Thursday, January 8, 2009

Time, Consideration, and a Wish List....

Today, I took a few minutes to browse the web pages of 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


  1. First a deer decoy is a great idea especially if you are planning to hunt in an open field or other high visibility area.

    Second water filter in Katahdin . . . are you mad man!?!?! Just drink the water I have been for year. Heck with a filter they are expensive and clog. Go with iodine tablets or other sanitizer and the neutralizer if you can't handle the taste . . . gatorade also works well.

    Third . . . shoot I forgot . . . BRB

  2. Ok third . . . all weather lighter . . . ok you most certainly need this and perhaps one of those insta-light fire logs! LOL!

  3. That's why Rabid I put this post up, I know little about many of the elements you thrive in...

    If I'm going to run with you, I want to be best prepared so you don't make fun of me in your next post where we challenge nature!!!

  4. No problem buddy . . . over the years I have tested just about every type of camping and hiking gear you can imagine. Always happy to share some of my experience.

  5. The camo life vests I'm still up in the air about.I saw them on sale at Bass Pro yesterday and almost bought a few.My only problem is,should my boat sink and I'm floating in the water.Do I really want a camo vest on or maybe a bright orange one.I may buy them at some time but I may never use them unless hunting in a creek.I just can't see using them in open water,I would be afraid rescue wouldn't see me.

  6. Tug,
    I've got more bright orange life vest than I know what to do with, my thinking is more around the idea of life insurance...

    God forbid anything happen, but if it does I want my family to be able to get my term life insurance as soon as possible however, I do agree with you. A camouflage life jacket in this essence becomes an oxymoron...

    Rarely do I hunt alone out of a boat and have looked at the inflatables, but some of the boys who work on the salmon pens say they won't discharge well in the ultra-cold...

    Suppose I've got to do some thinking on this one, thanks for the input...

  7. DEDH - I hear you on the life vest. My hunting partner and I did not used to wear one. I made the mistake of saying something in front of my 7 YO daughter. She looked up at me with her doe eyes and said, "Daddy, please wear your life jacket. I don't want you to die." UGGGG - Have had it on ever since. :)

  8. Those inflatables are great!As long as it's over 30 degrees.The coast guard is pushing to make them illegal to wear in certain weather conditions on work boats.Stay with the puffy oversized ones,they work.Sorry your post turned into a life vest talkathon.

  9. Camo life vest is a must. I wear mine regardless of weather when I am hunting. Just to much heavy gear on not to wear it.
    The lighter is also on my list, maybe they'll have a "two-fer" sale.
    First aid kit also a must and as you said, knowing how to use it helps too. In addition I might think about adding SPOT the satellite locating device. This would be more suited for back country hunts or solo. I do have a GPS and that is a great device, provided you've got extra batteries and carrying the weight is not an issue.
    I think I'll start a list too, thanks for the post, very informative.

  10. In addition to a medical kit, I'd suggest a NOLS Wildnerness First Aid course. Just takes a weekend and packed with lots of good information. The courses get scheduled pretty much all around the country.

    You don't really need a filter (as TRO suggested, iodine tabs work), but they are nice. I have a very similar model to the one you're looking at and it's given good service.


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