Yamaha Outdoors Tips — Transporting Guns Afield
By Bob Humphrey
Obviously, the gun hunter’s most important tool is their firearm. They may spend hours working on their gun, cleaning, adding optics and sighting in to ensure it will perform as expected when the moment of truth arrives. One of the most critical, yet sometimes overlooked steps is what occurs between the shooting bench and the deer stand. Whether traveling to and from your hunting spot, or hunting from a Side-by-Side vehicle, you want to make sure you and your firearm remain safe and secure.
First and foremost, never transport a loaded firearm in or on a motor vehicle. It’s unsafe, and in most states, illegal. This applies both to transporting on the road and far off the beaten path. And always check to ensure your gun is unloaded before storing it for transport, whether in a case or a rack. You can also add a trigger lock for extra safety and security.
You’ll also want to ensure that your firearm is transported safely and securely. Even on the smoothest roads your gun may be subject to vibrations. And trail riding can be much worse. Modern guns and optics should be able to withstand a certain amount of commotion, but the less you subject them to, the better.
For short trips on smooth roads, a simple gun rack or hanger might be sufficient. A better option, when transporting in an enclosed vehicle like a truck is a padded soft case, which will also protect your firearm from dust and dirt.
An even better option, particularly when traveling off-road, is a hard case. Yamaha offers several styles that can be mounted on your ATV or SxS. They include soft cases that fit inside the hard-shell exterior and are mounted to minimize the affects of vibration.
In addition to ensuring it is unloaded, it’s also a good idea to clean and dry your gun before putting it away for transport. Otherwise, you may be adding dirt and/or moisture to your case, which may remain there and result in future problems. If you have to put your gun away dirty or wet, make sure you clean and dry your case before the next time you use it.