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September 26, 2007

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The Gear Game

Here is a nice game we can all play, and the worst thing that will happen is that we will spend money. The rules are: Describe an unlikely, but highly useful, piece of hunting gear. Not guns, or boots, or any of the obvious stuff. Second, give the price. Third, give the web site (or email address) of whoever sells it.

These three should get you started.

1. Wiggy's Cagoule
Wiggy makes the best sleeping bags I've ever used, and lots of other useful stuff besides. The cagoule is sort of a raincoat on steroids. It will fit over everything you're wearing, plus your backpack, and comes down to your knees. It's truly wind- and waterproof, and folds up into a package about the size of a large cow turd. The hood is big enough to fit even if you have two heads. $140, wiggys.com.

2. Knives of Alaska Wood Saw
Lets you build a blind or cut a shooting lane quietly, which is much better than whackin' and hackin'. Very light, very strong (no joint) angled handle, 8-inch blade, and cuts like a son of a bitch. $50; knivesofalaska.com.

3. Duluth Monarch Pack
If you had a strong back and were very, very lucky, you could fit Scarlett Johanson in the Monarch. It's made of heavy canvas and leather, and uses shoulder straps, a hip belt, and a tumpline, which you hardly see any more. And if you want a bigger belt or straps than standard, Duluth will put them on there. 6,970 cubic inches, and indestructible. $310; duluthpack.com.

Your turn.


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I'm with Mike Diehl. Maps, baby, maps.

and check it out, free topos:



with held

Condoms from the local gas station. 75 cents to a dollar! In case the deer aren't the only critter rutting.


First, let me explain that I have a steel hip joint. (Told wife not to fuss at me for doing things half-assed anymore because I only had half an ass!)
1. Honda 4-wheeler.
I can get places that I probably wouldn't have before hip replacement!
2. Gutting cradle. Sorry guys, you'll have to build your own. Saw my first one at the Ford Ranch in Brady, Texas. First time I was ever able to field dress a deer without crawling around on the ground getting blood all over me (yes, I use rubber gloves!) and my clothes.
3. Pruning shears! HUH?! Yep, used to carry one of the old Wyoming saw's. Not sure I ever made a complete season without rupturing at least one bladder. Makes short work of opening up chest cavity too.
If anyone cares, I'd be happy to describe, as best I can how to use these tools!


as moeggs

When we were younger and dumber, somebody in camp started a tradition in camp that has lasted almost two decades. In order to get through the cabin door, one had to buy the 3 pack of nudy mags. Some of these mags were so nasty, they made you happy to get home to the wife. As far as i'm concerned, these are a worthy investment to take to the woods. They also make ok firestarters.

O'Currans in WV

A good item for treestanders/bow hunters is the "Booger" from Walnut Grove Hunting Prods. This thing will pick up what you drop out of the stand without alerting the entire woods. $24.95


JA Demko

Moeggsy! You're back! Long time, no see!
Playing cards are a sine qua non for hunting camp, I think we can all agree. One would no more go hunting without a couple decks of cards than one would go without ammunition.

Dennis L. Crabtrey II

Ok I'll add an easy one. Contractor grade garbage bag. Can be used as a shelter, emergency blanket, water procurement device, emergency poncho, and on and on....cost like a dime from walmart or hardware store and are about the size of a pack of cards. I like the 5 mil ones.

B. Cameron

I used to carry everything but the kitchen sink into the woods... (How can you tell a new hunter?) I've since cut it down to the bare minimum. Army surplus camo (do you honestly think the deer know the difference between jungle and Mossy Joke?), UnderArmour, a few more layers of warm, wool socks, Bean Boots, shooting mittens instead of gloves, hand and toe warmers, a handful of shells (toss in a few shot loads for opportunity shots!), a pair of latex gloves, a few Ziploc bags, and a couple of Clif bars.

I guess I'm not a "gadget" hunter. I find what works and go with it. I don't feel the need to spend $140 on a raincoat when a twenty-five cent garbage bag will keep me just as dry for the walk back to the truck. I don't need a $100+ hunting knife when my $26 Buck guts the deer just as clean. I don't need a $50 flashlight to trail bloodspots - I learned to do it the hard way. I don't need a rangefinding scope in the New York woods - I can't see through enough trees to take shots more than about 100yds, and even with a rifled barrel, a 12ga only goes so far.

Remington 870: $300
rifled barrel: $160
Camo pants: $25
Camo 3-n-1 jacket $60
Bean Boots: $150
Long johns, UA: $100
Buck knife: $26
Sabot slugs: $12
Total: $833

No ... I hunt on a budget, and like many people here, I'm tired of hearing about the four-digit price tags on fancy guns and toys that I can't afford and don't need. My deer hunting gear, all of it, probably cost less than any one of the last five guns you shot, Dave. Kills the deer just as dead. Meat tastes just as good.

Sure, I can admire a stock with a beautiful figure, and I can gee-whiz a half-inch group, but the simple truth is: neither of those makes me a better hunter. Knowing deer, knowing the land, and knowing how to make the most of what I have is what makes me a decent hunter. Not even good. Just decent.

Keep the gee-whiz. I'll enjoy my mornings in the woods.

Dean B

Butt Out is a tool for the removal of (an offensive term that this blog wouldn't let me post) on deer and other large game. Cost $10 from Cabelas or check www.hunterspec.com for dealers. Chances are I read about this tool in F&S.

Dean J

To the poster who suggested bread wrappers over your socks if your boots leak, it's time for new boots. As soon as you sweat, that's trapped inside the darn wrappers, and your feet are the unfortunate consequence of a tight wallet.

I hate to say it, but the best invention of the last twenty or so years might be synthetic long-johns. The cotton ones collected your own sweat and froze you with it; the synthetics still insulate when wet, and dry about a hundred times faster.

Dean J

Actually, I do have one awesome piece of new gear to add. Petzl's Tikka Plus headlamp. $30ish. I mocked friends for probably five years before trying a headlamp instead of a flashlight. The only downside is that you need to be careful not to blind your buddies, but especially for tromping around just before dawn in the dark... it's a flashlight that is always pointed in the right direction, that you never drop, no matter how cold your fingers, takes very little in the way of batteries, and the bulbs never die.

Cabela's, Campmor, REI, and pretty much every other place has them.


A small block and tackle has a lot of uses.

If you have to get a big carcass off the ground to cool, the weight of the animal combined with the friction of the rope over a branch can be too much without the mechanical advantage.

I take the rope off of a couple of the pulleys and use it to haul up the tree stand...No lifting from precarious perches, and it can hold it approximately in place while you secure it in.

I have not tested this one out: Even with just one person, I think it could help get a car or atv unstuck: Tighten it as best you can, and then the pull from the stretch in the ropes should be a big help as you drive out.


Here is a hot one for finger shooting archers. A never released special. I use VERY, light, thin Mossy Oak gloves that actually make my shots more silent than off the bare fingers.

And instead of the Thermocell, which I know has spooked deer before, use promethyrene,( I think thats spelled correctly), you can get it at Dick's, Walmart, or Cabella's. You spray it on, with gloves, and your stuff is supposed to be good for keeping all biting insects from you; for six weeks with regular wash cycles.

The ticks and the chiggers were terrible this scouting season so I tried the stuff. 4 weeks so far, and I swear - no chiggers or ticks or squiters. I was picking up patches of 60 to 70 chiggers on my ankles every time I went in without the stuff before the season.

Military grade too.


Make sure you do not get any of it on you. You spray the stuff at least 2 hours before you put on the clothes.


Oh Yeah,

It's scent free of course and I have hunted probably 15 or so times this bow season so far, 2 months in Chatham county, NC, and I have not been blown at or seen a tail yet.

Looks like I will get busted after work.


Dean B.
That's rectum, dude!
I am (un?)fortunate (mixed blessing) in the fact that I don't hunt an area that I can't get to on a 4-wheeler, therefore, I don't gut in the field. I carry a block & tackle (sold as a fence stretcher many years ago) to lift deer off the ground to get them on my scooter. Once in camp, I roll deer off scooter into gutting cradle. The entrails can be removed and the deer left in place to cool.
So far, the hardest part is dragging deer out of gutting cradle and into pick-up bed!! So far, the largest deer I've handled in this manner field dressed 140# and it was a breeze!



Earlier, I suggested pruning shears, that should have read "lopping shears". The one's with 24 inch or so handles!



I can't believe it.
Some readers took you seriously!!!!!


While I love gadgets, my wallet doesn't.......I'll take the real world suggestions over the high dollar stuff being passed off as the latest "must have".....15 deer tags, 15 bucks taken......

Please stop peddling all of the expensive stuff and get real......my savage 110 shoots better than I can shoot it out to sane distances, and sure costs a lot less than what gets promoted here and elsewhere. Stick to stuff us mere mortals can afford Dave!


Gene Smith

Fire Piston. I ran up on these on the internet a while back researching primitive survival skills. I was skeptical but bought one and the day it came, after reading the directions, I had a fire going in under 10 minutes on my first try. I think it’s a very useful piece of gear, especially if you hunt in the back country. It just might save your bacon some day.
Price- kits are available for $45, finished ready to use $60- $90.
Here is one of many places to find them : http://possibleshop.com/fire-piston.htm

Gene Smith

This is the site were I found my fire piston, watch the videos.



Two things you never leave the truck without:

550 cord & toilet paper

550 cord is the military "parachute" cord with 7 strands of nylon cord wrapped in a nylon sheath. Stuff is too handy to be without. If you need an explanation for TP...


'Skin So Soft' found @ most high end drug stores and also at cosmetic booths catering to our low end old ladies. $3.98 per 10 oz. bottle. Absolute death, destruction and pestilence for Greenheads, Miggies and Deerflys (at least in NH.) Best yet, when Scarlet gets a whiff of you upwind you're keelhauled and tied to a tree!

Galen Burgett

A Silva Compass - indespensable -
A good one is the Silva Guide Type 426 - $17.99 at Cabela's.



That's okay Pete! I can introduce you to more than one person that laughed at me when they saw my "field dressing kit"!
Can now introduce you to just that many who carry the same tools! It ain't expensive, AND it works!!!


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