Over the years of hunting I have learned that certain tools, or apparatuses (when used properly) have provided me with convenience and confidence. I cannot even begin to tell you how appreciative I am of the people who invest so much time and money into products that provide a more quality experience for us hunters. Additionally, I am very thankful for the natural resources provided by Mother Nature that we can use to improve our hunt. These items are unique and have their place and time. Check it out and stimulate your brain…how will some of these items help you on your next hunt?
1) Milk Weed Pod
This might be old news for the more veteran hunters, but a milkweed pod is the best “windicator” in the woods. Inside each milkweed pod there are many seeds that have tufts of fine hairs at one end. The seeds are small and the tufts permit the seed to carry very easily in the wind. The store bought “windicators” really only tell which way the wind is blowing right in front of you, which can give you false guidance when playing the wind. By releasing a milkweed seed into the air, one can watch where the seed travels and get a good indication on how your scent is traveling from your stand to the ground.
2) Tarsal Glands
I have to give credit to Jake Dewey, a good friend of mine, for this idea of scent cover. I can remember going to Jake’s house after he had shot a buck and seeing the hind legs of a deer sitting on tailgate of the “Mule” (four-wheel ORV). “Why do you have those legs cut off like that Jake?” I asked. Jake replied, “I am going to throw them up in a tree to get the tarsal gland scent in the air.” My puzzled face quickly turned to an expression of enlightenment. I loved the idea of using the rutting scent of another buck’s tarsal glands to coax a curious or aggressive buck in shooting range. A deer hide can be used the same way to calm other deer down and hoodwinking them into thinking there are other deer in the area. You can use the hind legs of a rutting buck if you are fortunate enough to shoot a one. Or you can buy buck tarsal gland scents from a number of scent providers. However, I feel that using the real thing, in my opinion, would be more effective than using something that is diluted by synthetics.
3) Extendable Handsaw
I have been using Wicked Tree Gear’s extendable saw to trim my shooting lanes during the summer. I am not afraid of using a saw and cutting limbs early in the off season because I know that I am not at risk of ruining my hunts in the fall. Additionally, I have always been against making last minute changes to clear out shooting lanes. I believed that making these spontaneous changes to my kill sites would have deer on high alert due to the obvious changes. Plus, I obviously was concerned with the amount of noise I would make if I used a handsaw. I feel very differently now after using a Wicked Tree pole saw, simply because of how quick and easy it is for me to make adjustments. The quality of the product is top-notch and, in my opinion, incomparable to other extendable saws in the industry. I am not sponsored or partnered in any way with Wicked Tree Gear. I have to give credit where credit is due, and this particular extendable saw met all my expectations that I had prior to making the purchase.
4) Fake Christmas Tree Branches
Ever run into a situation where the only good “killing tree” is practically a telephone pole with minimal cover? Try tucking yourself in by using some branches off a fake Christmas tree. I have used real branches from other trees to cover myself during the early season, however the leaves all die and fall off in a week or less. Fake Christmas tree branches keep their green all year-round, and for their entire life. They are amazing…give’m a shot.
I wish all blood trails were laid out like the red carpet in Hollywood, but I know from experience that blood trailing is not always easy. This can be especially challenging when the leaves start to turn to various shades of red and orange. The blades of grass with a hint of red near the stems and the leaves with the random red dots on them get me every time. Peroxide’s fizzling chemical reaction with blood can definitely help distinguish what is blood and what is not. Put some in a spray bottle, and in the event you come across a spec of blood that is not fully convincing, give it a spray and watch for the reaction.
6) Camera Clamp Mount
My good friend Tyler Smith put me on to these handy clamps that are great for mounting trail cameras. This is a much more cost efficient way of running a trail camera line. They are only 8 dollars, but very durable. I have clamped this mount to small branches or a screw in step that is screwed into the tree. I hang most of trail cameras from an elevated positon, and the adjustable ball mount allows me to position the camera angle how I want it. It is a great tool for hanging trail cameras and inexpensive too.
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