In a world where we’re becoming increasingly pampered and sheltered through all the luxuries of modern life, countless men feel a deep-rooted urge to get back to their roots, and more in touch with the great outdoors. If there’s one activity that lets us do this better than any other, it’s hunting. Whether you’re looking for a new way to bond with your son, just starting out or getting back into hunting, here’s some gear that will make your experience that much better.
When you have to take shots at long range, wind detectors are a hugely invaluable tool to have. The change in a single knot can mean the difference between a clean shot, winging a buck, or missing it completely. Wind detectors have been part of the avid hunter’s arsenal for a long time, but they’ve come a long way over the last few decades. Handheld high-tech devices like the Firefly can now be used to determine wind direction and velocity, and pick up the slightest change that could be totally undetectable to human senses. With the Firefly in particular, you only have to push a single button to get the unit to take 512 readings per second. Three seconds later, an accurate figure flashes up on an LED screen, allowing you to avoid all kinds of errors in your stalking and shooting.
Back in the day, hunters had to calculate the range of their shot through intuition and guesswork. These days, tech has eliminated that uncertainty. With modern rangefinders like the Leupold RX 1000i TBR, you can spot a buck and tell exactly how far away it is before lining up your cross hairs. These laser range finders emit a continuous beam straight ahead, and show you a reading on a clear LED display. Get one of these as part of your kit, and you’ll never have to make rough estimates or rely on landmarks again. If the buck moves closer or further away, you just have to use it again and get an accurate reading. You’ll miss far less often, and be able to take shots from much longer range. No more stepping on twigs and scaring away a whole herd!
If there’s one thing I hate about hunting, it’s the bugs. You find a spot that’s perfect for your tripod where you can see for miles and know there’s game around. You lie down, and wait patiently for your buck to come into your line of sight. Then, before you know it, mosquitoes, mayflies, and other irritating pests start to close in and cause a nuisance. Fortunately, there are dozens of products that can make this a thing of the past. Devices like the Thermacell use an odorless gas cartridge to heat up a pad containing an effective repellent, which will keep mosquitoes away without scaring away that prize buck. With this particular unit, you can even buy artificial earth scent pads that will cover up the smell of you, a human, which deer and other game naturally fear.