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Housework When the Hunt is Over

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November 25, 2013

Housework When the Hunt is Over

By David E. Petzal

About this time many of us are heading home from the fields and forests filled with the thrill of victory (got it) or the agony of defeat (didn't get it) and are ready to forget about hunting for a while. Not so fast. You have work to do.

It concerns the maintenance of your equipment, and the reason you must do it now is because if you don't do it now you'll forget about it, and when next season arrives whatever repairs you haven't made will jump up and bite you in the ass, or whatever body part they can reach.

For example, last season I forgot to take the batteries out of my Radio Shack weather radio, and when I went to pack it this year the night before leaving for camp, I discovered that the batteries had leaked and the radio was wrecked. Off to Radio Shack I ran to get another, because I like listening to the NOAA weather and finding out in advance how much I'm going to suffer the next day.

Since our lives are driven on batteries, remove them from everything that runs on them and that you're not going to use for a while—cameras, GPS, rangefinders, the lot. Take 'em out. If they're weak, or low, get rid of them in an environmentally unsound manner and get new ones. Having my weather radio rendered null and void cost me only $37, but if you leave batteries in your brand-new Leica rangefinding binocular and they leak, your wails and lamentations will cause all the dairy cattle in a 25-mile radius to go dry.

If any stitching on anything is worn out, broken, or frayed, re-stitch it. I use carpet thread, which is very heavy and very strong, and my sewing looks like hell, but it holds, so who cares? Worn stitching means holes, and holes mean that you will lose stuff.

Check your boots. Years ago I went to West Virginia with a pair of expensive German boots whose soles were starting to delaminate. I could have fixed them with a few drops of Barge Cement, but trusted them to hold out. They didn't, and I ended up hunting in boots with flopping soles. (Luckily, many people in West Virginia hunt this way, so I was spared the embarrassment.) A friend of mine took on the Franz Josef Mountains in New Zealand in a pair of boots that were on their last legs, and they gave out on him altogether. He finished the hunt more or less barefoot.

Did anything get wet? Dry it out. Is anything starting to rust? Clean it up. Did you run out of anything, or is anything getting low? Replace/replenish it.

Do this stuff now, because next November will be too late, and when you find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere with equipment that has failed you, give yourself a nice punch in the face for me, because you were warned and you deserve it.

Comments (26)

Top Rated
All Comments
from ALJoe wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

Dave, I use Power Pro braided fishing line to sew up holes in my gear. It's tough and will last a while. My stitching too looks like hell but it works.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from B12809 wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

I also use a heavy gauge fishing line to sew with, One year while I was fishing, I somehow put a knife through the bottom of a backpack I was using and had to do a quick fix on the fly, so I used a fishing hook as my need and line as my thread and it is still holding up to this day, that was about 3 years ago!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from haverodwilltravel wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

All great advise. I have a checklist at the end of every season.
That said, I got a chuckle out of the West Virginia shoe flopping. You are a brave man in an age where everyone is offended by everything. Let us know when the letters start pouring in. :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SL wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

I once went hiking with a boot that I fixed up the sole on beforehand with some glue. Thought I could get another hike or two out of them. Before I got back from the first hike BOTH boots nearly disintegrated on me. Lucky I had some string with me to tie BOTH flopping soles, or I would have had to walk a couple of miles barefoot. Once you see the rubber of the sole starting to go, get rid of them. No saving them at point. They will fall apart on you in NO time after that, so be warned.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike1984 wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

"get rid of them in an environmentally UNSOUND manner and get new ones"

- What kind of voodoo is this? How does it help next season?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

Floppy soles? Jackets or shirts torn on barbed wire? Duct tape never leave home without it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

I use the inventory clearance sales at the end of the season to replenish much of my hunting equipment. You can usually pick stuff up cheap as retailers try to lower their inventory.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

Years ago I put together pre and post hunt checklists. I also carry a small notebook that fits my shirt pocket in which I jot notes during a trip on suggestions for future additions or deflections of equipment. Also just ideas that come to mind regarding better ways to do things in the future. I am lucky to be able to venture far from home to crazy places where mistakes can be more than an inconvenience, and really affect the outcome of a trip. Take care of your gear it will take care of you.

I may have mentioned, several years ago, I had so many optics, plus cameras, which filled my allowed carry ons . I took a chance and checked in duffle a set of hunting clothes I normally carry on board to wear if my duffle does not show up at destination. You guessed it, none of my bags showed. I bought second and third hand clothes off of road side bushes from locals strapped them in place along with my Bruno Magli chukka a with Duct tape, and hunted jungle for three weeks.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

Please note I carried my Duct tape on board, as always

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

Waxed dental floss also works well for sewing stuff up.

My boots were half in the bag when I came to Montana this year. They didn't make it two weeks. Bought a new pair and they turned out to be absolute trash (I wrote a product review in Answers). Had to pick up another pair which fortunately have worked out very well.

At one time I had a flashlight with my list of hunting trip stuff scratched on the outside. Hope I can still find it somewhere. Would like to hand it down to my grandson.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Proverbs wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

Battery housings aren't as tough as they used to be. I've seen one-year-old name brand batteries leak. Unusual, but not unheard of. Two months ago I put a brand-new Energizer 9V in my Leica RF. I'm taking it out now. Thanks for the reminder!

Dave - my favorite boots need slight repair. Will give the Barge Cement a try, but which variation is good for boots? I spent too much time in October walking in icy conditions and the outsole is just a little loose on a three-inch section where it wraps up to meet the upper.

Thanks

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

Indeed, David. My hunting buddy was moaning about his hunting boots needing replacement on the trip TO the hunting camp. He balked at the price at 2 Cabela's and a Sportsman's Warehouse enroute and did not buy a new pair. Predictably, they fell apart Day 2 of the hunt and he spent the next 6 days wearing a pair of crappy pac boots ill suited for the mild weather and rough terrain and complaining that his feet hurt. I'll bet if I had a spare pair of boots his size that I could have made a handsome profit!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

To Mike 1984: Just seeing who was paying attention.

Proverbs: Verily, I say unto thee that as far as I know there's only one kind of Barge Cement and you can get it from a shoemaker. People don't like to stock it because it's highly flammable. If you can't get it try Shoe Goo.

To Haverod: I hunted in WV for more than 20 years, and one of the things I enjoyed about it was the folks' ability to laugh at themselves.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

whether it's your Leica rangefinder or DSLR or your TV remote, checking on your batteries from time to time is recommended for anything powered by batteries, especially the old AAA/AA/C/D cells which can leak. rechargeable batteries mostly just die and refuse to accept a charge, which means spending $$$ to replace them, but if their casing breaks down and they leak, they all contain some nasty stuff you don't want touching your food and water supply.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

So far everything about boots and batteries and BTW, contact cement will do as we; as Barge and Goop. MUST be dry to the touch when pushed together!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

And for the one everyone is waiting for...preventing rust.

Easy, get some EEZOX and apply with a lubed patch. CORROSION-X is almost as good.

The only other way is to pack in cosmoline and cheese cloth the way the Army did for rifle barrels and such.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 20 weeks 1 day ago

I could not have lived my life without lists. My feeble brain is just too fuzzy to get by without 'em. I always kept a list of everything I would need for a hunting trip and another list for fishing trips taped to my gun cabinet. I would add or subtract from these lists as the years went by. I also kept another list of things that I had left someplace that I intended to return to the next year, which I did frequently. Such as a rifle. I also kept ALL my gear in one place, so that I never had to root around for some critical item that I could not find. I would always try to be as fully packed as possible at least a couple of weeks before leaving. All of this attention to detail served me very well down all the years, unlike my lifelong hunting & fishing buddy who seemingly always arrived at our destination having forgotten some really crucial item, such as missing a clip for his rifle on at least 3 occasions, thus turning a repeater into a single shot. He refused to keep lists and continually paid the price. We got a lot of laughs over that, that is when he would finally calm down. I eventually kept an extra clip for his rifle in MY gear!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 20 weeks 1 day ago

Mr Warner,
Our habits seem very similar when it comes to lists. Every type of hunting trip has its own list on file. I even have permanent waterproof manifests that go on top of the packed gear, just under the the zipper, checking off what has been packed and in what order, so I do not have to scrounge around looking for an item.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 20 weeks 1 day ago

A good hardware store (not big box) will have barge cement. It does dry out in the tube sometimes after the tube is only half gone so make sure it's somewhat malleable.

"get rid of them in an environmentally UNSOUND manner and get new ones" crack me up

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hornd wrote 20 weeks 1 day ago

I appreciate these "fundamental" lessons. A lot of this could be learned in the military..camping is a distant 2nd.
As you get older (I'm 31) I find less is better. I have started to make lists myself, and there is often something that I wouldn't have thought of, last thing learned is roll of paper towels left in car (great for messes including in the drawers). Some learn thru experience, some learn thru others experiences. I'm more of the former. "An ounce of preparation is worth more than a pound of cure".

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 5280Shooter wrote 20 weeks 18 hours ago

Alas, I have come down from the mountains and your reminder is timely as now is the time for my housekeeping. My headlamp went out on my high country backpack hunt and fortunately I had a backup because that is one tool one can't be without on that hunt. It is indesribably dark when the sun goes down. Also, I ripped the crotch out of my pants crossing a barbed wire fence so those will need to be sewn or replaced. Not a pretty picture with me hiking out of the wilderness with the breeze blowing onto my long johns. I have grown very fond of the little stuff like zip ties, paracord, a surefire flashlight, silk scarf, a good pocket knife and gummy bears. Is it too early to start counting down to next deer & elk season?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 19 weeks 5 days ago

Dave, Not so fast, deer season in Kansas opens Wednesday. It's not over yet!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kolbster wrote 19 weeks 2 days ago

Western NC rifle season is in full swing one week down two to go, i try my best to keep all of my hunting stuff together, but there are certain things that always end up some where else binos, range finder, and a small head lamp and streamlight always seem to end up in my patrol car somewhere, so i always end up having to find and get some stuff together.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 19 weeks 1 day ago

This morning while visiting a backpacking, mountaineering store came across a book entitled, Don't Forget The Duct Tape. Full of tips and tricks for repairing camping equipment, clothes and so forth. Looks like. a fun Xmas gift. 4x6 inches

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 19 weeks 1 day ago

Standing Orders, Rogers' Rangers
(Major Robert Rogers, 1759)

1. Don't forget nothing.
2. Have your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet scoured, sixty rounds powder and ball, and be ready to march at a minute's warning.

etc, etc.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 19 weeks 1 day ago

Even at work, in my carry around bag, I have a short length of duct tape rolled around a pen, just in case. I also have another pen with clear tape around it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from davidpetzal wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

To Mike 1984: Just seeing who was paying attention.

Proverbs: Verily, I say unto thee that as far as I know there's only one kind of Barge Cement and you can get it from a shoemaker. People don't like to stock it because it's highly flammable. If you can't get it try Shoe Goo.

To Haverod: I hunted in WV for more than 20 years, and one of the things I enjoyed about it was the folks' ability to laugh at themselves.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 20 weeks 1 day ago

I could not have lived my life without lists. My feeble brain is just too fuzzy to get by without 'em. I always kept a list of everything I would need for a hunting trip and another list for fishing trips taped to my gun cabinet. I would add or subtract from these lists as the years went by. I also kept another list of things that I had left someplace that I intended to return to the next year, which I did frequently. Such as a rifle. I also kept ALL my gear in one place, so that I never had to root around for some critical item that I could not find. I would always try to be as fully packed as possible at least a couple of weeks before leaving. All of this attention to detail served me very well down all the years, unlike my lifelong hunting & fishing buddy who seemingly always arrived at our destination having forgotten some really crucial item, such as missing a clip for his rifle on at least 3 occasions, thus turning a repeater into a single shot. He refused to keep lists and continually paid the price. We got a lot of laughs over that, that is when he would finally calm down. I eventually kept an extra clip for his rifle in MY gear!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 20 weeks 1 day ago

Mr Warner,
Our habits seem very similar when it comes to lists. Every type of hunting trip has its own list on file. I even have permanent waterproof manifests that go on top of the packed gear, just under the the zipper, checking off what has been packed and in what order, so I do not have to scrounge around looking for an item.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ALJoe wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

Dave, I use Power Pro braided fishing line to sew up holes in my gear. It's tough and will last a while. My stitching too looks like hell but it works.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from B12809 wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

I also use a heavy gauge fishing line to sew with, One year while I was fishing, I somehow put a knife through the bottom of a backpack I was using and had to do a quick fix on the fly, so I used a fishing hook as my need and line as my thread and it is still holding up to this day, that was about 3 years ago!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from haverodwilltravel wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

All great advise. I have a checklist at the end of every season.
That said, I got a chuckle out of the West Virginia shoe flopping. You are a brave man in an age where everyone is offended by everything. Let us know when the letters start pouring in. :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SL wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

I once went hiking with a boot that I fixed up the sole on beforehand with some glue. Thought I could get another hike or two out of them. Before I got back from the first hike BOTH boots nearly disintegrated on me. Lucky I had some string with me to tie BOTH flopping soles, or I would have had to walk a couple of miles barefoot. Once you see the rubber of the sole starting to go, get rid of them. No saving them at point. They will fall apart on you in NO time after that, so be warned.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike1984 wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

"get rid of them in an environmentally UNSOUND manner and get new ones"

- What kind of voodoo is this? How does it help next season?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 20 weeks 3 days ago

Floppy soles? Jackets or shirts torn on barbed wire? Duct tape never leave home without it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

I use the inventory clearance sales at the end of the season to replenish much of my hunting equipment. You can usually pick stuff up cheap as retailers try to lower their inventory.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

Years ago I put together pre and post hunt checklists. I also carry a small notebook that fits my shirt pocket in which I jot notes during a trip on suggestions for future additions or deflections of equipment. Also just ideas that come to mind regarding better ways to do things in the future. I am lucky to be able to venture far from home to crazy places where mistakes can be more than an inconvenience, and really affect the outcome of a trip. Take care of your gear it will take care of you.

I may have mentioned, several years ago, I had so many optics, plus cameras, which filled my allowed carry ons . I took a chance and checked in duffle a set of hunting clothes I normally carry on board to wear if my duffle does not show up at destination. You guessed it, none of my bags showed. I bought second and third hand clothes off of road side bushes from locals strapped them in place along with my Bruno Magli chukka a with Duct tape, and hunted jungle for three weeks.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

Please note I carried my Duct tape on board, as always

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

Waxed dental floss also works well for sewing stuff up.

My boots were half in the bag when I came to Montana this year. They didn't make it two weeks. Bought a new pair and they turned out to be absolute trash (I wrote a product review in Answers). Had to pick up another pair which fortunately have worked out very well.

At one time I had a flashlight with my list of hunting trip stuff scratched on the outside. Hope I can still find it somewhere. Would like to hand it down to my grandson.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Proverbs wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

Battery housings aren't as tough as they used to be. I've seen one-year-old name brand batteries leak. Unusual, but not unheard of. Two months ago I put a brand-new Energizer 9V in my Leica RF. I'm taking it out now. Thanks for the reminder!

Dave - my favorite boots need slight repair. Will give the Barge Cement a try, but which variation is good for boots? I spent too much time in October walking in icy conditions and the outsole is just a little loose on a three-inch section where it wraps up to meet the upper.

Thanks

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

Indeed, David. My hunting buddy was moaning about his hunting boots needing replacement on the trip TO the hunting camp. He balked at the price at 2 Cabela's and a Sportsman's Warehouse enroute and did not buy a new pair. Predictably, they fell apart Day 2 of the hunt and he spent the next 6 days wearing a pair of crappy pac boots ill suited for the mild weather and rough terrain and complaining that his feet hurt. I'll bet if I had a spare pair of boots his size that I could have made a handsome profit!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

whether it's your Leica rangefinder or DSLR or your TV remote, checking on your batteries from time to time is recommended for anything powered by batteries, especially the old AAA/AA/C/D cells which can leak. rechargeable batteries mostly just die and refuse to accept a charge, which means spending $$$ to replace them, but if their casing breaks down and they leak, they all contain some nasty stuff you don't want touching your food and water supply.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

So far everything about boots and batteries and BTW, contact cement will do as we; as Barge and Goop. MUST be dry to the touch when pushed together!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 20 weeks 2 days ago

And for the one everyone is waiting for...preventing rust.

Easy, get some EEZOX and apply with a lubed patch. CORROSION-X is almost as good.

The only other way is to pack in cosmoline and cheese cloth the way the Army did for rifle barrels and such.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 20 weeks 1 day ago

A good hardware store (not big box) will have barge cement. It does dry out in the tube sometimes after the tube is only half gone so make sure it's somewhat malleable.

"get rid of them in an environmentally UNSOUND manner and get new ones" crack me up

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hornd wrote 20 weeks 1 day ago

I appreciate these "fundamental" lessons. A lot of this could be learned in the military..camping is a distant 2nd.
As you get older (I'm 31) I find less is better. I have started to make lists myself, and there is often something that I wouldn't have thought of, last thing learned is roll of paper towels left in car (great for messes including in the drawers). Some learn thru experience, some learn thru others experiences. I'm more of the former. "An ounce of preparation is worth more than a pound of cure".

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 5280Shooter wrote 20 weeks 18 hours ago

Alas, I have come down from the mountains and your reminder is timely as now is the time for my housekeeping. My headlamp went out on my high country backpack hunt and fortunately I had a backup because that is one tool one can't be without on that hunt. It is indesribably dark when the sun goes down. Also, I ripped the crotch out of my pants crossing a barbed wire fence so those will need to be sewn or replaced. Not a pretty picture with me hiking out of the wilderness with the breeze blowing onto my long johns. I have grown very fond of the little stuff like zip ties, paracord, a surefire flashlight, silk scarf, a good pocket knife and gummy bears. Is it too early to start counting down to next deer & elk season?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 19 weeks 5 days ago

Dave, Not so fast, deer season in Kansas opens Wednesday. It's not over yet!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kolbster wrote 19 weeks 2 days ago

Western NC rifle season is in full swing one week down two to go, i try my best to keep all of my hunting stuff together, but there are certain things that always end up some where else binos, range finder, and a small head lamp and streamlight always seem to end up in my patrol car somewhere, so i always end up having to find and get some stuff together.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 19 weeks 1 day ago

This morning while visiting a backpacking, mountaineering store came across a book entitled, Don't Forget The Duct Tape. Full of tips and tricks for repairing camping equipment, clothes and so forth. Looks like. a fun Xmas gift. 4x6 inches

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 19 weeks 1 day ago

Standing Orders, Rogers' Rangers
(Major Robert Rogers, 1759)

1. Don't forget nothing.
2. Have your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet scoured, sixty rounds powder and ball, and be ready to march at a minute's warning.

etc, etc.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 19 weeks 1 day ago

Even at work, in my carry around bag, I have a short length of duct tape rolled around a pen, just in case. I also have another pen with clear tape around it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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