Bowhunting's 'stuff' a lengthy list
At the end of every archery season I wash my hunting clothes and put them in a thick plastic bag to prevent them from adsorbing any household odors. Around Labor Day I take them out of the bag, hang them on hangers and place them outdoors on the back deck to air out. About a week before the season begins I start filling the pockets of my pants and jacket with the stuff I will need or think I'll need while in the woods. Only thing is, I’m thinking maybe I have too much stuff?
I carry just about everything every other bowhunter carries, including my license; several small, high-intensity tracking lights; a pair of pruning shears; a foldable hand saw; my deer drag; some extra rope; a small pair of binoculars; a small foldable women’s umbrella in case it rains; some toilet paper for obvious reasons; a pair of gloves for frosty mornings; and a small first aid kit with some Band-Aids and a few aspirin. I’ve also added an ingenious little gadget that looks and works like a miniature grappling hook. I don’t know how many times during the season I’ve reached in my pocket and something fell out – usually a glove or my face mask. By dropping the grappling hook, which is tied to a string, I can easily retrieve the dropped item without having to climb back down the tree to get it. I find all the things I carry to be indispensable, but at times there is a problem because this is only a partial list. Trail-marking tape, an extra string, a pack of Rolaids, a diaphragm turkey call and my deer call round out the “stuff” I've squirreled away somewhere in my jacket or pants pocket.
Carrying all my essentials causes me to stuff my pockets to the point where they bulge like a chipmunk’s cheeks full of nuts. A lot of the hunters I know carry their “stuff” in a backpack or a fanny pack, and that’s a wonderful idea, but I don’t like carrying one. For one, I don’t like climbing a tree with a pack around my waist or back. If I haul the pack upward to my stand I need two haul lines – one for the pack and one for the bow. Consequently, I had my wife sew a large pocket across the back of my hunting jacket. In this pocket I keep my folding saw, pruners, extra rope and deer drag. Why outdoor clothing manufacturers haven’t thought about including one of these large pockets in their jackets is beyond me. I’ve always found it to be incredibly handy because it frees up more space in my hunting pants for more “stuff.”