Gearing Up for the Season

Tyson KellerWith resident Canada goose seasons well under way and duck seasons starting to open, it is time to really start thinking about the hunting season ahead. The early season zones have provided some relief to the itchy “trigger finger” but the season ahead will likely provide the most fulfillments. Before you know it, the migrators will be winging down from the north as the weather patterns begin to change.

tkRigging2If any of you are like me, your free time is likely becoming more and more limited due to busy work schedules and other obligations. With that being said, I always strive to find ways to give myself more time in the field as well as be more effective. While being a serious waterfowl junkie, I have learned a few things throughout the past that have helped me be more prepared through organizing of my gear. Although it sounds quite elementary, keeping the gear organized will help keep potential problems at bay.

In terms of Duck and Goose Floaters, I always take a few hours to go through all of my decoy bags to make sure the lines and weights are safely fastened and in working condition. Nothing is worse than being set up to watch “getaway” decoys float into the distance. I have found that mice and weathering can be contributing factors to weak decoy lines. It is always good to take a quick run through your dekes to make sure they are all ready to go. If you spot any nicks, it would be best to re-tie for the season. Lead weights also become weathered and will often crack with extreme temperatures. Make sure to look at the anchors to see if they are ready to hunt. This procedure will likely prevent the headaches of “getaway” floating decoys.

For the field rig, I also go through all of my gear to make sure that the heads on my full bodies are fastened on. If the head connections become loose through wear and tear, I simply use a self tapping screw and electric drill for a quick fix. I also go through to make sure that I have sufficient decoy stakes, bases and heads available for all of my decoys. Believe me; nothing is worse than having stakes for half of your spread once you get into the field. I also go through my decoy trailer to make sure my spare tire, jack, tire iron, headlights and interior lights are all in working order…and not to forget, the trailer is licensed for the season. I also make sure that a shovel and rake are packed to help conceal ground blinds. The shovel can also come in handy if you get stuck in a snow bank too. Also, open up the layout blinds to make sure all of the fastening pins are available and have not been lost. Taking a few minutes to make sure the field rig essential are correctly functioning will prevent a lot of headaches.

tkRigging1

Lastly, I always pack a dry box with essential gear that goes with me everywhere. In the box, I pack extra apparel, gloves, socks and accessories for changing weather conditions. I also make sure that there is extra ammo, flashlights, binoculars, gun oil, pliers, duck tape and other essential items packed just in case the unexpected arises. The dry box is definitely an item that I will rarely leave home without.

With a little extra organization, the hunting experience can be enhanced as well as prove to be more effective. Try to make time to list a few “mental notes” each time you are afield on how you can make your hunt more effective. Preparation and organization will definitely make the most out of your hunt.

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