Gear to Start Hunting Season
It’s never to early to start planning your upcoming hunting season. Yes, I know the temperatures range from depths of hell to even further South, but tree stands won't hang themselves, and crops won't just sprout out of nowhere. Here are a couple items you won’t want to leave home without when temperatures rise, and work needs to be done.
Keeping the body fueled this time of year is potentially the most critical item on the list. I remember vividly sitting in the 114-degree heat overlooking a dry patch of dirt, but the work had to be done. I would swear to you this day that I'd drank enough water, but that evening we camped out on the property, and I just didn't feel right. I felt like I was about to pass out from exhaustion. After pumping my body with a combination of water and electrolytes, everything went back to normal. Hydration packs are a great option if you need water on hand. Although I will say they are great, if you are moving around in the heat all day, you must consider different options. Here are a few.
If you aren’t aware, I have a love/hate relationship with pop-up hunting blinds. It all started about 10 years ago while setting up a blind that took forever, partly because I don’t read instructions. So, I’m wrestling with this ground blind when the hub snapped into place, catching the skin between my pointer finger and thumb in its grip. This is a big problem because it also caught the tendon that resides in the same location.
My hand was locked in tight for a few minutes until I pried it loose. After the blind released my hand, it didn't bleed…at first. I finished setting up the blind, but the blind and I were completely covered in blood. That's how the Blood Blind got its name, certainly not because I shot something out of it.
It wasn’t an arterial cut, but it was bleeding enough for long enough to warrant some attention. I didn’t have any medical equipment with me besides an old shirt and some Duck Tape. That was my trauma kit, and it sucked. Since that event, I have not taken safety and medical equipment lightly. My Medic has several options to get your field kit together. They even have specific kits for various outings like Pet Medic, Hiker Medic, and Cuts & Scrapes. Added bonus, they aren’t all that expensive and have everything you need when accidents happen.
I suppose this is an understatement. If I catch you guys and gals in the field in nothing but your skivvies, I guarantee you that I’ll be questioning your sanity. I know it is hot, but there are clothing options that cool you off while you work. You’d be wise to gravitate to moisture-wicking fabrics when selecting clothes, especially for your shirts and headgear. I’ve been using more and more fishing apparel for work clothes than anything else on the market. Poncho Outdoors has some nice shirts that fit the bill. In particular, the Client Shirt. It comes in many different colors, but the breathability and lightweight features impress me. I can work all day in the shirt and stay comfortable.
Another option for clothing comes from Duck Camp, now it’s not my duck camp. They have nearly every type of clothing option to keep you comfortable and cool. Their Brush Pant would be a great work pant and a great one in the field chasing quail.
Another option for summer workdays is the Huk ICON Long Sleeve shirts. I wear these shirts just about every day. I can’t tell you how cool they keep me, even on the hottest of days.
Most guys that hunt with me hate sitting in a hunting stand that I set. It's either because they don't use a climbing harness, and the steps are far apart, or they are too high. They'd be fine if they just stayed tied in from start to finish. I can't help it if I have long legs. I can't stress safety too much. I forgot to carry my safety harness last year, and I promise you that was one of the most stressful hunts I've ever completed. I hung the steps, hung the tree stand, and hunted all unsafely from 25 feet in the air – stupid.
I don’t care what you use, just use it. I utilize a Hunter Safety Systems harness, but you select what you like. I tether in with the Hunter Safety System Treestand Lifeline. This will save my life one day.
Don’t take this time of the year for granted. It’s not time to make stupid decisions. Stay hydrated and stay safe out there. ~ KJ
Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and often finds himself in a bass boat. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, Jarnagin always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind.