While there may still be a couple weeks left of small game season in Tennessee, most hunters are in hibernation until spring. Taking care of and storing hunting gear in the meantime is important to make sure your clothes, calls, and rifles stay in good condition. Check out these tips to help you keep your gear hunting-season ready.
Whether you have a lot of gear or just not enough space to store it in your home, Just Store It! has a variety of storage unit options to keep your hunting gear safe. Contact us if you’re interested in reserving a storage unit and we can find the best sized space for you.
Before packing your gear away, take an inventory of any damaged equipment. This includes clothing, harnesses, treestands, and other gear. Inspect items for tears, fading, normal wear, and whether zippers, straps, and clips work the way they’re supposed to.
The end of the hunting season is a great time to do this, too, because many outdoor retailers have end-of-season sales. Take advantage of reduced prices and upgrade your worn-down gear.
Wash and Dry Hunting Clothes
It’s important that your hunting clothes don’t pick up any extra scents in the off-season so they’re ready for the woods come springtime. When you wash your hunting clothes, it’s important to use baking soda or scent-eliminating detergents rather than a regular detergent.
Prepare your washer beforehand, too, by running a cycle with washing machine cleaner, and then a cycle with just water. This will prevent any aroma from past laundry loads from clinging to your hunting gear.
If possible, hang your hunting clothes to air dry. This will keep the fabric in better condition and prevent it from absorbing any scents in the dryer. If air drying isn’t an option, though, try using scent-eliminating dryer sheets.
Disinfect Animal Calls
When placed in storage, your animal calls could become a breeding ground for bacteria if you don’t clean them. Especially calls that have a latex diaphragm or tube, animal calls retain the moisture from your mouth and will break down quickly from the buildup of bacteria if not disinfected.
Clean your animal calls by rinsing them in cool water. Let them air dry completely before packing them for storage.
Replace the Insoles of Boots
The insoles of your boots absorb a lot of moisture throughout the hunting season. Rather than try to wash and salvage them for another season, it’s best to throw them out rather than risk the growth of bacteria and stench in your boots during the off-season.
When you throw them out, purchase a new pair so you’re ready to go at the start of next season. Remember those end-of-season sales? You may be able to find quality insoles for a fraction of the price when you purchase them at the end of the hunting season.
Break Down Firearms
Cleaning and breaking down your guns for storage will help keep everything in better condition while you’re not using them. Be sure to break down all working parts, including the barrel. Use a small amount of solvent in the bore of the gun, and run the brush from breech to muzzle.
Remember to store your guns barrel-up as this will prevent warping. You can purchase a gun rack to store them and keep them from tipping over.
Remove Batteries from Electronics
Make sure to remove the batteries from any electronic devices. Whether they’re flashlights, headlamps, or GPS, taking the batteries out will prevent corrosion. You can store these batteries alongside your devices in plastic bags to easily put everything back together at the start of the season.
Store Items Scent-Free
One of the most important things about storing hunting gear is making sure that it won’t absorb any unnatural scents while in storage. Part of this is solved by washing and drying gear, but even clean gear can absorb the scents of items around it.
You can prevent your gear and clothes from absorbing other scents by storing them in scent-free bags or plastic containers with odor-absorbing packets. You could use scent-absorbing dryer sheets, scent-absorbing wafers, or even clippings from evergreens to keep your gear smelling natural.
Plastic bins are a great option for storage as well because they’re durable, easy to stack, reusable, and easy to organize.
Store In Climate-Controlled Conditions
The elements can take a real toll on your gear, so don’t store your items in your garage, attic, or outdoor shed. Though these areas seem like they would be safe, the temperatures can change drastically through the hottest and coldest months of the year, causing damage or warping to your gear.
Instead, find an extra closet in your home to keep your gear in. The cool, dark environment will keep your gear safe and in good condition. If you don’t have the extra closet space in your home, consider renting a climate-controlled storage unit.
At Just Store It!, we have a variety of storage unit sizes to accommodate the type and amount of belongings you need to store. Whether you’re just taking a few weeks or a few months off from hunting, keeping your gear stowed away in one of our climate-controlled storage units can help increase the longevity of your gear by keeping it cool, safe, and dry.
At Just Store It!, we are committed to clean, secure, and convenient storage. Contact us today to reserve your storage unit for the off-season of hunting.