Many of us are stuck at home and the arrival of spring may lack some of its usual excitement. But don’t let that get you down. Let’s look on the bright side, and see it as a great time to inventory gear and prepare for a new year of hunting.
If you’re lucky, the hunting season is kicking off sooner rather than later with spring turkey and black bear. Spring-cleaning is still prudent for hunters waiting on the fall seasons. Seize the opportunity to thoroughly check everything without the rush of an upcoming hunt.
Begin with a simple inventory. Create an itemized list of your equipment. Include clothing, everything in your pack and all game calls. This list will come in handy when packing for future hunts as well.
Of course the gear going into your pack varies based on the target species and season. Segment the list with a specific heading for each species. For example, your backcountry elk backpack gear list will look much different than a spring turkey pack.
After completing the full inventory, place a checkmark next to each item that will continue service in the new season. Place a star next to anything that is worn out and ready for replacement. Segregate all items that require a cleaning, including boots, rain gear and anything made from Gore-Tex.
Prioritize New Gear
After determining which items are due for a replacement, prioritize these items and note when they need to be replaced. For example, you don’t want to purchase new boots too close to the hunting season. Other items that don’t require a “break in” period may be able to wait a little longer.
This is a good time to consider the conditions of your boots. They may appear to have more life, but will they last through your pre-season training and the full hunting season? Buying a new pair of boots during the spring leaves plenty of time to break them in before the hunting season arrives.
Clean Firearms and Tune Bows
Firearms should be cleaned after each hunt but running through a spring-cleaning is also a good idea. Your rifle will be ready for summer range days and target practice after a thorough cleaning is completed.
Tuning up bows before the coming season is also useful. Get a new string set if necessary and tighten down sights and other accessories. If you want to experiment with different settings and components, spring is the time to make these adjustments.
Scent Wash and Cleaning
Run all of your clothes through a scent-free wash and store them in plastic bags or containers. This will keep everything clean and uncontaminated while in storage.
Use an appropriate detergent on your rain gear or other water-repellent fabrics. Companies like NikWax make detergents specifically for Gore-Tex, wool, down and other technical gear. Once these items are clean, treat your rain gear and water-repellent items with a DWR renewal agent to keep them shedding moisture properly. NikWax also makes DWR renewal agents that are available in wash-in and spray-on versions.
Finally, spring is a great time to check the condition of your boots. Hopefully you washed and treated your boots after the hunting season was over. But over time, leather dries out. Take some time to apply a Gore-Tex safe leather conditioner to your boots. With our Kenetrek boots, we highly recommend using Kenetrek Boot Wax.
We may be stuck at home. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get organized and excited for the upcoming hunting seasons!
Update From Caribou Gear HQ
We know this is a tough time for many of you. We’re hopeful that soon we will be back to enjoying our favorite hunting adventures! In the meantime, we’re taking every precaution here at Caribou Gear HQ. We will continue to press forward, developing innovative gear for hunters. Thank you to our customers for supporting local small businesses.
As you gear up for your next hunting trip, please explore the website to see our recommended hunting gear. The items we carry are those that we’ve tested and personally use on our own hunting trips.
Please note that we’re offering free shipping on Caribou Gear brand product purchases of $49 or more. For all other brands site-wide, free shipping is available on orders of $99 or more.
By Zach Lazzari