Patoka Sportsman 6-8-19

Patoka Sportsman 6-8-19

Turkey season is over and some of us have positive memories of this years hunt while others were shut out.  Now that the season has passed, it might be time to clean your firearm and put away your equipment.  It’s also a time to fix or replace things that need it.

Start by field-stripping your gun, following your owner’s manual instructions. Whether you shoot a pump, autoloader, or something else, knowing how to disassemble your gun allows you to clean it more effectively – and it also helps you learn your tool inside and out. Printed and online manuals, YouTube, and even your local gun shop can all provide tips and tricks for getting most modern shotguns apart and ready to clean, while also providing specific cleaning advice for various types of firearms. The gas system on a semi-auto, for instance, needs more attention than a single-shot.

Turkey hunters are notorious for belly-crawling through dirt, stalking gobblers in thick brush, and braving conditions like rain and snow. That all equates to plenty of “stuff” making its way into the gun’s action. Too many hunters run a patch through the barrel and neglect the rest, but you know better. Now that the gun is disassembled, shake out the pine needles, clumps of brush and grains of sand. A blast of compressed air will help remove the loose debris, while a dental pick will tidy up the crevices. After that, focus on cleaning up powder and gun oil residue by spraying everything with a quality cleaner. Q-tips and a small rag will allow a more thorough cleaning of the internals. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. This baby has done its part in the field, so you owe it a good rubdown.

With the dirt gone and the action spiffed up, it’s time to turn attention to your turkey gun’s barrel. The traditional brush-and-patch technique works, but for a more efficient way to keep the pipe bright and shiny, grab a BoreSnake (different sizes are available to match the gauge of your gun). With one or two quick pulls, the bore will be good as new. If your barrel has a fixed choke your work is nearly complete. If you have interchangeable choke tubes it might require a little more work.

More shotguns come into the gun shop for repair due to stuck choke tubes than almost any other problem. When not removed and cleaned regularly, choke tubes will cause headaches and destroy barrels. Good news is, they’re easy to maintain. Remove your choke, using the provided wrench, each time you’re cleaning the barrel. Soak it in solvent if necessary, though a good spray-down will usually do the trick. A wire brush will clean any remaining gunk from the threads of the tube, but don’t forget the threads inside the barrel as well. Before re-installing the choke tube, give it a dose of choke tube-specific lube.

Prior to reassembling the gun, be sure to grease and oil the areas indicated by the manual. In general, a light spray-down with gun oil is all that’s needed. WD-40 has a million household uses, but gun lubricant is not one of them. Give that action one last cycling to ensure you’ve reassembled everything correctly, and that the gun functions.

There will be a 3-D Broken Arrow Archery shoot Sunday June 9th at Beaver Lake. Sign-in will be from sunrise till noon. A practice range will be available, and concessions will also be sold. There are new lower prices for entry fees. The entry fee is $10 for all adults, $8 for children age 11-17, and free for the cub class (10 and younger) and active military members. For more information call cliff fleck at (812)630-0454 or karla brames at 812-827-3756.  

On Sunday June 9 from 10-3 Step into the backyard of the Nature Center for a close look at two non-releasable birds of prey.  Join the Naturalist in the backyard of the Nature Center for a turtle walk.  Turtles need Vitamin D from the sun and the best way to get it is by going outdoors.

Celebrate Nature Play Day all day June 14 by creating nature art at the Nature Center. Kid’s bring your creativity and the staff at Patoka Lake will supply the rest!

Join the naturalist for a special Father’s Day Program Sunday June 16. Learn about the roles of different dads in the wild. Make a craft to give to the dad that you are wild about!

Celebrate National Bald Eagle Day Thursday June 20 form 6-8 PM on the waters of Patoka. Join the naturalist for an evening tour traveling up river that will start at Wall’s Lake Boat Ramp. Meet the naturalist at the Patoka Lake Office to car caravan to the boat ramp. Caravan will leave promptly at 4:50p.m. Participants should plan to arrive at the ramp no later than 5:45p.m. to prepare their boats and equipment for the tour. Non-motorized boat launch permits are required and will be sold at the event for $5, but may also be purchased at the Patoka Office from 8a.m. – 4p.m. daily