With hunting season knocking at the door what new gear are you planning to purchase for this year? A new gun…maybe some new clothes…or how about some new boots? For me a big part of enjoying any hunt is having comfortable equipment that fits your style. Maybe your eyesight isn’t what it used to be and you need a new scope on that .30–06. Maybe that old hunting knife is beyond resurrecting with a new edge…and it’s time for something new. Heck, maybe that old tree stand makes your butt sore when sitting for too long and causes you to squirm too much in the process…there’s a lot of choices out there, in case you haven’t noticed.
A few days ago I was paging through an old Herters catalog laying in my office and I was amazed at just how far we have come. Take hunting boots, for instance. Oh, sure, 25 years ago there were options but no where near the amount of choices we have now today. And speaking of comfort and quality…a few decades ago you might have to wear those boots for a while to “break them in” to your feet. Today the choices are so numerous that if you have the time to keep trying on different styles you are bound to eventually find a boot that fits almost perfect right out of the box.
That’s what happened to me tonight. I was shopping at my local sporting goods store not intending to purchase anything except for some hunting licenses when a boot sale caught my eye. Typically I’m not one with a boot fetish so I don’t have several pairs in my closet (at least not to the extent my wife has shoes)…yet I understand the importance of having good footwear while in the field. As I thought about it…the pair of old Danner boots I currently use are almost 10 years old. Truly, some of the best boots I have ever put on my feet and well worth the couple of hundred bucks I recall paying for them at the time.
But as footwear has grown more high-tech in recent years it seems that the value of what you get for the money has also favored the buyer. Tonight I purchased a pair of Browning Gore-Tex Thinsulate boots for about $70 that would have easily cost twice that just a few years ago. There’s some great values out there if you care to look…but sometimes you need to keep your eyes open to discover the deals.
I’m also in the market for some new deer hunting clothing this year. In particular, the blaze orange clothing for firearms season. Many of the old ten-mile cloth duds are getting pretty worn, torn and ratty looking. Here, there are two schools of thought. I have some hunting partners who like to purchase their best outer-wear in camouflage and then wear a blaze orange vest or outer shell to make it legal. This makes sense because then the clothing can be used in the duck blind as well as in the tree stand. Furthermore, on those years when the weather is unseasonably warm you can remove the heavier clothing and still stay legal with the blaze vest or outer shell worn as a lightweight safety item.
This year, however, I’m planning to opt for some nice blaze orange clothing intended specifically for deer hunting. I figure the entire suit will likely set me back about $400, but it’s money well spent when you consider the cost is amortized over time (many seasons of use). Besides, I have a hell of a lot more fun wearing a suit made for hunting than I do a suit made for dress-up occasions.
Indeed, I have a whole laundry list of items I need to pick up in the coming weeks for this fall season. It’s a fun time of the year not only for participating but also for purchasing. If you’ve been putting off buying that new piece of hunting gear there’s simply no better time than right now to make the purchase or at least begin looking. As if you needed an excuse to do so anyway.
If you’re like me this time of the year you go to the sporting goods store planning to make just a few purchases and the experience ends up usually filling the cart with “other essentials.” My friends all know that I am an outdoors gear junkie. It’s one of the weaknesses I have and I’m not ashamed to admit it. And when you think you’re getting a good deal it only further magnifies the enjoyment I receive from the item.
So, what’s on your fall shopping list for hunting season? Been finding any good deals out there that I should know about?
© 2006 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Without Prior Permission.