Preparing for next season

Have you ever been deer stalking and forgotten your binoculars? Ever been picking up and not got your whistle? Is your pigeon decoying kit spread over four different locations? Now is the time to start preparing for next season. 

With the coronavirus outbreak we are living in unprecedented times but us countryfolk are a resilient bunch… Why not spend this time getting organised and preparing for the next shooting season?

Being country is a mindset, not a location. People who identify like this are often a proactive type and love to keep busy. So, let’s make the most of self-isolation and social distancing!

Here are few ideas which will pass the time and help you prepare for next season:

Boots

These always last longer when treated properly. So, wash your wellies and give them a buff with a bit of furniture polish. Joules have a good guide on welly care, click here to read it.

If you’ve got leather boots set aside a bit more time. Get rid of any excess mud and dust with a hard brush then protect with a product like Leather Genie or Renapur.

Rifle

What you can do with your rifle depends on your situation. Clean it, zero it, stalk with it.


Photo – Tweed media

Kit

We’re all guilty of just leaving kit until the next season rolls around but now is your chance to get sorted. The last thing you want is to find it all mouldy and moth eaten.

Start preparing for next season by pulling it all together, give it a good clean and then organise. Fix what’s broken and make a list of what you need to buy before you use it again.

A lot of country stores will have an online shop and are still trading. Continued business will mean a lot to them.

In the same spirit, if you’ve got kit that you don’t use any more or perhaps doesn’t fit, pass it on to someone who could use it. You can do this on Facebook Marketplace or gumtree. Shooting can be very expensive for newcomers and a bit of kindness goes a long way.

Photo – Tweed media

Gunslip

This protects some of people’s most valuable and treasured possessions and is often a neglected.

If it’s leather, ensure you clean and protect it. If canvas, give it a good clean with a hard-bristled brush.

Check all the straps are secure and that the barrel end is strong and in good condition as this is a common point of failure

Shotgun

When was the last time you oiled your wood or cleaned your chokes? Use this time wisely. Give your shotgun a good clean and don’t forget all the nooks and crannies missed when we just give it a wipe over.

While the cabinet is empty, spruce that up too! Put a square of carpet in the base or create some barrel dividers. When was the last time you vacuumed the dust out of it?

Dog

This extra time at home could be of real benefit for those of us who have working gundogs. With less social commitments we have a few extra hours a week or minutes in the evening to lend to training.

Now is the time to look at how we can start preparing for next season, and this includes working with our dogs. 

Click here to read our blog on “how to train your dog in isolation”. It’s not only gundogs who can benefit.

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