Every year, the hunting industry introduces new or innovative products designed to make us better hunters. Right now is a great time to do research and see what is available that you need this fall. However, purchasing new equipment is far from a cure-all. Breaking down your hunting gear and assessing any necessary care can help breakup the daily mundane routines we are in right now. Make the most of these shelter-in-place days and you will be rewarded with extra time come fall.
Routine Treestand and Bow Maintenance
Over 70% of hunter reported injuries are treestand related. Physically and visually inspecting your treestand, safety harness, and safety line are musts to stay safe. Check for tears, rust, or damaged/missing parts. Spray your treestand’s friction areas down with a dry lubricant to prevent squeaks. If a strap is beginning to show signs of wear, switch it out. Do not ignore the most critical component of your off-season process: your safety.
In a sport where such a fine line exists between success and failure, do not leave important details to chance. In the off season, routine maintenance on your bow is a necessity. While it might appear to be in top condition, often you do not realize how much your bow is impacted during a season. String components wear during practice sessions and begin to fray. Vibration can cause screws and bolts to loosen. Accidentally bumping your bow can cause cam or idler damage.
Familiarize yourself with waxing your bow string and begin doing it yourself. Check and tighten down anything that could have come loose. If there is damage, have a professional look at. These are some of the most effective ways to give your bow longevity.
A Little Trail Camera TLC
Chad Sylvester from Exodus Cameras wrote an article about trail camera performance and longevity. He suggests:
- Keep your firmware up to date
- Keep your camera’s housing clean
- Clean the flash unit, optical lens, and lens covers
- Protect and maintain seals
- Clean battery tray and terminals/contacts
- Properly store your camera
For a more in-depth breakdown and how-to guide, go to our article "How to Make Trail Cameras Work Better and Last Longer" for details or watch the video below.
Take Advantage or Stay Status-Quo
If you are reading this, you probably dedicate more time and effort into hunting than you would like to admit. A mental checklist is done of what we want and need to have the following season (let’s be honest…everything is a need). Around February, manufacturers start coming out with new products and last year’s items are discounted. This is a great time to look for products from the previous year that are typically just as effective, but at a lesser price. Benefit from clothing and equipment you might not have been able to afford, but can now.
Does It Ever Hurt To Look?
Archery hunters tend to be gadget people. During your offseason, go to manufacturer websites and join their email group. Your inbox might initially get flooded, but hidden in there are discount codes, notifications of special sales, or items a company is trying to lower their stock on. Companies will discount and sell their products on eBay under a pseudonym. Even if you are not looking for an item you come across, maybe someone you hunt with is. Around the middle of January, big box stores are wanting to open shelf space and are selling scent elimination products, trail cameras, and treestand related items at deep, discounted rates. Simply do some internet investigating. All it takes is a little bit of time and research.
Sometimes Change Is a Good Thing
I have shot the same bow for the past seven seasons. We have a great relationship. The accessories on it though? That is entirely a different story. If you are looking to change to a drop-away rest, from a 5-pin to a single pin sight, from an index to a thumb release, or to a different arrow weight...do it now. Performing these tasks as your season rapidly approaches or during only leads to frustration and second guessing yourself.
The same can be said about your hunting clothing or blinds. If clothing or a blind was damaged, look to see if it has a warranty and get it fixed now. Turnaround time to get these items into the manufacturer and back to you can take up to six weeks. As the hunting season approaches, turnaround times only get longer.
Make the best use of having extra time to properly prepare. When you are prepared, you earn a crucial component in your favor: confidence.
The Clock Is Ticking
When your season ends, the clock starts for the upcoming season. It is running right now. Avoid giving your gear the quick once over then putting it away until the next season starts up. Try to get ahead this spring, prepare in the summer, and not be in a hurry come fall. When we are not rushed, we pay better attention to details. Use the additional time to slow down this offseason. You will be thankful when your preparation meets opportunity this fall.
Author: Exodus Black Hat Team Member Geoff Guzinski