Social media, outdoor stores, garages…they’re all full of hunters getting ready to go. If you’re one of them, you’re probably biting at the bit to get out in the woods and are getting all your hunting gear ready. Don’t forget to prep one of the most important parts of your hunting supplies: your truck. This year’s hunt is sure to have more than a few hiccups if you can’t get out into the woods if you’re dealing with a random breakdown. Here are six key areas of your hunting truck to inspect, and prep, before you head out on opening day.
If you’re itching to get out to your stand, you don’t want to be delayed by an old battery. When the temps drop, truck batteries tend to flare up—or not flare up when your truck needs peak power to start up because your truck fluids turn to the same consistency as molasses. If your truck battery is showing signs that its next start might be the last (i.e. slow start-ups, rough starting, sudden dead batteries, numerous recharges, or just an old battery), check your battery connections or contact a mechanic to check your truck battery and install a new one (so you can get all the rest of your hunting gear ready).
Prep your truck bed for all the heavy lifting that comes with the hunt; every hunter uses a different method: a tarp, good pressure wash, bed liner. Whatever you do, make sure your truck bed is clean and ready for your deer hunt.
You can’t count on a full moon during hunting season; it’s best to have alternate lighting for when you need it to get out of the woods or when you’re dragging your trophy back to the truck. Check your headlights and any auxiliary lights you have rigged up for the occasion so you have lights when you need it.
Your time in the stand is going to be limited if you’re dealing with the fallout from an accident because of failing brakes. If your brake pedal is soft, brakes make squealing sounds, truck is shaking or showing any other signs of failing brakes, replace your brakes before you head out on opening day. If you don’t have time, schedule an appointment with your mechanic before you head out.
Check your oil, windshield washer, and transmission fluid so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises. Make sure your oil level is optimal, and you’re not in need of a oil change before you head out (if so, set up an appointment ASAP so you can just go). Fill up your windshield washer just in case the weather gets nasty. Check you transmission fluid to make sure it’s a clean red color and there are no metal shards in the fluid. If it is, get your transmission checked before you head out (and can’t get home, though maybe that’s a good thing).
A flat tire can put a real damper on any hunting trip, especially when you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere. Check your tire pressure to make sure you’re not going to be stuck with a flat and to make sure you’re getting optimal gas mileage (so you’re not stopping every 10 miles for gas). As long as you’re at it, check for adequate tire tread so the only thing you’re worried about this hunting season is how you’re going to get that huge buck out of the woods.