When tracking and hunting in the Great Outdoors you don’t always know when opportunities to bag your quarry will arise. When these opportunities do materialize, you want to give yourself every advantage available so as not to waste them. Following are three helpful tool recommendations to take with you when you venture into the outdoors for the hunt.
Get Yourself A Good Rangefinder
The first is to get yourself a rangefinder. I’m sure many hunters would argue that this gadget is a necessity out in the field. As the name suggests, rangefinders use a laser, which bounces off your target, and helps you to determine the distance between you and the animal you are tracking. This allows you to get as precise a shot as possible once you’ve adjusted your ballistics or your bow.
Rangefinders come in different sizes, weights, and range capabilities. So as the hunter, you really need to figure out what suits your needs first. Rangefinders that range up to 4000 reflexive yards may not suit your purposes if you know you will only range out to 300 or 400 yards. Deer hunters know that deer can come as close as 10 yards or less if the hunter stations himself in a tree or other camouflaged blind. Decide what fits the technique you would employ before deciding on the rangefinder you need.
In addition to distance, rangefinders come in different weights; they come with different displays, and they obviously come at different price points. Red displays tend to do better in lower outdoor light or in darkness versus black displays. And you want to know if your rangefinder is adaptive to the light at dusk or after sundown. Also, some rangefinders have an adjustable eye relief versus fixed eye relief. Smaller and lighter may be preferable to larger and heavier, depending on whether you are using a gun or a bow.
Depending on where you shop, you’ll find rangefinders starting at around $80.00, and they can go up into the $1,300 price range. Prices will vary depending on where you shop; whether it’s Dick’s Sporting Goods or on eBay and Amazon. If you do your homework you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding the rangefinder you need at your preferred price point.
A Paracord Bracelet is a Little-Known Secret
The next gadget may be a little lesser-known but has become a must-have to hunters and adventure seekers. It’s called a Paracord bracelet, and you either purchase yours or make it yourself. This bracelet is valuable to outdoors enthusiasts because of its versatility and usefulness in emergency situations. Paracord is a very strong cord, wrapped and/or knotted into different shapes and then fitted to a buckle.
This bracelet is handy in the field because it’s small and lightweight, yet offers solutions to many different challenges. One of the many uses for the cord is trap building. The paracord enables you to build traps (provided you know how to do so) and catch animals as small as rabbits or as large as deer. It can also be used as a fishing line if you are in the mood for seafood.
The bracelet is very commonly used to tie gear to backpacks. The cord is sturdy enough that outdoorsmen use it to build shelters. You’ll need other supplies and gear to do so, or if you have the imagination you can use what you find in nature. But the cord is strong enough to secure your makeshift tent/refuge from the elements.
Still, another use for the bracelet is splint making. You’ll need the proper padding. You’ll also need the proper bracing (commonly done with sticks). But you can tie the dressing around the injury and securely keep it in place. Hopefully, you never need this, but the prepared hunter anticipates and is ready for anything.
Nowadays you see people wearing these bracelets as fashion statements. Companies are aware of this, and they produce Paracord bracelets in many different colors, shapes, and sizes. These bracelets are relatively inexpensive (one can be had for about $10), or if you choose to make your own, you’ll find plenty of how-to videos on YouTube.
Stay Hidden with a Ghillie Suit
The third recommendation is something you want to consider if you’re out hunting and you know you won’t be sitting in a blind all night. If you want to remain virtually invisible, but you still want to move around while tracking your target, you should consider purchasing or crafting a Ghillie Suit. Snipers used these Ghillie Suits during the first and second world wars because the suits were extremely effective at concealing the sniper, as well as the weapon. Today hunters use these suits to yield the same benefits.
The suit’s base make-up is a mixture of different length twines whose colors are custom-tailored to the surroundings in which the suit will be used. Also, grass, leaves, and other natural elements from the hunting grounds can be attached to the suit as needed. A Ghillie Suit creates an irregular form and breaks up the very recognizable human body in a three-dimensional landscape. The Ghillie Suit’s design is so effective that threads on the suit move exactly as the surrounding grass and shrubs move when the wind blows.
Because the suit does so well to break up the human form, animals like deer will come right up to your location (provided they don’t detect you). A Ghillie Suit won’t keep animals like deer from being able to smell you, but because the suit blends so well with the environment, if you stay low and stay motionless, the deer’s chances of spotting you are near zero.
Hunters looking to test run a Ghillie Suit should be aware that the suit does get very warm inside. Base clothing like ponchos can mitigate some of the heat, which is important if you’ll be in the suit for a long time. Ghillie Suits can be purchased for around $40.00, and are so extremely customizable as to make the wearer nearly invisible in any terrain.
This short list isn’t all of the equipment that gives you an edge on the hunt. But these three items definitely increase your chances to turn prey into dinner.