Sure-Fire Accessories That Save the Day When Hunting
When you spend literally countless days in the field hunting each year you come up with great life hacks that work.
Most of these have been discovered through trial and error, out of pure necessity or because I had limited supplies and made due with what was there. Without further adieu, here are some goodies I have come across through the years:
Makeup Remover Wipes: Face paint is one item many people use in the field, but I’ve seen guys scrubbing away on their faces in the evening with soap and water and it looks downright painful. Some of that stuff doesn’t come off very easily but as a girl my first thought was to use a makeup remover pad. This works incredibly well for any type of face paint and literally comes off with no scrubbing at all. Just a simple wipe. I use the Neutrogena face wipes, but if you have a wife or girlfriend who wears makeup, ask to grab a pack of theirs and you’ll find it much easier!
Newspaper:I’d love to keep a boot dryer with me at all times but sometimes there is simply no room in my pack. Wet boots are brutal, especially when it happens early on in the hunt. One quick way to dry them up at night is to find old newspapers around camp and stuff them in your boots. If you can get them near a fire, wood stove, or even borrow a hair dryer this can get your feet happy very quickly with minimal supplies, but be supper careful not to expose leather footwear to too much heat. Too much eat will shrink wet leather. So…great options are boot dryers and newspaper if you don’t have room in you pack for dryers.
Taxidermy Eyes:When taking photos there are many tricks to make animals look bigger and to improve the overall composition, but I always want to ensure the animal looks as good as possible. One way to do this is to carry taxidermy eyes in your pack. They can quickly be popped in and out in the field for photos and can be carried in a simple plastic bag. I’d recommend getting a set of elk, antelope, and deer eyes to ensure you’re covered.
Windex Wipes:Another great little trick is to use Windex on the rack to make it look wet and shiny. Carrying just a few Windex wipes can make this easy in the field.
Wildlife Research Center Wet Wipes:I also like to carry Wildlife Research Center wet wipes. These can be used for your own personal needs, to wash up after cleaning an animal, or to wipe blood from an animal for better photos.
ThermaCare Wraps:If you want to ensure you’ll stay warm in the field without the bulk of tons of extra layers that barely fit in your pack, I highly recommend ThermaCare Heat Wraps. I always keep a large one that goes over kidneys, along with a smaller neck version that can be placed on the base of the neck. By keeping these two areas warm with very little space in your pack, you’ll be amazed at how helpful this can be. Just remember to replace them after use. This is especially helpful for those hunts where you think the weather will be nice, but suddenly it all turns bad.
Hand Saw: Not only can this be helpful to cut branches or limbs that are in your way when hunting from a tree stand, but it can also be extremely useful if trying to brush in a blind. Another great use is if you get an animal down and don’t want all that grass in the way of your camera lens. Simply pull out your hand saw and you’ll have much better pics in an instant.
Keychain Flashlight:It seems to never fail that when you need a flashlight they are usually dead or can’t be found. I recently came across a small keychain flashlight that can be attached right to the outside of a backpack zipper. This is awesome as you always know where it is and can access it quickly in the field.
A Can of Coke:I personally prefer to drink Diet Mtn Dew over Coke, however if you’re a Coke drinker this can come in very handy! Keep a can in your vehicle to quickly and easily clean your knives when you’re done cutting up an animal. It takes no scrubbing and you’ll be amazed how well this works!
Cooler/DryBox:If you hunt in very wet or snowy conditions you know that at times everything gets soaked. I like to use my small Engel coolers as a drybox to keep everything dry and in tip top condition. This also goes for ammo and also muzzeloader supplies.
Real Deer Tail/Hawkes:When it comes to decoying in whitetails, realism is key. I always use a Dave Smith Decoy and have had tremendous success. Another way to take this up a notch on the realism is to pin a real deer tail on your decoy and also throw the hawkes of a buck under your decoy.
Hot Hands: We all know you can put Hot Hands in your gloves to help keep your fingers warm, but what about when it comes time to shoot? There are times I’ve been on my gun for a long time in the freezing cold and can’t have bulky hot hands in my gloves. A great way to keep your hands warm is to tape these on the outside of your shirt layer on your wrist. This way the blood going to your hands is warmed before it gets there keeping your hands toasty warm without having to have the bulky pack right in your glove.
Predator App:We’ve all been in the field when a coyote comes strolling through and you can’t seem to squeak him in. If legal in your state keep a predator app on your phone and quickly turn your ringer on. It will be just loud enough that you can bring coyotes or fox in right from the speaker of your phone in a pinch. I use a Convergent Hunting Solutions call in the field, and they also have an app with all the great sounds.
Hopefully a few of these ideas will help you this fall either to make your more successful or just make your life easier!
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