It’s a sure sign a person is getting older.

It’s not a sign I’m proud to admit, either.

Nevertheless, I believe most people eventually hit that point in their life when they feel they have enough “stuff.”   In particular, I’m talking about outdoors stuff.

Now, don’t get me wrong…a new fishing pole or a new shotgun always gets the juices flowing.   Yet, the fact remains when a person has been enjoying the outdoors for nearly four decades eventually they start running out of storage space.   The desire to acquire begins to fade.   Maybe a deeper sense of practicality actually sinks in to one’s maturing psyche.

Okay, I’ll admit something I never thought about in my younger days.   Now, as I amass a new bunch of fun toys I begin to think about what will happen to them when I’m out of the picture.   Seriously, at some point a person grows old and the toy either gets permanently stashed away until the estate sale…or, it gets liquidated at a fraction of the purchase price at some garage sale encouraged by your spouse.   The bottom line is the decision process for buying new outdoors equipment evolves as a person ages.

Case in point.   It’s been over a year since I last purchased a firearm.   That is quite a departure from what life was like several years ago.   At times during my past I would purchase a new gun almost on a whim.   Didn’t take much arm twisting at all.   Oh, have times changed in my life.

Today, I have little to no room to store additional guns.   My philosophy is if you can’t store them safely you don’t buy them.   Gun storage is not an afterthought…it’s a primary consideration BEFORE ever shaking the dealer’s hand and beginning the paperwork process.   Nope, even beyond storing the guns you need to take the time necessary to care for them…and it all takes precious time as “stuff” accumulates.

It really doesn’t matter what the “stuff” is, either.   It can be guns, fishing tackle, camo hunting clothes, ATV supplies, campfire accessories, knives, game calls, depth finders, waders, decoys…hell, the list goes on and on.   I think you get the idea.   If you’re young I understand being on a mission to acquire all the fun gadgets you think a person needs to fully enjoy the outdoors.   I’m here to tell you over time those attitudes change.

Now, you might think how much of this sounds a bit negative and perhaps somewhat defeatist that old age is winning the battle.   Quite the contrary, my friend.   While age is certainly a factor influencing this thought process…truth is as a person matures I think you better realize how the outdoors can be enjoyed without modern gadgetry.   Oh, I will never deny how many gadgets are integral and enhance the outdoors experience.   Still, the older a person gets the more apt they are to ask themselves the all-important question…”Did I really need that?”

Going to Cabela’s to buy new “stuff” is always fun.   Having a buddy give you his old “stuff” is always exciting.  Discovering “stuff” on Craigslist at fire-sale pricing is always awesome.   Getting new “stuff” for your birthday or Christmas is wonderful.

But, when you get to that point when you discover new “stuff” you’ve forgotten you purchased last year…well, that could just be the first sign that maybe…just maybe…it’s time to cut back on buying more “stuff.”   At least for a short time.

Hunters What Does It Take For You To Become A Believer?

Let me preface this post by stating upfront that I do not intend for this post to be a product review.  Instead, the product I use as an example in this post is mostly just a prop to frame the question.   In fact, you could page through a hunting supplies catalog and pick one of thousands of similar products that this same question could apply.

That being said, I have never used an electronic scent eliminating product that uses ozone as its means of neutralizing human odor in the woods.   I have had an employee who distributed on her own these types of units for home use and, after listening to her sales pitch and seeing them in use, albeit for an entirely different use…well, let’s just say I am not sold and highly suspect of the product’s true value.

I believe these ozone devices have been available for hunter purchase now for several years.   I’ve heard both pros and cons.   I know I will certainly not run out to the store to purchase one at $400.   Hell, I would give one a try if someone gave one to me.   And therein lies my question.

When a new hunting aid comes along what does it take for you to become a believer?

Do you have to actually try it first hand?   Do you watch the product in use and highly promoted by celebs on TV?   Does a close personal friend need to be your guinea pig, so to speak?   Or does equipment like this just seem so far-fetched that you take one look at it and snicker?

The challenge of controlling human scent in the woods is a prime objective for lots of products touting their value.   And I get that.   I grew up and I still am a trapper and NOBODY is more keenly aware of human scent than trappers are.   Yet, I see successful trappers all over the board when it comes to human scent management.   Some go to extremes taking every painstaking precaution to leave no traces of human scent.   Others, well…they realize the importance of being careful, but they don’t go overboard when it comes to their practices.   Yet, both are still successful.

I often wonder if those of us who are hunters don’t often interpret our experiences the way we hope they exist.   By that I mean, if you just plopped $400 down for some electronic scent device or some scent reducing clothing, by default we all want them to work, right?   Hard to justify how something costing nearly as much as an inexpensive rifle or bow could possibly not live up to our expectations in every way.

Perhaps the best way to answer this question is this way.   Assume one of your hunting companions makes a new equipment purchase making big claims it can be a potential game changer in the outcome of the hunt.   Do you feel the pressure to buy because you don’t want them to have an advantage over you?   Or do you initially scoff at the notion that any newfangled equipment has such revolutionary value that it will likely change the outcome of the hunt?

As an aside, sometimes I fear those of us in the hunting community put too much credence in the next new gadget that comes along.   Oh, sure, many of them are fun to play with and the science behind them can make sense, but is it truly necessary?

It’s sort of like the deer whistles that people mounted on their truck bumpers several decades ago to scare deer away and to avoid collisions and damage.   Did they work?   Oh, you bet they did…but likely not for the reason you might imagine.   They worked because the people who invested in them watched the ditches more closely hoping to see the deer run away by hearing the whistles.   The psychology was people like to see their investments paying off.   This can be true even if the science behind the product being sold is never actually field-proven.

©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.