ll grow more familiar with how everything works and ensure that you know how to use it properly.
As you can see, you have many things to address to keep your hunting gear in pristine condition. For example, your rifle needs regular cleaning to perform at its best every time you explore the great outdoors.
The best way to take care of your hunting gear is to simply keep it clean and use it as it was intended. By doing so, you will have a lot more fun hunting and be able to create more great memories.
By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that your hunting gear stays in good condition for many years to come.