Advocate – Baton Rouge, La.
|Date:||Feb 1, 2004|
Now that deer and duck hunters are talking about their seasons in the past tense, it’s time to start thinking about next year.
The season’s not over until you get the stuff safety stowed away so it’ll be ready in September.
And there’s lots of stuff: shotguns and rifles; ammo; camo clothing; rain gear; hats; decoys; calls; boots and waders; and boats and engines.
ENGINES: Go-Devil boss man Warren Coco said, “The No. 1 thing to do before storing a Go-Devil or any other (small gasoline) engine is to add fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank.”
Fuel stabilizer is available at auto parts stores, small engine shops and discount chain stores.
“It costs $3 to $5 to use, or you’re facing a $100 to $200 repair bill on the carburetor to clean or replace it before next season,” Coco said.
After the stabilizer, Coco said, all engines should be run until the fuel runs out. That means you either shut off the fuel flow or disconnect the fuel line from the engine to prevent gasoline additives from gumming up a carburetor.
Cleaning the fuel tank is important, too: “Tilt the fuel can or the fuel tank (on equipment with a built-in tank) to a point where one corner is lower than the rest of the can. Water and trash is heavier than the gas and will settle in that corner. Then, it’s easy to take a siphon and get the trash and water out, and it’s more effective than dumping the contents of the can out,” Coco said.
After that, fill the fuel tanks full to eliminate condensation and water build-up for the engine’s next trip. Remember to add stabilizer to the tank to equal the fill-up and to cover all intakes. Mud daubers like to use intakes for springtime homes, and their mud nests make it impossible to start an engine next season.
WEAPONS: Before cleaning and storing, make sure the weapon is unloaded – make doubly sure.
Local gunsmith David Reynerson said gun owners should disassemble rifles and shotguns, “only if they’re completely familiar with the weapon and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter. Don’t fool with the trigger mechanism, because there are too many parts to handle for someone without the expertise and the proper tools.”
Reynerson said compressed air helps blow out as much of the loose dirt as possible. After that, it’s time to use solvents to clean brass and copper build-ups from barrels. He recommends running a patch dampened with solvent down the barrel – in some cases it might take a brass brush to remove all the deposits – then set the barrel down to let the solvent do its work.
After cleaning all other parts, return to the barrel and run a clean patch or patches through until the barrel is clean. Then, run a preservative oil patch through the barrel, then a dry patch to remove excess oil.
Store the gun with the barrel facing the bottom of the gun safe so excess oil doesn’t seep into the stock. Over time, gun oil ruins wooden stocks. Don’t store a modern weapon in a gun case, which holds moisture and can lead to a rust on rifles and shotguns.
Gunsmiths advises against using sprays like WD-40 because they harden and are difficult to remove before the next season.
BOOTS: Most rubber-boot makers advise washing boots in mild soap and water, then drying thoroughly before storing. Some manufacturers make a rubber conditioner that can help increase the life of the boots, and they warn against using vinyl preservatives.
Years ago, veteran Timberton Club swamp hunter Jeff Rouillier said to remember the inside. He sprays the inside of the boots with Lysol, then drys them and hangs then upside down in a dark, cool closet. He said light and heat are the enemies of rubber.
AMMO: Three years ago, Winchester pro Joe Marshall said ammo and powder are easy to keep from season to season. He uses 50-caliber military cans. The cans are rustproof, waterproof and airtight.
“Make sure the ammo is dry and free of rust, then store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight, and you will have it ready for next year,” he said.
DUCK CALLS: Eli Haydel, a Louisianian known worldwide for his game calls, said cleaning calls is a must.
His advises seperating the large barrel from the call’s small barrel. Then wash both in a mild, warm-water soapy solution, rinse and dry with paper towels.
Haydel said the reeds need to be cleaned because, “Duck hunters get up early in the morning and eat things like honey buns and biscuits and drink Cokes and coffee with sugar in it in the blinds. This is not good for a call. Depending on where you store the call, the food particles can get moldy and ruin a call.”
To clean the reeds, he said, run paper towels between the reeds and the seat where reeds meet the small barrel of the call “and floss them like you would your teeth.”
DECOYS: Herter’s Decoys expert Don Zubke said rodents like to make nests from decoys and this is the biggest problem in storing them from season to season.
Zubke said to remove all lines and weights and clean decoys in warm, soapy water, then dry and store in a cool, dry, out-of-the- sunlight spot. He added that rubber conditioners can be used on rubber decoys.
FIBERGLASS: Chalmette pirogue maker Ron Chapman said, when storing fiberglass, it’s important to remove any wood on the gunnels to prevent termites from getting to the boat.
In a 2001 story, Chapman said, “If you’re going to hang a pirogue, then use the front and back handles, then secure a line through the girth (the middle) of the pirogue to prevent warping. And avoid storing anything in the boat for extended periods.”
He recommended using Penetrol, an additive that preserves the Gel coat, on the exterior.
CLOTHING: Sweat, dirt, mud and water are parts of Louisiana hunting. You’ve washed all the clothing you’ve worn next to your skin.
The more expensive outerwear needs tending, too. Fighting mildew is important. The best way is to follow the manufacturer’s care labels. Make sure the clothes are clean and dry, then store them in airtight containers in a closet.
For Warranty Repair or to order guns and accessories, go to http://www.Reynersons.com or call 225-261-4860.