Home Forums Bows and Equipment Let's Save Some Money: The Superfluous VS the Superlative

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    • Jarrod Feiner
      Post count: 36

      Now don’t get me wrong, when I get the new Cabelas’ Master Catalog, I will sequester myself to see what is new in the glorious, glorious world of outdoor/hunting gear. However, as I am flipping through the book (it really is a book; it’s the size of Moby Dick–the book, not the whale) I check out all the accessories that promise to make hunting easier, more comfortable, more productive, or promise faster success.

      This is a two part question:
      1./ What accessories do you find yourself consistently without?:D
      2./ What accessories do you believe belong in a level of outdoor-gear-hell?:evil:

      The purpose of this post is to help budding bowhunters cut through the superfluous accessories and spend their hard-earned dollars on the superlative products that have been proven time and again by their placement in your hunting packs.

      Thanks in advance for your valuable advise!

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      I’m too old to be shy, and just smart enough to know I don’t know it all and never will, but I’ll jump in here with a few of my “no thanks” items and “oh yeah” items.

      All, new or not, reading this new column will, of course, keep in mind this is just the information from individuals whom all have different ideals as well has hunting conditions.

      Read my post and the others to follow with an open mind and you too, in time, will have your own ever changing, I might add, list of “things I find useful”.

      Starting with the positive things, I’ll give a few I use that I REALLY find I miss if I omitted them, and I feel are NOT what most would automatically carry. Not a necessity, but certainly HANDY for me.

      These are in addition to all the standard and obvious equipment needs and is geared ONLY towards hunting deer in the midwest. Obviously being further from your vehicle like lots of you are will require more intense equipment selections.

      1. Some sort of rag. I have ammended the “rag” to be a multipurpose towell. I carry a medium sized old (color of your choice) bath towel folded up in my pack or top of my Catquiver.

      I use it for the obvious of cleaning up after a field dressing and wrapping a heart to keep it clear of dirt and leaves (if plastic bags were forgotten) but also find it useful in other ways.
      A. I have used it for a “scarf” should the weather turn ugly on me.
      B. When still hunting in a tree stand, I have used it to put over frozen snow and ice on my platform. You’ll find it will quickly freeze to the platform offering solid, non slip footing, as well as allowing for a quiet foot shuffle, if needed. CARE IS NEEDED putting on the platform so that no humps or bumps are present to cause any footing problems. SAFETY FIRST.
      C. Mine, being brownish (old, lol) I have hung in between the sun and my face to allow for shade and easier game sighting for when I found there was a break in my cover that allowed sun to shine in for a few minutes certain times of the day.

      It’s usefulness is limited only to your imagination. Cut in strips for a tourniquet (heaven forbid). Tied to a stick for a “flag” to get attention from passerbys or a friend, if needed. Folded for a “seat cushion” on a handy log. HECK! I’ve forgotten all the ways I’ve used it in the decades I’ve carried one.

      2. SOME KIND of drink. Water or juice is what I feel the best choices. Dehydration happens more rapidly than lots think and even for me less than a mile from my vehicle, some kind of fluid going into my system often makes for a more pleasant time afield. If out for “the duration” carry some kind of snack, Trail mixes are appropriately named and rarely am I out without a pack of it. DRAGGING is HARD WORK! lol

      3. As of late, a cell phone has found it’s way into something I feel is mandatory. Along with leaving PRECISE instructions of where you are, when you will return for your loved ones, a cell phone covers MANY instances of “oh crap, I need HELP!”

      NONE of us are immune to accidents and when you have one down you will, WILL want to call “somebody” 😀

      Should a family emergency arrise, you will be available. Set that puppy on vibrate and stick it back in your shirt or pants pocket.

      A friend of my lies in the hospital with face lacerations and both broken hip and shoulder from a fall just a few days ago while hanging a tree stand. His cell phone was very rapidly moved to FIRST THING TO PACK on his list and mine! WITHOUT IT, he would have laid there for hours and hours. It took three calls to contact someone who KNEW where he was to go get him.

      If funds for a cell phone is extra expense and tough to come by, take the wife, buddy, Dad, SOMEONE along with you ONCE to show them where you will be. Agree on some kind of horn signal should they need you to come home NOW so they can signal you from your vehicle..

      4. Something I have found SO MANY don’t think is important to carry is a FLASHLIGHT. A small one weighs little and is available everywhere for a few bucks. A flashlight is priceless in convenience and safety! Only a short 400 yards from your vehicle?… don’t think you cannot get LOST in a pitch black night! More than once Ive went “to the rescue” of friends out in a swamp totally lost yet 150 yards from their truck. Their cell phone saved the day but a flashlight in their pack would have been quite a convenience.

      I may return here to add others, but these pop up in my mind here at 630 AM.

      Things I feel I DONT NEED.:!::!: Yikes. Huge area there and one that will differ radically from hunter to hunter and quarry to quarry hunted, so read this list with an open mind allowing each to have his say. This list will VARY immensely.

      FOR ME… and whitetail deer hunting? I’ve NO use for “cover scents”, attractants of any kind, nor game calls. Some swear by them, some of us swear AT them.

      Do they work? Sometimes, maybe even frequently. I simply have an adverse reaction to taking something chemical, mechanical, or artificial and including it in my hunting experiences and memories.

      Downwind is downwind and the LAST thing I want anything I am hunting to do is LOOK FOR ME as they would if using a call or legal attractant of any kind. I prefer to have as little attention brought to me as possible.

      I also no longer use treestands, but will be among the first to say that properly used and a NORMAL stand, not something 45 feet in the air, they are something I suggest to hunters wanting to connect.

      Put in the proper place and gone into and out of quietly and carefully, tree stands are VERY effective. YOU DO NEED to be able to set MOTIONLESS for a long time to make them deadly.

      My reason for not using them but on RARE occasions, is a personal one that stems only from after taking dozens and dozens of deer, taking “another one” has taken back seat to HOW I take another one. If hunting back in the 60s again with the herd size we had then?? I’m sure I’d have a few up!

      Hunting from the ground also allows me a more ready means of changing positons due to wind, sun, lack of game or to attempt a stalk on game I see.

      Ok, don’t anyone faint on me here. WHILE I often use it and know it works, CAMO is NOT something I feel I NEED. I have and use some camo coats, bibs and hats but… I go out hunting in warmer weather with a flannel shirt and dark pants and have shot numerous animals wearing just that.

      I am not saying no one should buy any BUT, should finances be tight spend the money for something your family needs and make do with regular clothing. Camo is nice but not something even close to mandatory on my list.

      I once shot a buck at less than 10 yards wearing a pair of regular blue-jeans, a camo jacket and WHITE tennis shoes after work. “SOMEONE” forgot to pack his bag of hunting clothes 🙄 but I still went and all worked out. A long time hunting friend of mine RARELY wears camo anything and has taken more mature bucks than anyone I know locally.

      CAMO WORKS, no doubts there but you CAN successfully bow hunt without it.

      Just a few of my preferences and reasons for them, this is HARDLY list for YOU to go by.I offer it more as “food for thought” to those interested.

      As far as MANDATORY things, the list is short!!
      A place to hunt
      A license to hunt
      A “stick and a string”

      Safety, as mentioned above, rates many items “right up there” for mandatory things but if I had “only” the three things above?


      God Bless and hoping for a great and safe season for all!


    • Steve J
      Post count: 59

      Thanks Steve

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