BARE BONES HUNTING by Lou Marullo

OPEN SEASON by Reavis Z. Wortham
November 25, 2016
OUTDOOR DIRECTORY – copy
November 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

I t’s Christmas time and that means it is also time to get that hunter in your family something he or she would love.

If your hunter is like me, then he has already hinted for a few “much needed” items, even if we already have them. It is a strange phenomenon that happens every year during hunting season.

Your boots were brand new last year but you obviously need the new and improved model. Bows are faster. Arrows fly better. Gotta have it! After all, it IS hunting season we are talking about is it not? 

Personally, I love to try new items pertaining to hunting gear all year long. One thing is for sure, this Christmas, I will check the packages under the tree and also in my stocking. I can tell you that I hang the largest stocking I can find on Christmas Eve.

Keeping that in mind, here are some great ideas for that perfect gift and also some stocking stuffers as well.

Let’s start with those stocking stuffers:

Flextone has some fantastic calls for the outdoorsman to use. You name the game, and Flextone has a call that will help bring that animal in. I have used their deer calls, and I have to say they sound incredible. 

ThermaCell has replacement butane containers and extra scent-free units that fit on top of the ThermaCell. It would make a perfect stocking stuffer, and it’s something they will use every time they go hunting.

A few pairs of nice cushiony hunting socks to keep the blisters away are always a welcome sight. Once, my wife gave me three pairs of socks and stuffed them with a few lottery tickets. I won $50! That means a trip to Academy! Yea for me!

At the end of the day, if you run out of time to go looking for these items, then a coupleof packages of AA batteries (something that hunters need constantly), and a few gift certificates to Bass Pro or Academy outdoor stores would be outstanding!

Now for some nice gift ideas.

Wild Game Innovations has many outdoor stealth cameras to choose from. They take excellent pictures and have the time of day stamped on the photo. They are very user friendly, and the batteries seem to last the entire hunting season. The black flash will not spook the game at all.

As a matter of fact, I have a picture of a nice nine-point buck making a scrape and then chewing on the braches above the scrape. He stayed right there while the camera just kept taking pictures.

RealTree has some EZ hangers for any hunter in the field. Not only do they make a hanger that will hold your bow or rifle, they also carry one that will hold your crossbow in place ready to use at any time. RealTree has even developed an EZ hanger that will hold a camera. They also have one for your phone just in case you want to try filming your own hunt. How cool is that?

Good optics are a must for hunters. It might be a spotting scope, a good pair of binoculars or a real nice scope for your rifle. Without a decent scope, you might miss the buck of your dreams, leaving you with the nightmare of a lifetime.

Miss one big boy like that, and you will see him and relive that shot every night for months—maybe longer.

There are many quality brands out there. Leupold is a favorite of mine, but I was recently introduced to a company called STYKA and was pleasantly surprised. Their binoculars are amazing, and the variable STYKA scope brings the game in nice and close and clear as a bell even in low light.

For the bowhunters, Leupold has a new range finder that fits right on your bow. They call it the Vendetta 2. I have tried one, and I have to say that it’s extremely accurate.

Once it’s calibrated on your bow, you pull your bowstring back and place your 20-yard pin on the target, no matter how far it is. Then press the button that you have already mounted on your bow and you will have a read-out showing the exact distance to your target. A good range finder is a must for any bowhunter and this one is, by far, the best one I have seen.

Here is a great gift— a nice backpack. With all the gear and gadgets that hunters carry (including a thermos of coffee), a backpack is almost a necessity.

Alps Mountaineering has one they call the Crossfire X and another named Pursuit X. Both are extra roomy and even have a place to carry your bow or gun—and a thermos of coffee. 

They come equipped with a hydrator and a rain cover conveniently tucked in a pouch on the bottom of the pack. They are both loaded with many different zippered compartments to hold just about anything your heart desires. Did I mention you need to bring coffee?

If you want something BIG under that tree this year, then maybe a big decoy from Flambeau would be perfect. One of the main reasons we like to go hunting in the first place is to have fun and hunting with a decoy is really fun.

Combine scents with a decoy, and you can fool the wariest buck in the county. I have seen big boys travel a 300-yard field just to get nice and close to what he thinks is his new sweetheart.

Big or small, there are many things to choose from that would make any hunter smile on Christmas morning. 

I want to wish everyone out there a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. My wish for all hunters is to have fun and hunt safe out there.

 

Email Lou Marullo at [email protected]

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