Get Your Hunt Camp Ready
Home on the Range
Getting ready for the hunting season is a lot of work. But every hour you spend getting ready for the season will mean precious time in the field enjoying the hunt and less time fussing with the million of things you forgot to do in the preseason. Here are a few things to tack on to your to-do list.
Get the camp ready for the season. Whether your base camp is a tent, cabin or motorhome, nothing beats being prepared before the first shot rings in the season.
General club/camp duties include:
Driving access roads and marking soft spots and washouts for white rock or re-grading.
Bush hogging and mowing trails and maintaining clover food plots.
Check boundaries, repair fences, gates and repost signs.
Inspect and install tree stands.
Replace and repair any worn or rotting wood or upgrade to new stands.
Update club maps for new boundaries, food plots, and roads.
Set up club journal/logbook.
Sharpen knives, axes, branch cutters and anything with a blade.
Order new vacuum-seal bags, storage bags and camp kitchen supply.
Replace old bedding.
Cut firewood for camp.
Create work party duties and management schedules.
Tent camp: Check tent poles for cracks or wear. Inspect tarps and tent fabric for water repellency, tears and rot. Spray or apply tents, clothing and boots with water-repellent dressing. Check stoves, lanterns, flashlights, water containers and coolers for leaks, fuel issues, worn batteries or broken parts.
Cabin: Inspect framing, roof, doors and windows for rotting wood, leaks and insects/pests. Set out traps, spray and leave bait to remove unwanted pests. Check refrigeration units to make sure they are cooling to safe temperature (40 F or below) for food. Examine stove/fireplace flue for creosote buildup and clean.
Motorhome/Trailer: Pressurize pipes, repair leaks and check water/well pumps for low pressure or leaks. Test heating/refrigeration system for presence of carbon monoxide. Check that vents and air supply to inside of trailer is clear of bugs and birds nests. Replace old batteries and test A/C generator. Recharge sanitary system and refresh water tank and lines with diluted bleach or vinegar.
Plot Duties: Install motion cameras along trails and food plots to monitor turkey use. Renovate pastures by killing fescue using the five-step drop for fescue: mow/burn, allow regrowth, apply herbicide, reapply herbicide and reseed with preferred grasses. Check your local extension office for specific planting dates as they will vary with region of the country and species of plant. Lightly disk perennial clovers and pastures to enhance growth and reduce weed competition.
Hunt, Hunt, Hunt!: Work on getting your bird dogs into shape. Do maintenance on duck blinds and boats and start flooding wetlands for ducks just before the season opens. Hunt safely and send us photos of your trophies.