I know, I know. You were walking to work and a dry, red leaf landed in front of you. There was that one cool evening two weeks ago where you could smell the dirt. You are seeing deer or ducks or doves on the drive home at night.
And your first thought, like mine, is "I don't believe I've been putting off buying that new gun! I need to buy it now, before the season starts!"
But no, you don't, and here are the basic reasons why:
1) You won't read the manual. I make a habit of thumbing through the safety provisions of the manual, and that's it.......until something breaks. But I have to say, the two times I bought guns right before hunting season, I never had time to read the manual. After all, we're discussing a deadly weapon that came in a box. Read the damn manual.
2) You won't adequately test fire it before taking it afield. Hell, you *might* get out to test fire at the range once or twice, which is not really adequate to break in a new firearm, let alone get used to its quirks. I bought my last 12 gauge in August, several years ago, and it started cycling correctly after opening day on the second hunting season I owned it. The misfires prior to that were pretty embarrassing. None of these even includes the issue of testing/calibrating optics.
3) It will let you down in extreme conditions as a result of #2 above. What happens to that scope if it gets dunked in water? What happens to the action of that shotgun when it's 11 degrees outside?
4) You won't have enough time to test ammo. And putting the hammer down on a turkey at 45 yards or a pronghorn at 230 yards is not the time to find out that your new gun "doesn't like" the best ammo on the market, especially if you're deep in wild game country. What's that one slogan, "I didn't come this far to miss." No you did not. You have all next summer to test different loads.
5) The price is not right. August - November is the period of the year when gun dealers know they can get the price they want on hunting firearms. Some black friday deals exist, and more exist after Christmas, when last year's guns need to be sold to make room for the new year models.
I can say all this without remorse, yet I myself am considering a Beretta Outlander or a Franchi Affinity for the late duck season. Either would likely be more trouble than it's worth, but I've been putting the purchase off for two years. Will I heed my own advise and wait until January? I guess we'll have to see.