Waterfowl hunters tend to collect large amounts of gear quickly, and as years pass, garages and sheds begin to overflow. Storage is a main concern for hunters, and not only finding the right place to store gear, but correctly storing for the off season helps avoid headaches come fall. These tips will organize and maximize storage capabilities, along with minimizing the work needed as the season approaches.
Performing routine maintenance on decoys throughout the season is necessary, but preparing to store them for the off season, hunters should think about the future. By the time fall comes around, the opening day excitement and need to scout for birds leaves little time to dawdle with decoy maintenance. Avoid wasting valuable scouting time by repairing, cleaning, repainting, re-tying, and bagging all decoys as if planning a huge hunt.
- Find dry storage. Damp decoy bags can attract mildew and become weak over time.
- Keep rodents away. A decoy can become a perfect home for field mice if allowed.
- Cover flocked heads with small trash bag, or sock to avoid any damage.
- Secure all weights properly to each decoy to avoid tangles.
- Arrange for next season. Store them so that as the season approaches, teal and wood ducks will be in front, and follow the season dates as to when the decoys will be needed.
Support a Rookie
Every hunter has a handful of decoys lurking somewhere in a garage or shed that are rarely used. They are old, or were just replaced by a typical "must-have" purchase. Rookie hunters usually have very little gear and would appreciate some extra decoys for next season. Find a beginner, a new hunter, possibly even a Greenwing, whose passion for waterfowl hunting has just begun. Hand down a bag of seldom-used decoys and you might help kick start a next-generation hunter, and also open some extra space for new decoys as well.
Layout Blind Storage
Hopping into a layout blind on opening day and finding an insect or rodent family living there has been known to cause unwanted movement within the decoys. Before storing, clean out the inside and remove old brush, stalks, and natural grasses. If storing in a garage or basement, hang on the wall where it's much harder for rodents to access. It's also not a bad idea to spray a little inside/outside pesticide in the blind before closing it up and storing for an entire off season.
Following these helpful guidelines should help hunters get their gear stored properly. Hunters with properly stored gear in Spring will be able to spend more time in the field rather than organizing gear when next season begins.