We that enjoy the outdoors have the habit of collecting a lot of “stuff” that is suppose to make our time afield more enjoyable. As an outdoor writer for almost three decades, I have the opportunity to put to use a lot of outdoor gear, some of which I fine very useful but some finds its way to the storage building where it often collects dust until I finally phase it out. In this week’s column, I’ve compiled a list of items that I give an A+ rating. I use each and every one of them and on a regular basis. Some are “over the counter” items that can be found at just about any package store that handles outdoor gear but some have to be ordered from the manufacturer. We still have a month until Christmas so this should give you plenty of time to shop!
SMOKIN TEX ELECTRIC SMOKER I’ve used my Smokin Tex electric smoker for almost a decade now and it works as well today as when it was brand new. Granted, it doesn’t look new any longer. Through the years, I have smoked hundreds of pounds of meat on my smoker. Anyone can become an outdoor cooking expert with a Smokin Tex. You simply add small pieces of wood to the wood box, put the meat in, set the temperature and let it cook until its fall off the bone tender. Go online to www.smokintex.com and check out the different models.
SEASONINGS AND EVERYTHING FOR THE OUTDOOR COOK My “go to” place for ordering seasonings and cures or just about anything else I need for outdoor cooking is BUTCHER PACKER SUPPLY www.butcher-packer.com. Visit the web site and check out all the different products that make outdoor cooking easier. If you are a home sausage maker, make sure and order a few packets of sausage seasoning or try one of the cures for making ham at home.
SNAP LOCK HUNTING BLINDS For the past 4 years, I have been hunting from my Snap Lock Hunting blinds. I have the 4ft by 4 ft. model and the 4 ft. by 6 foot model. The walls of these sturdy blinds are lightweight, weighing about 15 pounds each. The blind can be assembled in a few minutes. The sides simply snap together and snap ties add a bit more stability. I have both my blinds set way back in the woods where transporting a conventional blind would be impossible. The blinds have a water proof roof and are dry yet very portable. It’s nice to have four walls and a roof when hunting hogs on a cold winter’s night. Check them out at www.snaplockhuntingblinds.com .
NIGHT HUNTING SCOPE For the past few months, I’ve been using the Photon XT digital night vision riflescope. With a price tag of around $500, this scope simply can’t be beat. The cool thing about the Photon is that it can be used for daylight shooting. This makes the scope very practical and versatile. Even on a dark night with no moon, it’s easy to identify and kill hogs out to about 125 yards. I kill most of my hogs at night at distances of 30-60 yards but it’s good to know the scope has the longer range capabilities. Check them out at www.sightmark.com .
AIRFORCE AIRGUNS www.airforceairguns.com Today’s PCP air rifles that pressure up to 3,000 via a fiber carbon or scuba tank are a far cry from the pump-up airguns many of us grew up shooting. The Texan in .45 caliber delivers 500 foot pounds of energy when shooting a 350 grain bullet. The company also offers the Condor in .22 or .25 caliber. These are serious, well designed and constructed rifles. Visit the web site and learn all about these state-of-the-art air rifles.
THE GAME ALERT by Hogman Outdoors www.hogmanoutdoors.com is a must have for any night time hog hunter. The unit mounts on the feeder and via a red light, signals the hunter when hogs are at the feeder. With the Game Alert, there is no need to be continually scanning the area for hogs. When hogs show, the light comes on and the hunter makes the shot. I’ve been using mine for a couple years now and wouldn’t hunt at night around a feeder without it.
RATTLING FORKS These unconventional looking “forks” are much thicker than conventional rattling antlers and they produce sound that carries for great distances. I’ve been using mine for the past couple of years and found them to be highly effective. Check them out at www.rattlingforks.com . They make a great Christmas gift for any serious deer hunter.
ULTRAMATIC FEEDERS www.ultramaticfeeders.com Absolutely nothing is more frustrating to the hunter than having an unreliable feeder. I’ve been using these feeders for the past 14 years and have one in the woods, that has given me 12 years of carefree service. Equipped with a solar panel, the battery stays fully charged. Go online and check out THE TIMER, THE REMOTE and THE ELEMINATOR. These three items will insure your feeder troubles are over. The eliminator tightly seals the flow of corn after the feeder motor spins. No more corn loss to raccoons or squirrels.
“KILL TO GRILL, the Ultimate Guide to hunting and cooking wild hogs”. I’ll give my book on hog hunting a plug here also. I’ve spent many years hunting hogs and making everything from ham and sausage to pulled pork sandwiches from the meat. My book is full of useful tips and tactics to help you find and harvest wild hogs and then, transform the meat into some fine eating. The book can be ordered through Amazon, just use keywords “Kill to Grill, Luke Clayton. Or order with PayPal or check via www.catfishradio.com.