Advocate – Baton Rouge, La.
|Date:||Aug 26, 2004|
The countdown is on: LSU football season is just nine days away.
So, too, is the opening of the dove season.
The days are drawing nigh to an expanse of days, weeks and months that will allow Louisiana hunters to be in a field, swamp, forest or marsh nearly every day from the Sept. 4 dove opener to the late-in- April Sunday in 2005 when turkey season will end.
There are only sporadic periods during the next eight months when there is not a season on resident game or migratory birds.
After the Sept. 4-12 first split of the dove season comes the Sept. 15 opener for archery-for-deer hunters in a part of the state. Then there’s the Sept. 18-26 teal season, the Oct. 1 archery-season opener for most of the state and the Oct. 2 curtain-raiser on squirrel and rabbit seasons.
These season reminders come when all outdoors shops in Louisiana are running specials on lightweight camo clothing, shotgun shells, boots, shooting stools, dove decoys and shotguns. For most hunters, this activity should trigger lots of activity for the final preseason (hunting, not football) weekend.
Central gunsmith and outdoor shop manager David Reynerson said he’s seen too many folks wait until the night before to open the gun safe or head to the back of the closet to check out their guns. While you’re in there, check out the rifles, too.
That’s because unless you’ve been blowing holes in the sky at a skeet range or punching holes in paper targets, your shotguns and rifles have been collecting dust for much of the last six months. Your best bet this weekend will be to dust them off and make sure they’re in working order.
Dirt holds moisture, and moisture leads to rust, Reynerson said, and rust is settling on every metal part in your sporting weapon now. Even if you you properly stored that weapon at the end of last season, the heavy layer of gun grease or oil you liberally applied after last season’s final cleanup is too thick to take the weapon into the field.
“The guns and rifles need to be fired,” Reynerson said, adding that the next three or four days are critical to some folks being able to take to a dove field on opening day.
He said area gunsmiths are putting in 10-14 hours days right now, which means if you find something wrong in the safe or the closet, then you can expect a minimum three-day turnaround from any gunsmithing shop. That’s if you’re lucky. Most shops have a seven days-or-longer waiting list and it’s longer if you need a part.
“Under normal use, a shotgun or rifle should be professionally cleaned at least once every two years,” Reynerson said, who further explained dove and duck hunters need to do that every year because they shoot their weapons more than other hunters.
He also said before handling your sporting firearms for the first time this season, it’s best to make sure those weapons are unloaded.
“I know it sounds crazy, but all of us know somebody who put a gun or rifle away after last season and it (the weapon) was loaded,” Reynerson said.
“Always treat a firearm as if it is loaded,” he said. “Double and triple check to make sure there are no rounds or shells in the chamber and magazines, and open breeches and bolts before cleaning it, taking it to the range or to a gunsmith.”
PUBLIC FIELDS: Wildlife and Fisheries game biologist/manager Fred Kimmel said the agency is trying to lease fields for public dove hunts for the Sept. 4 opener.
He said the LDWF has agreed to leases for a field south of Alexandria and another near DeRidder.
“We’re having trouble around here (Baton Rouge), because we are not seeing good concentrations of birds so far in south Louisiana,” Kimmel said.
Advocate Outdoors will list the public fields in its Sept. 2 edition and Kimmel said the list will be posted on the LDWF’s Web site: www.wlf.state.la.us.
For Warranty Repair or to order guns and accessories, go to http://www.Reynersons.com or call 225-261-4860.