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October 12, 2007

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The Worst Gear of All Time?

Last week, you may recall, we played a most excellent game whereby we nominated one or two items of the best hunting gear we've ever used. Now, we're going to do the reverse--the worst. As they say in Texas, "I'll take two o'them--one to s**t on an' t'other to cover it up with."
My first nomination: any poly underwear that is labeled "odorproof." Whose odor? Natalie Portman's? I am sure that if Natalie wore the stuff for a week in elk camp it would not smell too bad. However, when I wear it, dogs run off howling.
My second nomination: The last Winchester Model 70s produced in New Haven, CT. Guns built by people who had given up. It wouldn't have been so bad if they were another make or model, but these were Winchester Model 70s, and that name used to mean something.
Your turn.


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A while back when I was even younger and dumber than I am now, I saw one of those "as seen on tv" fishing kits with little plastic minnows, supposedly so deadly as to be unfair, at Wal-mart. I foolishly paid my 9.99 and now have 9.99 dollars worth of useless plastic minnows.

So my nomination for useless gear is all the stuff advertised in magazines and on tv as 'too good to be true'.


Like my dear momma said "If it sounds to good to be true it probably is". Ive got some insulated overalls that have adjustable suspenders. Adjustable my A&*. Adjust them and 1 minute later they slide all the way out. I finally got them where I wanted and sewed them together.


Bought a cheap 4x scope from, I think, Western Auto. Does Western Auto sound familiar to any of you? This was 25 years ago. Anyway you could throw rocks while blindfolded more accurately. That piece of junk was unusable. Bet I shot a thousand rounds, young and foolish, trying to set it . finally gave up and chunked it into Mobile bay for the salt water to chew on. A fitting end for apiece of sh#%!!!!


Hey Clay or Dave or someone,

I have a question. Sorry to be off topic but...

Rifle season starts this weekend in wake co, nc. Most of the public/game land is in chatham co around the lake I hunt. The pressure will be unreal! So I have found some land around two creek beds that is only accessible in 2 ways.

A long hike thru private land, or a 2 mile hike thru the chatham, (currently bow season) land. Can I carry my rifle thru there, provided I do not hunt?
Can't remember that one ever being discussed here or in hunter ed.


Hey Tommy, I think you could carry it through the bow zone if there is no rounds in the gun including the magazine. I would definitely call your local Game warden to check with him. This blog if fun come on fellas. I already put 2 things on it.


I would say the worst possible thing I ever bought for hunting or fishing would have to be scent wicks. I have put those stupid things all around the universe with everything from the cheapest stuff to code blue or golden estrous and deer have paid them no mind at all. Stupid little orange photo canister looking things.

I put coke in one one time; just to fool around, and no fooling - does were smelling it. After that I will never buy any type of liquid to pull in deer. I already see them where I go anyway.

Corridors and funnels are good! No need dumb trick liquid.


Another question which could lead to an entry here Dave.

Do the snort wheeze calls work in your opinion?

I know the idea is to call back to an alarmed deer, but do we understand that particular vocalization enough to say it will work to keep an alarmed deer close?

I actually tried to do it with my voice a couple weeks ago and danged if the deer did not stay about 100 yds behind me, out of sight, the last 20 minutes of light blowing every few minutes. A black cat had come thru and went exactly to where the deer sounded to be about ten minutes before it started blowing. Never got a shot on the deer or even saw it, but the deer did seem to respond.

I was thinking of buying one, but if you guys say it should go on this list - I will refrain.



Just talked to my local game warden.

He says - NO GO!

You would be considered hunting even if the rifle was unloaded. This sucks. I can't access the sweet spot! Oh well. Looks like more bow hunting in Chatham Co. for this weekend.


Chris H.

Tommy, you need to be very carefull if you carry you rifle through the bow only land to get the the rifle hunting property. THe law states no hunting with rifles. This leaves a lot open to interpretation and you will never convince a warden or judge that you were not hunting if you are walking through the woods with a rifle. The best way to handle this IMO is to either hike two miles or carry your rifel unloaded in a soft gun case or cover zipped up until you get to the area that you can legally hunt with a rifle. Even doing this you still might run into a problem if you run into a warden. Then you have the matter of getting the deer that you shot with a rifle out of the woods. You'll be better off with the two mile hike. If you do kill a deer can you take a 4-wheeler through the two mile hike section or will you have to drag it all the way. I killed a doe several years ago and had to drag it about a mile. From now on if I don't have access to a 4-wheeler I'm only shooting absolute monsters or something I can throw over my shoulder and carry out. A nice buck in your area probably weighs from 150lbs to 200lbs. Two miles is a long long way to drag that, even if you get help.

Blue Ox

Any knife made by either smith & wesson or winchester. These knives are complete pieces of shit and should be avoided. The blades are made of cheap steel and won't hold any sort of edge, and most seem to have been assembled on a friday afternoon after a liquid lunch. I grew up with buck and case knives, and I'm also a big fan of spyderco, kershaw, gerber, and benchmade. Sure, you might spend a little more, but the quality is worth it. Remember, you get what you pay for.

Steve C

Chanuk(sp?) Ammunition – From Canada. Greasy, cheap, cases will crack, guns won’t eject them. But the price is right.

Cheap, big, white, fluffy, insulated underwear – Found in K-Mart, Wal-Mart, and other fine sporting goods stores. If you’re able to get you clothes on over them, you have the privilege of looking the Michelin Man while you freeze

First Generation Compound Bows – Crude, heavy, loud. All of the finesse of a German Oompah Band.

Chris H.

Sorry guys, I was in the middle of typing my response and work got in the way so I missed the responses after Tommy's question.


Thanks for trying Chris. Talked to the warden. No-Go.

And heck no - no draggin for me long distances. Sorry Dave - reverse back like UNO here - I use the two-wheel cart Chris! Makes a long haul a breeze!

And the two mile hike was thru the gameland. I can only access the rifle land thru private land otherwise. No permission yet.


Good thing ya called the warden. I was about to get your a#% in hot water!! Do any of you remember Western Auto or am I going senile at 41? Also bought a .22 revolver from them and you could throw it more accurately than shoot it. It is great fun to shoot and play cowboy with. Also its the loudest damn .22 I ever heard, Sounds like a cannon. Ive put countless rounds through it till I wore out the spring that allows the cylinder to rotate and hold it in place. No gunsmith that I've talked to can fix it so I'm going to try to machine the piece myself, famous last words!lol!!!!!!

Chris H.

OK, for the original intent of this particular blog. Years ago when I had less money than I do now, not that I have much now, I bought a bunch of cheap arrows from one of the fine stores mentioned above. I thought I had to be the worst bow shot on the planet. I spent hours shooting off target until I set one of the arrows on a table and notices that the entire arrow was not touching the table. About 15 crooked arrows and a sore arm and shoulder to show for it. I now have a wonderful supply of straight arrows that I can consistently put in a six in paper plate from 30 yards. You definitely get what you pay for.


Hey, I resent the slur on the Model 70's - The cheap Wally world specials are crap, however the Featherweights, of which I have two are great. Both the .270 Win and the .300 WSM shoot MOA or better. The fit/finish are all good with beautiful wood stocks - not the composite or laminate.

Ralph the Rifleman

Hey Greg-
I remember Western Auto stores.
A friend of mine purchased a copy of the Mod-94 rifle from them, and it was a piece of junk.Extractor broke, part was modified from a Winchester rifle.Then the feed ramp cracked,again a "custom" part was fabricated for it.
Basically, it turned into a single shot lever gun that could print a 5 inch group at 50 yards.


Thanks Ralph, I was teetering on the edge for a moment. The more I think about it I cant remember anything I bought from W.A. being worth a damn. The pistol I have from them says FIE Miami FL on the barrel. Anyone know what the hell that is?? Im guessin cheap a#$ guns at best. The pistol is probably a knock off!!


Any product that claims to be water proof is look upon with jaundice eyes. My experience is water proof means “seeps water”.

I must agree Winchester Model 70’s are inconsistent in quality, making many individual pieces high price junk. I’m dismayed many owners trying to sell their Winchesters believe ALL Model 70’s are worth their weight in gold. It’s no mistake why that company went belly up.


Almost anything labelled "MultiPurpose"
Leatherman tools excepted! Those rinky-dink pocket knives with forks, spoons, corkscrews (hipscrews) and 47 useless screwdriver sizes.
My other quibble is with cheap pin-on or strap-on recoil pads. They always interfer with mounting and swing for shotgunning. I've never used one with a rifle but I suspect you would have similar problems. Spend the few extra dollars for a decent butt pad.


I had a recoil pad on an 870 and it was horrible. You couldnt get it to your shoulder without it snagging something. Dont remember the brand but it was orange rubber.


I guess I lucked out with my M 70! It is of later manufacture, at New Haven. Not a tack driver in my hands but I would not hesitate to shoot out to about 250 yards on deer size game.
I have heard horror stories about others' M 70's so I count myself among the lucky. Mine was traded in with a 3 x 9 scope which was so out of collimation that I am sure the previous owner considered themself snakebit! Once bore-sighted I went off to the range and have done respectably with the weapon ever since.


If I can keep from laughing long enough! I remember WA. Think they carried one pretty good brand of motor oil!
Whoever said FIE Miami, Fla.
Read an article once where somebody like UIL drop tested as many firearms (six-shooters) as possible. The only one to pass the test was the FIE Clerk First model. It surpassed Ruger, Colt and all other six shooters of the period. It was made of "pot" metal with a steel liner in the barrel!!!
My most useless?!
One of those wire saws with the rings in the end! Jack, you got cold fingers, that damn thing hurts! Mine broke with pelvis half split. Hadn't even touched breast bone!
Custom built knives my buddy makes. So hard, I can only sharpen it with a diamond hone. The handle is square. I can't get a grip and it hurts my hand. Blade is so thick, it's almost like dressing a deer with a poll axe! No give, at all!
I taped nickles to them and threw them away. If anybody finds them, at least they will get 5 cents!



Where do I start:

The lastest, greatest deer scent pulled only from the most special deer, guaranteed to bring only the largest of trophy bucks running and the best thing of all, it's only $50.00 per ounce, for PEE that probably isn't even pee from a deer! It's probably urine collected from a bunch of old drunk guys drinking beer and pi$$ing in a tub, then filling up these little bottles and laughing their a$$es off.

Those silly leafy suits. I've never seen one that didn't sound like plastic shopping bags from Walmart when anything rubbed against it.

The latest buck growl/roar all-n-one doe bleat special wonder deer call that you can blow on all day and all you get is red faced from blowing it and the embarassment of owning it.

This year's latest pattern from RealOakl camo company. Because last year's pattern was crap I guess.


Gerber multi-tools are okay in my book. I've worn out one, (brother-in-law broke ends off needle nose pliers putting tractor door back together) and use the second almost daily. It's gotten me out of more than one bind!


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