Thursday, January 8, 2009
Time, Consideration, and a Wish List....
Today, I took a few minutes to browse the web pages of www.cabelas.com on a mission to find items that 1) I may not own but would like to get, 2) could enhance my experience in the outdoors, and 3) not necessarily apply to duck hunting. Most recently I purchased a Northern Flight boat blind for my former duck hunting boat that currently sits in mothball. I'm a frequent flier at Cabelas and purchase almost all my hunting and fishing supplies there with a high degree of satisfaction. With the exception of Rabid's issue with a firearm (see his agony on Gun Woes...), I haven't heard of many problems with this company. Nevertheless, here's what I came up with without going into heavy research mode.
1) A buck deer decoy
On a very interesting day, I found myself with a mature doe centered in a spot that I had broadcasted estrus scent. Within a few minutes, a loud sniffing noise brought a massive buck straight to the spot. The buck was in full rut and it's neck was swollen beyond recognition. This perhaps was the largest deer I have ever seen, the problem was that it had no rack just a mushroom on one side and a little spike less than three inches on the other. I had seen this deer two years prior, but I had no antlerless permit so it meandered away. But this year proved quite interesting as it circled around the scent and pursued the doe. Shortly thereafter, I heard a contesting grunt. Immediately, I returned with some grunts of my own. The big deer suddenly wasn't sure what to think and actually charged the doe. After a heated exchange of aggressive grunts between me and the unknown buck, a young 8 pointer sprang out of the woods into the shooting lane directly at the bigger buck. Within seconds, I had dispatched the buck. Although the larger deer wasn't a shooter, it had given me a deer that I never knew existed. Since then, I have wondered about putting a buck deer decoy within range of my stand and using buck urine as an attractant.
2) A camouflage life vest
I may catch hell for this and for a man who spends much of my life on the water recreationally and professionally, I have life jackets surrounding me but rarely wear one. I know that the only life jacket that can save you is the one on your body and I intend to become a better advocate of a simple practice. I believe that an effective life vest that properly fits and aides in effective concealment is the way to go. This will be my next purchase.
3) A water filter for the outdoors
I'm not much of an outdoorsman, but as the girls get older I'd like to get them out into the woods. I usually pack more than enough water on my adventures, however this seems to be an interesting asset to any outdoors kit. About ten years ago when I was hiking towards Mount Katahdin (the highest point in Maine), I met a person who let me refill my water bottles with a water filter. It worked well and I didn't die, so this seems like a really neat device.
4) An all-weather lighter
The reason for this is that there have been times when I wished I had one. Either the matches were not working well, or a disposable lighter wasn't available. I figure if one has a nice quality lighter with them at all times, building a fire may be a better experience. I've seen one of these in action, and to be honest they are awesome.
5) A medical kit
Safety is so important and if I intend to spend more time in the outdoors, then I should have a quality kit to help keep me and others with me as safe as possible in the event of an accident. Too often we get this illusion that responders are only a phone call away and this puts a strain on resources while pulling help from people who may really need it. Anyone who spends time in the woods should understand how to use a medical kit and be able to spend a night in the woods if in trouble.
6) Camouflage Fender Kit for my ATV
After some thought, I had to add one more item to my list. After five years of not using my ATV (510 miles), the fenders are getting a little faded. With a user rating of 4.8 out of 5, this could be my next purchase or my wife's next one for my birthday.
So for now, that's my wish list. Safety has become my interest for now and a buck deer decoy may be the difference in pulling that monster out of the thickets. Feel free for any input and have a great day!
The Downeast Duck Hunter