Time to tune up your hunting and fishing equipment. Fishing is still good and the early archery seasons are just around the corner. Don’t let equipment malfunctions be the reason for your hunting or fishing trip to go south. Simple maintenance is all it takes.
As I was going through my hunting and fishing gear I realized my hunting and fishing equipment needed tuning up. My urgency was more with my fishing gear because there are still plenty of good fishing opportunities left. With that said, early archery elk season is not that far off either. I have already started my body tune up but as I was looking at my archery equipment, it dawned on me that I had not taken care of some routine maintenance issues on my bows, releases and arrows. It’s a good idea to routinely check your bow strings and cables. If the strings are frayed and dry make sure you wax them. I use a leather glove to apply the wax to the string, that way I can create friction to melt the wax in and on the string. For your cables just check to see if there is any unusual wear and make sure they fit correctly on your wheels or cam’s. Check all the fasteners on your bow, make sure they are secured, including your sites and rests. Don’t forget your D-loop and peep. Just a solid once over will normally work, but don’t take anything for granted. You can live with operator error, it’s the mechanical issues that causes most of hunting heart burn!
For your arrows, check for any irregularities in arrow flight. They could have been nicked or the fletching could be torn or separated from the arrow. Both of these can alter your arrow flight significantly. Make sure your inserts and knocks are secure as well. None of these checks take long, it is just good practice to routinely check all of your equipment. Don’t forget your releases. They will sometimes collect dust or some other foreign object. Both of those will cause release malfunction, trust me I learned that lesson the hard way.
I know I am guilty of not changing my fishing line near often enough. It is a simple task that I ignore way to much. I don’t fish for a living but I have opportunities to fish where there some real quality fish and there is nothing more frustrating than to loose a good fish because of fishing line integrity. So I changed the line on all my reels, Now if I loose a fish more than likely it will operator error and not the age of the line.
I have some of the same neglect issues with my reels, I just expect them to work! Not so fast my friends, they need tuning up just like any other piece of equipment. They collect dust and need to be cleaned and lubricated periodically to work properly. So in addition to new line on my reels, I did a complete oil and lube job on all of them.
My confidence is much higher now that my hunting and fishing equipment has been tuned up. No more neglect!
The Outdoor Quarterback
Not sure about the rest of the country but here in Kansas and Missouri, the turkeys just haven’t acted normal. In past years pre rut, when the gobblers are still bachelor groups, you can call them and they will respond. That part has been fairly normal, but shortly after they started breaking, as well as the hens, they just haven’t been responding like they should. In past years as the hens start going to nest and you see a lot of single hens, gobblers become pretty vocal clear through the mid morning. For some strange reason we have found that once they hit the ground they have pretty much have gone mute. This is very frustrating to the hunters. It has been very difficult to get any responses in the afternoons, which has been, in previous years, some of the best hunting, not this year. I have spoken to many hunters around the Midwest and they are experiencing similar frustrations. This years weather is that much different from previous years so I am ruling that out. In our are there is an abundance of birds, so ruling that out. My calling methods haven’t changed, so ruling that out. Right now it is the Mystery of 2015! There is still time left in our season for them to start acting normal but I am not confident that will happen. No doubt this has been a new experience and we have had to change our tactics. You learn something new all the time. If you are not willing to change, you may find that your freezer will be empty.
Good luck the rest of your season!
The Outdoor Quarterback
So, I keep hearing that we are now back to football. From where I am sitting I am not sure it ever went away. There was more conversation and discussion about the NFL this off season than in any off season in recent history. Something was in the news morning noon and night. The NFL very seldom gets that much attention in a normal year, do you think that maybe that was the plan all along?
First they had the draft and if I am not mistaken they are now playing preseason football games, on schedule, and for the first time since I can remember every first round draft choice was signed and in camp before the preseason games began, pretty damn suspicious.
So who won, I am not sure but I can tell you who lost, the retired players! We are still getting information from the Players Association about our new benefits, of which I still have questions, as do many of my former teammates. The major issue that the retired players wanted addressed was medical benefits, not more retirement money. Many of the former players are not insurable due to preexisting conditions (injuries) directly related to their football careers. Many of the retired players are at or beyond the retirement age of 65, and because of their current physical conditions, are just hanging on.
The reason the NFL is so popular today is because of the great players from the past. Lifetime medical coverage should be made available to those players who are unable to receive any medical insurance now. Don’t get me wrong, more money in our retirement plan would be nice too! I am all for helping out those players who made the game what it is today.
Off my soap box!
September is just around the corner and that means the archery elk season is almost upon us. For me that also means I am getting in shape to take on the mountains in northern New Mexico. It is one of my favorite times of the year. Everything will still be green and the elk are beginning to break up. The herd bulls are establishing their territory and selecting his harem!
Normally I don’t head out west until the second or third week of September right in the middle of the rut (boys chasing girls). This year I want to try and get a heard bull to take on the challenge of another bull violating his area- that would be me! My plan is to sound like the new stud on the block, get one of them fired up to come in withing bow range (60 yards or closer) to defend his status as the Heard Bull!
I will keep you posted on the outcome.
The Outdoor Quarterback
The spring turkey season is now here, in some states, and the woods are sounding off with the gobble of the toms and the yelp of the hens. It really is one the best times of the year to be in the woods. There is nothing like the thundering sound of an adult gobbler early in the morning. It is also when the tics are attaching themselves to everything they come in contact with. My boyscout motto, be prepared, wear tight fitting clothing under your hunting clothes. Make sure the tight fitting clothes are snug around the ankles, wrist, waist and neck. Better to be a little warm then to be picking tics to all hours of the night. I have found out the hard way that once you are in bed, those little devils will move from you to your wife, that is really a bad thing!! There are some sprays out in the market than you can use to spray on your clothes to help ward off the tics as well. Even if you are not turkey hunt and are just out and about near or around the woods, watch out for those critters, limes disease is not laughing matter. At least check yourself every time you have been around a woody area.
The NFL Draft is just around the corner. This has become such a huge television event that Network Television and the NFL are going to do it during prime time television. I must admit it is entertaining to watch. I will be at Arrowhead Stadium with other former Chiefs Players and current Chiefs Players signing things and watching who the Chiefs will select. It is always a bit of a mystery. We have many needs, offensive linemen, inside linebackers, safety and a burner wide receiver. Then there is always the chance the Chiefs could trade their 5th pick for additional draft picks. This years draft may be the best ever for offensive linemen. There will be some quality linemen taken late in the first round and in the second. I would be interested to hear what you think your favorite teams need are.
Don’t forget to check for tics and the get ready for the NFL draft, Thursday night April 22nd.
The Outdoor Quarterback !
Depending on where you live, January is the month when most outdoor activities slow down with a few exceptions, ice fishing, snowmobiling, late season goose and duck hunting, and in a few states, the last few days of deer hunting. For all of you football enthusiast, the NFL Playoffs are in full swing! If your team is still in, congratulations and good for you. Our beloved Chiefs didn’t make it!! Things are looking up, the Chiefs just announce the hiring of Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel, to former offensive and defensive coordinators for the New England Patriots. Hopefully they will help jump start both the offense and the defense. I personally believe it is a very good move, they both had tremendous successes with the Patriots and bring a wealth of playoff history. When reorganizing a team I feel it is critical to have both coaches and players in place who have had playoff experience. How can you coach about winning in the playoffs if you haven’t been there! Making the playoffs is the first step in winning the Super Bowl and that is every teams objective. Now we have coaches in place who have successfully accomplished both. For the teams still alive in the playoffs, Dallas and their defense look hard to beat. Being from the AFC, I still like the Charges, who I was originally drafted by, and the Colts. You can’t rule out the play of Patton Manning. Back to the outdoors! This is the time to get all of your fall hunting, camping and fishing gear cleaned up. Cleaning your firearms before putting them away is extremely important. The obvious, make sure they are unloaded before working on them and putting them up. This is a good time to take off all that old fishing line and tune up the reels. Make sure all of your camping gear is dry before putting them in storage, mold can develop quickly and cause a lot of damage to your equipment. For you Turkey hunters, this is a great time to work on your calls. Some seasons are just a few months away! Normally I can drive everyone out of the house with some yelps and cackles!
For some of you Spring Turkey season has already begun, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, you got it, in the south. On April 1st, both the Kansas youth and archery turkey seasons open.
For you veteran turkey hunters who can’t wait to get to the woods, here is your chance to accomplish two things, take a youngster to the woods and polish your spring turkey hunting skills. This is a great opportunity to take a young turkey hunter to the woods and experience the thrill of spring turkey hunting. With no hunting pressure on the birds they should be very vocal and no matter if you are a novice or verteran turkey hunter, those first gobbles of the spring always gets your heart pumping.
Now for you seasoned and experienced turkey hunters, who are looking for the ultimate challenge, grab your bow and head to the woods. Taking a spring gobbler with archery equipment is a true test of your hunting skills. The birds in Kansas are pretty vocal right now and they are just beginning to break up. With very few hunters in the woods, I like your chances.
Let me here about your hunts.
The Outdoor Quaterback