How to Organize Your Bow Hunting Gear and Tools
Whether or not you had a successful bow hunting season that ended with a filled tag and you sitting behind a trophy buck, one thing is certain: your archery equipment and gear probably took a beating. Often at the end of the season, you might find your gear dirty and scattered in places it ought not to be. When you hunt whenever you can squeeze it in and travel to different properties, it’s inevitable that something will be misplaced. If you’re in that boat, don’t worry…it doesn’t take long to clean and organize your hunting mess. If you follow these tips, you’ll be that much more organized for next season too.
First things first. As you collect your various bow hunting items, the first step is to clean them. The woods and fields have a way of quickly adding dirt and debris to our equipment even if you’re seemingly perched in a stand all day long. Cleaning could mean washing your clothing, gloves, and facemask. It could also mean scrubbing your bow and arrows down with a mild soapy solution. Heck, it could even mean cleaning up and oiling your bow maintenance tools if they need it. The point is that time and grime will destroy your precious archery equipment, so you need to make sure they don’t get a foothold at the end of each season. When washing your hunting clothing, make sure to still use scent-free detergents so that they remain as neutral-smelling as possible while packed in their winter bags.
Now that everything is clean, you should look through your archery equipment to see what needs to be fixed or if anything needs any special preparation before storage. Start with your most important piece of hunting gear: your Prime Rize bow. With its rugged new 82x aluminum risers and Flexis FlexShock dampers, your bow can withstand a lot. But you should inspect it from axle to axle to make sure all parts seem to be in order. If you’ll be storing it for more than a few months, it might be a good idea to back off the poundage a little with an Allen wrench to reduce tension on the bow string and prolong its life. You may even want to oil the metal parts and apply a wax to the string. Store it in a hard case and place it somewhere where it will stay cool and dry.
From there, look through your other gear. Arrows continually need re-fletching and new nocks, knives need to be sharpened, clothing and boots can be waterproofed, and the list goes on. Remove the batteries from your electronics so that if a battery explodes it won’t ruin your device. Clean the lenses on your binoculars and range finder and store them in their protective cases.
Now that everything is cleaned up for the season, it’s time to invest a little time in organizing your gear. You don’t have to go berserk on this effort, but the more time you put in now will help you out next fall when you’re wondering, “Where did I place that new box of broadheads?”
Start by organizing your gear by seasons. For example, store all of your archery equipment in the same general area, your waterfowl gear in a few boxes close together, and whatever else you’ve got in the same fashion. Use small school or craft bins to hold your smaller miscellaneous items (e.g., game calls, headlamps, knives, etc.). Take advantage of holiday sales and stock up on large plastic storage totes, which you can toss several gear items into. Provided your hunting clothes are dry, you can pack them into vacuum sealed bags and store these in the totes, which really cuts down the storage space even further and keeps them scent-free and safe from damage. Make sure you label the bins and totes with a removable label and permanent marker. Include everything that is within the container. It will make finding items that much easier and thus faster.
After organizing your gear into respective boxes and bins, it’s time to store them. I know storage space is usually at a premium within our households, but try to store your gear in a cool and dry place, if at all possible. A finished basement or spare closet is ideal, although attics and garages will work in a pinch. Face the labels to the outside so you don’t have to pull a tote off the shelf to see it.
Following these tips, you’ll be the most organized (and therefore most efficient) bow hunter within your group of friends by next season. Don’t be put off by the time and effort it takes to get this system up and running. It’s time well-spent. And once you have the structure down, all you have to do each year is follow the plan.