October has been declared National Hunting and Fishing Month by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Zinke is a proponent of hunting and fishing and looks to expand these activities in our National Parks. He notes in an article on the Kansas Wildlife Federation Website, that hunters and anglers play a huge part in conservation by contributing billions of dollars to protect our wildlife. It’s his opinion that the more people out there fishing and hunting, the better.
So all you hunters and fishers, get out there and enjoy the outdoors but do it within the law and with safety in mind. Rules and regulations around hunting and fishing can be complex. The Kansas Outdoors Website is a great resource for the do-es and don’ts of both fishing and duck/bird hunting in Kansas.
To be sure your first duck hunting trip this year goes smoothly, we strongly suggest your outboard motor is running in top shape. Tuning up your motor is the first order of business. There are many steps involved in tuning up your motor & the first is to decide if you are going to do it yourself or leave it to the professionals. If you are leaving it to the professionals, get your boat into the shop asap to insure your motor is running smoothly. Trusted Kansas City boat repair shops will have a lot of winterizations to do at this time of year so don’t put this off until the last minute.
If you are doing an outboard motor tune up yourself, your first order of business is to pull out your boat owners manual. If you can’t locate your owners manual, call our come down to our marine store in Kansas City to get one. Once you have your owners manual, check guidelines for recommended procedures, lubes, oils and replacement parts. Failure to use manufacturer required brands can void your warranty and may cause you further headaches down the road.
Start with a visual inspection of your motor starting at the bottom. Look for signs of leaking lubricant that may run down the propeller. This could be a signal that seals have gone bad. If this may be the case, bring your boat in for service. Next check the propeller for signs of damage. Cracks in the blades by the hub, large chips or bent blades call for repair or replacement of your prop.
As you move up the motor, check and fix missing or loose screws, nuts or bolts on the lower unit. Lubricate the grease fittings at the transom bracket, swivel bracket and transom clamp screw as directed in your owner’s manual. The throttle control should be inspected and lubricated per your manual.
Next up is to replace the spark plugs and fuel filter. Then it’s on to the lower unit. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended frequency of lubricant changes for your outboard motor’s lower unit. Begin by removing the unit’s top and bottom fill plugs and allow the lube to drain into a container of your choice. Replace the lubricant with the manufacturer recommended product by filling lubricant into the bottom fill hole until lubricant reaches the top fill hole. Once filled, replace the top plug, remove the applicator nozzle and replace the bottom plug then wipe clean.
Last but not least, get all your hunting gear out. Clean, inspect and replace as necessary then get out there and have fun.