Tips & Tactics

It’s Not Complicated

It’s Not Complicated

By Ken Piper

A great hunt doesn’t have to include fancy, expensive gear.

Getting my truck loaded for an Illinois bowhunt last fall, it was almost embarrassing how much gear I have accumulated. It’s no wonder new hunters are intimidated by all the stuff they think they have to buy to get started.

Remember the old orange Hot Seats? I shot many a deer in my younger years heading afield with nothing but my rifle and a Hot Seat. I also remember backing up against a heater somewhere between hunts and having little white balls of filler spill out all over the place. The rest of our crew got a great laugh out of it, and it was even funnier when someone else came in and did the exact same thing. Good times!

Treestands and all the other gear we use today are supposed to make us better and more effective hunters. I’ve certainly shot my share of deer from climbers, ladders and lock-ons. But all that stuff isn’t required.

I’ve caught myself thinking I couldn’t hunt a certain spot because I didn’t have a treestand with me at the time. Other times I’ve been curious about exploring the next ridge over, but I didn’t want to tear down a stand and lug my gear to an unknown area.

That’s just silly. Whether using a Hot Seat or a 5-gallon bucket, my dad and his friends were all very effective deer hunters.

There’s nothing wrong with using all the gear we have available today. Just don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s necessary. Explore and get to know your woods. Head out and sit in a new spot with nothing but your gun or bow, kick the leaves from the base of a tree and have a seat.

Travel light and carry nothing else but some extra ammo, a snack, and maybe a pocket deer drag.

At the least you’ll learn more about the area and how deer use it. You might just find some new food sources and a great place to hang a stand. Who knows? You might even have to use that deer drag!

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