Maintenance for Outdoorsmen is Important in Order to Make Sure Your Equipment Works When You Need it Later.
With some hunting seasons completed and others soon to be, now is the time to begin maintenance for outdoorsmen. Hunters need to clean their firearms and prepare them for storage until next season, and anglers may need to check their rods and reels along with other fishing-related items.
Certain details for hunting gear should be checked now and not put off until the fall. February is a month of change as we transition from hunting into fishing and is a good time to clean up your hunting mess and spool on some new line for the fish.
Check it and Clean it
“Hunters should inspect and check the bolts, nut, and screws in their guns before locking them away in their safe,” advises Arlie Fortner, Manager for Shotgun Sports and Supply in Anniston, AL, on maintenance for outdoorsmen.
Fortner says the elements outside can have an effect on the appearance and even on how the gun performs. Pro Gold Lubricant can be applied between the wood and metal surfaces to help keep moisture out. Moisture could change the shooting characteristics over the course of the season.
“Apply a light coat of high quality gun oil on metal parts and lubricate any moving parts.”
Apply a light coat of high quality gun oil on metal parts and lubricate any moving parts. A patch with some oil should be run down the barrel before and after shooting. Wipe any excess oil with a soft, clean gun cloth. Keep the firearm away from places that could have wide changes in temperatures. Moisture absorbing packs should be kept in safes or gun cabinets during storage to prevent rust and pitting.
Don’t forget about that old smoke pole. Check and make certain the powder charge and bullet have been removed from your muzzleloader before storing. Clean the barrel with a solvent or special black powder bore cleaner. Black powder can damage the chamber and barrel if not thoroughly cleaned.
Clean and wipe down the scope on your deer rifle. “When cleaning lenses on a scope, spray the lens with a liquid cleaner and allow the solution to run off,” Fortner advises. “The liquid will carry away any small particle that could scratch the lens when wiping.”
Maintenance for outdoorsmen includes making sure your firearms are safe. Firearms are expensive and your investment needs protection in today’s world. A new security enclosure available is the Personal Biometric Safe. The small safe is designed to hold a couple of handguns or valuables, but can be opened in seconds. The PBS uses finger print technology to keep the contents secure and non-authorized persons from opening the box. The unit can be bolted to the floor or wall and is perfect to keep the firearm ready but secure from children or anyone else without proper access.
Clothing maintenance for outdoorsmen is just as important as any other tool.
Specialty hunting and camouflage clothing requires care to keep it looking and wearing like new. Laundry detergents like those made by Hunter Specialties have no UV brighteners or perfume scents. These soaps clean with care as not to damage the camo color or fabric.
After washing your camo duds, allow them to dry completely before packing away.
Hunting boots should be dried thoroughly before storage. Clean off any mud or dirt and place the boots in a container away from any heat source or moisture.
Fishing gear prep
“Regular reel maintenance should be about every 3- to 4- months,” advises Fortner.
Fortner says there are several points on reels that need oil. All of the bearing and contact points need a drop or two of quality oil designed for fishing reels. Quantum and Daiwa make special oil for their reels which can also be used on other brands. Regular machine oil or all purpose oil is not a good idea on precision fishing equipment.
“Hot Sauce,” made by Quantum is an oil especially formulated for casting and spinning reels. The oil comes with a special applicator to deliver the precise amount in the desired location.
“One key area is the worm gear on the level wind on casting reels,” Fortner mentions. “Turn the reel over and place a couple of drops of oil on the gear.”
Fortner recommends avoiding grease or lube on the outside of the reel. Grease will attract dirt and grit and can actually do more harm than good. The lube is for inside the reel on the gears.
Maintenance for outdoorsmen can be tricky because not all tools need the same care. Casting and spinning reels both need oil on certain locations, and each type of reel is a little different.
“Casting and spinning reels both need oil on certain locations, and each type of reel is a little different.”
“The bearings behind the spool require oiling,” Fortner explains. “Remove the side plate carefully and look for the bearings inside the real and on the backside of the side plate.”
Fortner also suggests oiling the handles on each type of reel. Some high-end reels have bearings inside the handle.
On spinning reels, remove the line spool and place a couple of drops of oil on the shaft. Keep a lookout for a small drag washer on the inside of the spool. Give the handle several turns to incorporate the oil over the entire shaft. The bail spring points on either side of the reel should also receive a touch or two of oil.
Easy does it
Fortner says if a casting type reel is to be dismantled, pay particular attention to how the parts are removed. This is certainly true if removing the handle and drag mechanism and gears. There are several small and intricate parts that must be replaced in the same order for the reel to function properly.
“It is a good idea as you remove the parts, lay them out in the order they are taken from the reel,” advises Fortner. “Then when you want to re-assemble, just reverse the order of the parts.”
He also recommends if anglers are not comfortable tearing into a casting or spinning reel they can take them to a qualified dealer or repair shop for a thorough cleaning and tune up.
Float your boat
“Fuel systems is the main problem we see in engines,” comments Phil Singleton of Montgomery Marine, in Wetumpka, AL. “The fuel can have trash in it after it has been sitting up for a while.”
Singleton recommends a 10 micron fuel filter between the gas tank and the engine. This size filter will trap impurities and water in the fuel. Fuel-injection outboards especially need this filter. If the fuel is older than three months, dump it out and put in fresh fuel.
“Ethanol in the fuel can cause problems if not treated properly,” Singleton advises. “Fuel additives like Star-Tron made by StarBrite will help keep water from bonding with the ethanol in the fuel.”
Singleton recommends boat maintenance for outdoorsmen year-round. Fuel filters should be replaced at the start of the boating season and on a regular basis to keep the fuel clean.
Boat trailers should be inspected before towing your boat to the lake. Begin at the tongue or hitch area and check the safety chains, ball coupling and light connectors. Inspect the winch function and the strap for any wear or nicks. Check the safety hook on the strap as well.
Ensure all of the lights, turn signals, and stop lights are functioning properly. Inspect the tires and check the lug nuts on each wheel to make sure they are tight.
“Low tire pressure can cause excessive wear,” advises Singleton. “Proper tire pressure will also help in trailer towing.”
Inspect the steering linkage on the boat motor and check the tightness of the engine mounting bolts to the boat transom. Grease the steering and pivot points on the motor. Follow the engine maintenance procedures for lower-unit oil check and re-fill as needed.
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