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Getting Ready For What’s Ahead
I pulled the hammer back on the Rossi Rio Grande, let out my breath and slowly pulled the trigger. Resting the forend in the arm of my shooting bench the hold was as steady as I could make it. The crosshairs settled on the bull’s-eye of the Casey Shoot N C target and when I took up the slack of the trigger, the rifle bucked slightly and I once again peered in the scope to see where the shot had gone. I now had one jagged hole where this shot had joined the first shot about two inches high, but right in line with the point of aim. I smiled as I thought that this would be perfect for shooting the 30-30 cartridge that the lever action is chambered for. I had made the decision to use the 30-30 this November for the regular deer season just because I hadn’t used it for anything yet despite the Mrs. getting it for me 3 years ago. Oh, I had shot pop cans with it, as well as targets and other outings just plinking, but it has yet to earn its keep putting any meat in the freezer. Since I had the target and shooting bench already out I continued to check another rifle’s zero, my Winchester XPR chambered in .300 magnum. It too is ready if I need to get it out of the safe. Of course, I couldn’t shoot the centerfire rifles without taking my Winchester 1895 out of the safe as well.
I’m sure that you too are getting busy preparing for the upcoming seasons. I can tell this is true by the number of stands I see on the back of 4 wheelers I see on the highway heading to and from the woods. The other thing I just got done was packing my day back for deer season. It’s what I pack in, in truth for the most part I stay in a small cabin on the farm and hunt from it, as well. But rather than have the gear I need scattered from one end to the other, I just keep it all in one pack, like I’m sure that most of you do. This will include my hunter orange items such as vest and hat. I will also have a pair of gloves in there and a pair of binoculars. There will be a grunt tube and a bleat can, as well as a rattle bag. I will have a knife in there, as well as a pelvic bone saw for opening a deer up in the field. Speaking of knives, I also have taken my Work Sharp knife sharpener out and ran most of my knives through it. Not only will it make field dressing easier, but working the deer up when I get home, as well. Once again I have my Bible in there in case I want to read along with paper towels which serve many purposes. Although I hunt 90% on my home turf, if I venture elsewhere, I don’t have to make sure I have everything I need as it’s all in that one pack. I should be bow hunting right now, but with deer bologna still in my freezer I really do not need another deer right now, but this weather may change all that and when Covid 19 hit those with deer burger in their freezer seemed pretty wise in the long run when grocery store freezers were pretty empty.
So that has me ready for firearms deer season, but that’s far from the only season that will open in November. Two weeks ago, I dragged my duck decoys out of the loft in the garage and untangled lines and tied decoys on new lines. I had to cut a couple decoys off the lines that had been perforated by friendly fire and replace those who I deemed would not stay afloat for the entirety of the waterfowl season. Because the youth season opens this weekend, October 24 & 25 I also had to get a couple bags of decoys ready to toss out for this Saturday for my grandson’s hunt. The youth hunters may also take geese, so I had to get a few goose decoys ready, as well. I will not leave these decoys out since we have a little time before the regular season opens. I have also bought some camouflaged burlap to add to our blind to cover up an overhead board that is somewhat exposed. As we wait for shooting hours to arrive, I plan on getting there early enough to cut some small brush to add to the front panels to also help in hiding us.
The final thing I had to do was to go ahead and plug in my motion decoys to make sure they are charged up and will be ready for Saturday morning. I will also put fresh batteries in those that take batteries. If not, ducks always seem to come in when you are out working on the motion decoys. I like motion decoys, but they can be a pain also.
While I was dragging down my duck and goose decoys, I also brought down my crow decoys since that season opens on November 1st. It may be awhile before I go crow hunting as the other seasons hold precedent over the crow hunting, but I still want to be ready. Being ready means making sure I have at least 4 boxes of shells loaded up or have at least that many purchased and ready to go.
Last Sunday following church, I sat in the basement with my cleaning supplies and went through my guns, as well. I also take choke tubes out and lube them, so they will come out easily in the field if I want to change them. I do not know how I missed it, but the recoil pad on my Browning A5 shotgun was worn down as well as broken up. There was also a major split in it. I would suppose this came about from shooting the shotgun and from time to time the butt pad is resting on the harness of my waders and that is what’s eating away at it. So I ordered a new recoil pad from Midwest Gun Works and it should be here before the week is over. These are the kind of things that you look for when preparing for the upcoming seasons. It might be a good idea to put your waders on and take a walk out into your pond to make sure there are no leaks. A little water coming in early November is no big deal, but wet socks at the end of December is a lot bigger problem. Now is the time to deal with that issue if there is one. If nothing else it’s a good time to find and remove those mice nests when the mice may have found your boots and felt it a great place to move into and call home!