“Why the red bandana?” Asked red and black plaid shirt in the crowd attending the first North American Hunting Club Jamboree which we did many years ago. Those of us who were “on staff” with the then North American Club’s publications, “North American Hunter” were the primary speakers and entertainment.
Sitting on the stage in front of the assembled group, I glanced to my left at Bill Miller, then editor of North American Hunter magazine, and to my right, at Jim Shockey. This long before my Canadian friend became famous worldwide, and before he often donned a black hat and red bandana. Both my friends looked questionably at me.
I just happened to have a red bandana around my neck, I untied it and held it up for all to see. “With this square of red cotton cloth, I can do many, many things. Tied around my neck the way I had it, my bandana protects my neck from the sun when it shines at an angle under my hat. Tied around my neck on cold days it keeps my neck warm and prevents warmth from escaping from around my collar”
“I can raise it “bandit style” to protect my face from extreme cold and inhaling sand and crud during dust storms.” I did not mention at the time many years later I could also raise my bandana “bandit style” to cover my white beard and hide it from cautious and wary deer. Nor did I mention on numerous occasions where wearing my felt western hat in extreme cold, I could untie it from around my neck and cover my ears. And, quite the opposite on those days hunting where it was extremely hot, tie it across my brow keeping sweat from running into my eyes.
“Hunting with a partner, the red, even if I’m wearing full camouflage is obvious to those I’m hunting with. Research demonstrates most big game animals cannot see the color red.”
“Over the years I’ve used my red bandana as a scope cove on my Ruger rifle when it was raining and I did not have commercially made scope covers. Worked like a charm!” I too remembered using a red bandana to wrap up extra Hornady rounds so they would not rattle in my pocket. And when the animal was down to either mark where I had shot from as I went to retrieve is, so I knew where the shot had been taken from and where the animal was down.
“I learned many years ago I shoot more accurately from a solid rest. But, there is not always a rock, tree, limb, fence post handy when a shot is presented. For years I have used crossed shooting sticks as a solid rest. But there are times when I have gotten into camp and realized I had forgotten my shooting sticks. First thing I do is find three appropriate saplings, cut them to about three and half feet in length, then use one of my red bandanas to tie them together about six or so inches from one end to create a new set of shooting sticks.”
I looked around and I saw attendees nodding in agreement, so I continued. “There are times too, when the law stated a tag must be applied immediately to the downed animal. Removing my red bandana from around my neck I can use it to secure the tag to the animal’s antler or horn. The red bandana also is easily seen while I’m dragging my “take” of the woods.”
“I have also use my red bandana as “a flag”, tied to a pole to get a fellow hunters’ attention.” With that, I waved it high to the crowd.
“Any other questions?”