With spring gobbler season over, it’s time to prep gear for fall deer hunting
Turkey season is over and many of us toss our gear aside for the time being while we go about getting our gardens fine-tuned or squeeze in some late-spring fishing.
If you’re like me, a fair amount of your turkey hunting gear doubles as your deer hunting gear, especially if you’re an early-season bowhunter. When you hang up the turkey hunting vest is as good a time as any to get the multi-purpose gear ready for deer season, which will be here before you know it.
I pretty much wear the same clothing for turkey and warm-weather deer hunting, so when turkey season is over I’ll wash that clothing and perhaps some other hunting garments in hunter’s soap. I then air them out for a day or two before storing them in a container in hopes of avoiding scent contamination. Come September, a few weeks before the Northern Zone archery season, I’ll get those clothes back out and spray them with Permethrin, a tick deterrent, and then air them out again.
Don’t forget to include gloves and socks, and also the hats and facemasks you may use during both turkey and deer seasons. Facemasks are big-time scent holders simply because we breathe through them.
This is also a good time to do footwear evaluation. I don’t worry about the rubber boots, but once turkey season is over, I’ll treat my main hunting boots with a waterproof sealant. Then I also let them dry and air out before putting them away until deer season.
With the clothing out of the way, it’s time to turn one’s attention to hunting gear. Give that turkey shotgun a good cleaning before you put it away. Think of all the rain, mud and whatever else you’ve subjected it to during the month of May. Hopefully you put a few rounds through it in the direction of a gobbler or two.
Next, I empty my hunting coat and turkey vests and organize my turkey calls, which I keep in a box during the off-season. I make sure they’re in working order and that I have things like chalk and sandpaper to use with them, just in case I squeeze in a fall turkey hunt.
Things like a rangefinder, binoculars, map, compass and safety/survival gear, which are often used in other endeavors, are left where I can get to them. All but the rangefinder could potentially accompany me on hikes, fishing trips and canoe/kayak adventures.
Lastly, just as I do at the end of deer season, I make a list of what I’m going to need while it’s fresh in my mind. Ammo is often at the top of this list, and I have a very bad habit of losing turkey decoy stakes. The list goes in my wallet for the next time I’m in a sporting goods store.
Taking the time to do a little work now sure makes things a little simpler when deer season rolls around in nearly three short months.