Didn’t post much this summer. Honestly, between work and my personal life, I didn’t get much time to devote to hunting.
Now, however, it’s late August, meaning New York State’s hunting season is opening soon.
I’m getting excited, hopefully, I’ll take the lessons I learned last year and succeed in getting my first Whitetail.
A few weeks ago, I got my renewal application from Sterling Forest State Park, so I won’t have to miss the first morning I head up this year. I also applied and received my 2012-13 NY State Hunting Licenses. I wanted to get DMP’s (aka Doe Tags) for my friend’s property in the Catskills, but due to the preference system, as a non-resident I was unlikely to win them, so I got DMP’s covering two of the Public lands I hunted last year.
In terms of gear, I won’t change a thing about my bow or rifle, I think they are simply the bee’s knees. For my bow I will still use the Mathews Z7 I was lucky enough to purchase last year. For rifle, I’ll still use my Tikka T3 chambered in 7RM topped with a Zeiss Conquest 4.5×14.
The two big changes I’ve made are in my apparel and in my tree stand.
Last Fall, I learned that when it’s 45 degrees in Manhattan, it’s probably 20 degrees in a forest upstate, and sitting in 20 degree weather in a tree stand at 5am is just too cold for “ordinary gear.” Last fall, I wore a camo waterproof shell over about 7 or 8 layers, and what I would have traded for just three GOOD layers.
Not wanting to make the same mistake twice, I read a lot on hunting apparel. Unfortunately, with everything hunting, it’s always “XTREME” this and “BONE SLAYER” that, which makes it very tough to find what gear is actually good vs. simply expensive. Sitka gear, for example, was almost uniformly praised, and similarly condemned for being overpriced.
I read a bowhunting blog featuring gear reviews called “SoleAdventure.” He reviewed a Jacket made by a company called “Badlands.” I emailed the author and asked him for his thoughts specific to my situation and he sent a long and thoughtful reply about layering. Based on my research I bought a Cabela’s bowhunting parka, and my discussions with Mark, a Merino wool base layer and Prima-Loft vest for freezing cold days.
Also, last year, I hunted exclusively from borrowed blinds and borrowed stands, which really limited my ability to hunt solo. This year I added a set of Muddy Outdoors Climbing Sticks and a Muddy Outdoors Bloodsport Treestand.
This weekend, I’ll hopefully be able to head upstate and scout.