|My Hunting Lockers|
Like most whitetail hunters, I have accumulated a lot of gear through the years. Multiple cameras, calls, decoys, blinds, and stands cluttered up my garage. I have cold weather clothes, warm weather clothes, blaze orange and even snow camo. I was looking for a way to keep it all organized and clean.
I had used totes and bags to no avail. I just couldn’t keep my gear organized enough to get into the woods the way I wanted. It was then that I decided to create a locker system that would totally change the way I store my gear and improve the process of getting into the woods.
The lockers I built are two simple structures made from 3/4 inch plywood with 1/4 inch plywood backs. I trimmed the edges with pine ripped to 3/4 inches and used glue and pocket screws to make my connections. They measure 4 feet wide by 8 feet tall and 12 inches deep.
They are divided into 4 locker sections with top and bottom shelves. I have placed hooks and hangers in each locker unit. to hang my clothing and accessories I used wire baskets, designed to hang from shelves, in each locker to improve storage capacity and organization.
Each locker has its own unique purpose for the type of gear it holds. Calls in one area, optics in another. Safety gear in one area, and sprays and scents in another, etc. This way I can find what I am looking for when I am looking for it. In short, everything has a place and I have a place for everything.
One problem I had to overcome was keeping my clothes scent free after laundering them in the fall. The open nature of the lockers allowed for scent transfer to my clothes, so I was forced to exclusively use scent free storage bags for my clothing. I tried all types of bags but found the traditional zip-seal bags to be inefficient and hard to store in the lockers. My wife bought some bedding and I now use the zipper bags from it to store my clothes. They are square and lay flat so I can stack them if needed. These bags are easy to access and labeled by clothing type so I know what is stored where. This helped, but I still wanted a better solution, one that would allow both scent control and rapid access when heading out to the field.
In 2017, I converted the end space into an ozone locker to pre-treat my clothing prior to going into the field. Now instead of rummaging through bags looking for items on the way to the field, I plan my gear, place it in the ozone locker prior to my hunt. I run the ozone for 30 minutes and I am confident in my clothing scent control. I like the fact that I can place my pack and my seat cushions in the ozone as well to eliminate odors. This system allows me to have my clothes stored and organized in my lockers without sacrificing odor control. A future article will include pictures and a discussion on the ozone locker and how I accomplished this task.
Storage can be difficult with all the gear we use to hunt whitetail deer. A lot of money is spent on clothing and accessories for deer hunting. It just makes sense to protect that investment. With a little ingenuity and thought, you can create a space dedicated to your whitetail passion, keep organized, and store your items safely.