Are You Ready?

Hunting season is right around the corner; I started to go over my equipment this weekend.

There are a lot of things that can be done to make a hunting trip more enjoyable; it can also be a headache when you get home if you didn’t make the right arrangements before you left.

I use multiple vehicles to get into the wilderness — trucks, boats, atvs, and my feet. Everyone of these requires a different type of equipment check to make this season one to remember — not because you had to call your buddy to come rescue you, but because everything went well.

If you drive a Ford 6-litre diesel you are probably a mechanic like myself, or wish you were. If it can, it will breakdown right when you need it most. To prevent this, I do a complete once-over on the truck before I embark on a long journey. Tires, oil, wipers, wiper fluid, transmission fluid, and a general walk-around. If you take your vehicle to a shop for oil changes, they will do all this for you.

When I pull the tarp off the boat for the summer, I give it a good inspection. I typically change its oils in the fall before I put it away for the season but I still check to make sure it is good. I like to run it for a bit in the yard with the garden hose hooked up to see if anything is leaking or if something else is wrong.

With my side-by-side, regular oil changes and grease after each trip has been all it takes to keep it operating well. Before hunting season I do a walk-around on this as well. I check the tire pressure, oil level, and coolant.

Your feet are a whole different story. My preferred method of hunting is by backpack. If it doesn’t fit in my bag or I can’t carry it, it stays home. After your fist trip with an 80-pound pack you will be looking for anything you can leave at home.

It is also very important to decide what you are going to do with the animal after you get back. Who is going to butcher it?

The first year, I tried to take my moose to a butcher shop but they were too busy to take on another animal. To make it easier on you and the butcher, let them know when you expect to be back so they can be ready for you.

A place to keep it cool for several weeks may be hard to find during hunting season if you didn’t reserve some room.

The final part of my successful hunt is the mounting. I like to contact the taxidermist before I leave, to see if they are taking on new work. If you do not know how to prepare the cape, antlers, or horns you can watch a video or talk to the taxidermist.

Though it seems like there are a lot of things to do, you still have a little time to make this one of the most enjoyable hunting seasons in memory. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

Happy hunting.

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