Updated: Apr 5
Even though winter might not seem like a great time to hunt due to the frigid temperatures, hunters understand that this is when most hunting seasons occur. That means you need to prepare yourself for the harsh conditions. If you use a shotgun, here are some winter hunting tips and considerations for shotguns that you should know about.
Keep Your Gun Warm When Possible
Obviously, you want to have your shotgun in an easily accessible place when hunting. However, there will be times when you don’t need to have it at the ready. When this is the case, you need to keep it somewhere covered and warm. This will help it retain a more regulated temperature. You can use some thick towels or blankets, but nothing works better than a well-fitted rifle sleeve.
Store Your Ammo Well
The same goes for your ammunition. Cold bullets can become brittle, causing them to break and misfire when shot. To keep this from happening, you’ll want to store a majority of your ammo somewhere warm, like in a range bag. Of course, you’ll need to have a few bullets chambered and ready to go, but if you haven’t fired them in a while, it would be a good idea to switch them out for some new ones.
Cover the Barrel at All Times
Whether your firearm is in use or stored away, you should keep the barrel covered. Since shotguns have such wide barrels, it’s easy for snow or large bits of debris to get into it and possibly plug it. Even though muzzle covers that you can fire through exist, you can achieve the same results with a few pieces of electrical tape. Shooting through this won’t affect your bullets, so you can easily keep it on at all times.
Protect Your Hands
With so much focus on your firearm, we almost forgot to make sure that you need to protect your hands as well. You can’t rely on frozen fingers to take an accurate shot when needed, so gloves are a necessity, even if it’s a nicer day when you go out.
Of course, you still need to find the perfect pair. You need to find well-insulated gloves that aren’t too thick. Larger gloves will make it difficult to comfortably pull the trigger. In some cases, they could even set off your gun when you’re not ready for it. You need to find that ideal combination to ensure your and everyone else’s safety.
Dry Your Gun After Use
The most crucial winter hunting tip and consideration for shotguns is to make sure you thoroughly dry your gun after a long day of hunting. Sure, you’ll clean it anyway if you used it, but even if you didn’t fire a single shot, you need to make sure no snow or bits of moisture snuck in. This can lead to rust and other issues that will ruin your firearm.
Once you dry it, store it in one of our shotgun wall lock safes. That way, it will continue air drying once you’ve put it away for the night.