George Block

Column George Block

George Block is a sports columnist who loves the outdoors.

Plenty of Christmas ideas for the hunter

December 8, 2012

Most are familiar with the term, “golf widow.” It’s used in a situation where the husband is always at the golf course instead of at home.

A similar nickname could be used for husbands who spend the latter part of the year walking the woods in search of a wall hanger with at least eight points.

It is easy for some of us to become addicted to hunting whitetail deer.

The little lady of the house has to make some choices. She can jump up and down screaming, go shopping, or join her husband in the woods. It’s surprising how many have chosen the latter course.

The main rifle season is now over, and there are some matters to be taken care of. It has always surprised me how many rifles are put away after the hunt, forgotten and rusting in the closet.

As someone who worked in a firearms store, many times I saw guns that were brought in with extreme signs of gross neglect. Rust not only covered the metal, but bores were pitted and the stock’s finish was a thing of the past.

In most instances, the outfit was left, even when wet, in a gun case and was not seen until the next year. You could call it firearm homicide.

Just the price of a deer rifle-scope combo should make you want to take care of this hunting tool.

I find myself not only wiping and lightly oiling the firearm after a hunt, but also making sure it is placed in a case that is dry. Putting a clean, dry firearm in a damp case is never a good idea.

If I suspect the gun case has picked up moisture, I open it and place it in front of a heating duct for at least 24 hours. Better to be safe than sorry.

While the rifle and case might be clean and dry, there can be another source of trouble. I have seen slings that were so loaded with water, you could wring them out. Want to find rust on an almost-pristine rifle? Look at the swivels.

If the outfit is to be stored for a lengthy period of time, make sure everything is dry.

A post-hunt question faced by many successful hunters is whether or not you take your kill to a taxidermist? All I can say is if you save the cape, you can take your time deciding. If you saw the antlers off and discard the cape, it’s a done deal. When faced with this question, I save the cape, then decide what to do.

This is also the time to take note of the things that went wrong during the last two weeks.

Gun not sighted in? Easily corrected and shouldn’t happen again.

Bad scope? It’s time to drop a hint to the wife. Christmas is near.

Finding a new place to hunt can be a yearlong job, and it’s never too early to think about next year.

Mentioning Christmas reminds me that even dad likes a nice Christmas present. Please not another shirt or tie, unless it’s orange.

If the hunter in the family shoots at longer ranges, why not buy him a bi-pod?

I told another hunter the other day that I don’t know how he could hunt without binoculars. This is especially true with the antler restriction rule.

New boots keep a hunter’s feet dry, while a box of ammunition will allow for some extra practice.

If the hunter shot a nice deer, but not one big enough to mount, why not give a horn mounting kit?

Just about every hunter could also use a new knife. Today’s hunter seems to favor the folding style.

There are also a few off-beat things that make good gifts.

I found a deer hanging kit useful. It includes a pulley and necessary hooks.

Once, my wife, Eileen, gave me a staple gun in my stocking. For those who shoot targets a lot, staple guns are priceless.

For years, the standard gift in my house was a can of powder for reloading. Just peek in the reloading room and find out what he’s using. That way, you’ll buy the right powder.

George H. Block writes a Sunday outdoors column for the Observer-Reporter.



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