Gear Up For Hunting Season
There are also some big-game hunts that don't require a tag.
October 1, 2022
I hope you got drawn for something this year, but even if you didn't there are plenty of opportunities to get out in the field this fall. Margie and I didn't get a tag, but we plan to spend some time out at Desert Creek Sportsman's Club shooting pheasants and chukar, plus we'll be out hunting for quail and grouse with Mochi. Not to mention waterfowl and snipe seasons just around the corner!
There are also some big-game hunts that don't require a tag. Check the October Hunt Calendar or the Arizona Game and Fish website. You might even be able to find a hard copy of the 22-23 regulations in your local outdoor store. Opportunities are especially abundant for bowhunters.
Bow Hunting Gear
Bow Spiderhas teamed up with Alpine to offer bowhunters an easy and effective way to protect and carry their bows – the Bow Spider Alpine Bow Slicker.The Bow Spider Alpine Bow Slicker is ultralight, durable and designed to fit most compound bows on the market with parallel limbs ranging from 24"-36" axle-to-axle. Mesh loops easily wrap around the limbs of the bow and a pocket of durable fabric slips over the bow cams. The sleeve is crafted with elastic in the hem to allow for a more secure grip around the bow while also making it easy and quick to remove.
Bow Spider Alpine Bow Slicker
No clips, snaps or buckles are required, making the Bow Spider Alpine Bow Slicker super convenient whether in the field or at the range. It is made in America and comes with a guarantee against manufacturer defects. It has a suggested retail price of $65.95.For more information on the Bow Spider Alpine Bow Slicker or the other amazing products available from Bow Spider visit www:bowspider.com.The Bow Spider Alpine Bow Spider is available for a limited time so be sure to order one soon before they are gone!
Ibex Base Layers
Bowhunters tend to spend a lot of time keeping very still, and as winter approaches, crouching in a blind all day can chill you to the bone. Ibex has the perfect base layers to keep you toasty warm. Layers are the best way to dress for hunting, especially if you're like me and you like to get out before the sun comes up to get in position, then hunker down in the blind or find a hillside and glass for hours on end.
As it warms up, you can shed layers and stay comfortable. I really like Ibex gear because it's warm but it's lightweight so you don't end up lugging a bundle of clothes around all day.They start at just over $100, but they'll last you forever! Check out all their baselayers and midlayers at http://www.ibex.com.
A Funny Story: 3D Targets
Here's a funny story – Margie and I were driving around up by Fern Mountain last week and we were totally enjoying the amazing wildflower show. Seriously, there were flowers everywhere! Some places were totally carpeted by bright yellow mixed with white, lavender, and pink. Holy smokes!
Anyway, we were cruising down a Jeep trail when I spotted a gorgeous deer just standing in the middle of a meadow. I pointed it out to Margie, and as our angle of view changed, we saw a hunter standing in the meadow too. Margie gasped, "It's standing right next to him!", just as we both realized it was a 3D target!
Those 3D targets are great for bowhunters, but they can get pricey. For some reason, mule deer targets seem to cost a lot more than whitetail targets, but since the body is the same, it doesn't really matter, right? You can get a 3D deer target on Amazon as low as $104, so check around.
Bird Hunting Gear
Bird hunting involves walking – sometimes a lot of walking. That's why Swiftwick's Pursuit Hike socks are my favorites. They keep your feet warm and cushioned all day long no matter how far the birds take you. They also have maximum moisture control and keep your feet drier than any other sock in their class – that translates to no blisters! The best part? They start at only about $19! Check them out at http://www.swiftwick.com.
Ruffwear For Your Bird Dog
You don't want to forget your bird dog! Although Ruffwear doesn't market their dog gear specifically for hunters, we did find a blaze orange harness for Mochi that has two chest straps and is perfect for bird hunting. We also just recently bought her one of their new Swamp Cooler Cooling Harnesses and it's pretty darn nice. Dogs can easily get overheated early in the season, but this harness is made to absorb water and cool your dog by evaporation. They also make a Swamp Cooler Vest as well as a Swamp Cooler Core that attaches to the underside of their regular harnesses.
You should seriously check out their stuff. My only beef is that they don't make more blaze orange to keep our dogs safe in the field. The Dog Cooling Harness is just under $70 and the Web Master Dog Harness (available in blaze orange) is also around $70. Check out all their dog gear at http://www.ruffwear.com. It's all very well made and rugged enough to stand up to a day's hunt. You can also get a chest protector that attaches to the inside of the harness.
Coues Hunting Gear
If there is one thing I learned right away, it's that a Coues hunter needs something comfortable to sit on, but it needs to be lightweight and easy to carry. Therm-A-SEAT hunting cushions are great because they are insulated and come in camo and brown, but they don't really fold down. They don't weigh much, though, so if you don't mind a bit of bulk they are really comfortable. You can get one for under $20 on Amazon.
Sports Camping Seat Cushion
Another option, the one Margie and I use, is the TETON Sports Camping Seat Cushion. This one is inflatable and rolls up into a little stuff sack. It's orange on one side and gray on the other. These make a huge difference when you are sitting on the side of a hill all day, trust me. They are also just under $20 on Amazon. We also have a couple of little expandable one-legged seats that come in handy if you're glassing from an area with brush or something that you can't see over if you're sitting on the ground. They aren't as comfortable, but they're very portable.
Block The Glare
Something I've written about before is Bino Bandits, which are just fabric blockers that fit over your binoculars and around your eyes to block glare and give you better visibility. I love these things and they also cost less than $20 on Amazon.
There are all kinds of hunting opportunities in Arizona right now, even if you didn't draw a tag, so check the regulations and get out in the field!