© 2019 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page for for permission to republish article excerpts.
Protect Your Gear, or What Hunters Loose
Hunter Losses: Maybe if I tell you what some hunters lost over the years, you might be more careful with your gear, buddies’ stuff, horses and even hung-up game: (Advertisement in Steamboat Pilot, November, 2016) Lost: Thompson Center Hawkins 54 Cal. Muzzle loader, lost on lower south facing slope of Farwell Mtn” The one thing a hunter should not be without is his gun, but the above ad is an example of what ill-prepared fellows can loose afield (or elsewhere). It is paramount that you review your gear before hunting season and make sure it is in prime condition and well securable when afield. In the heat of seeing game, a lot of gear is left behind. I don’t know how many scope covers I’ve found, but enought that I attach a fluorescent piece of yarn to mine. The historical ultimate loss was field dressed game; if you are going to leave in the dark after field dressing your elk, at least put a branch in the trail to give you a morning clue. I remember a wrangler riding from camp to camp in the high country asking hunters if they would “be on the lookout” for his brand new pistol. He wanted the expensive item back, but also seemed perturbed that he lost his defense for a bear attack. I felt out the situation as I talked to the young fellow. I then knew what had happened. The pistol AND the leather holster were new, so the holster had not yet conformed to tightly fit the pistol. In addition, there was no restraining strap on the holster. A little bit of rough riding and maybe some nudging from the tight Levi jacket had tumbled the new treasure to oblivion. A simple Velcro loop would have prevented the loss. In 2016, I was scouting the first elk season when a 4-wheeler came to the trailhead. He was riding all the roads in a predicament because he had lost his neighbor’s $700 range finder. I truly felt sorry that he had placed the instrument on the back of his ATV after sighting in an elk. I thought an item like that should be ready to use on a stout lanyard around his neck. The gent came back with seven other ATV’s prior to the opening of the next season. My luckless fellow cringed when I asked if he found the range finder. Broadly sheepishly grinning he said, “Yes, I missed the back of the ATV and actually put it in the back game pouch of my jacket where I found it two days later!” [Note: the story is true, but with eight guys in a camp, there may have been a sordid jokester.] Here is the short list of common hunter losses: Sheath knives worn on a belt without a Velcro restraining flap (press buttons are not always secure). Pocket knives placed in weak pockets (usually the worn-thin right pant keys and coin pocket) Vehicle keys (as above), and loaned to friends and left in the weirdest places. Ammunition from ammunition belts; as the belt stretches, the bullets become loose. Rifles not secured in scabbards; lost when a horse bucks and runs away. Fanny hunting packs, especially the hard to find cammo ones. Bridles placed over saddle horns when a packhorse is led on a halter. Small items carelessly wedged into a pannier at the last moment of packing. Flash lights, sight covers, and hand warmers left after dawn vigils. Sunglasses and water bottles left when returning to camp at dark
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© 2016 -2017 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page for for permission to republish article excerpts.
Hunter Losses: Maybe if I tell you what some hunters lost over the years, you might be more careful with your gear, buddies’ stuff, horses and even hung-up game: (Advertisement in Steamboat Pilot, November, 2016) Lost: Thompson Center Hawkins 54 Cal. Muzzle loader, lost on lower south facing slope of Farwell Mtn” The one thing a hunter should not be without is his gun, but the above ad is an example of what ill-prepared fellows can loose afield (or elsewhere). It is paramount that you review your gear before hunting season and make sure it is in prime condition and well securable when afield. In the heat of seeing game, a lot of gear is left behind. I don’t know how many scope covers I’ve found, but enought that I attach a fluorescent piece of yarn to mine. The historical ultimate loss was field dressed game; if you are going to leave in the dark after field dressing your elk, at least put a branch in the trail to give you a morning clue. I remember a wrangler riding from camp to camp in the high country asking hunters if they would “be on the lookout” for his brand new pistol. He wanted the expensive item back, but also seemed perturbed that he lost his defense for a bear attack. I felt out the situation as I talked to the young fellow. I then knew what had happened. The pistol AND the leather holster were new, so the holster had not yet conformed to tightly fit the pistol. In addition, there was no restraining strap on the holster. A little bit of rough riding and maybe some nudging from the tight Levi jacket had tumbled the new treasure to oblivion. A simple Velcro loop would have prevented the loss. In 2016, I was scouting the first elk season when a 4-wheeler came to the trailhead. He was riding all the roads in a predicament because he had lost his neighbor’s $700 range finder. I truly felt sorry that he had placed the instrument on the back of his ATV after sighting in an elk. I thought an item like that should be ready to use on a stout lanyard around his neck. The gent came back with seven other ATV’s prior to the opening of the next season. My luckless fellow cringed when I asked if he found the range finder. Broadly sheepishly grinning he said, “Yes, I missed the back of the ATV and actually put it in the back game pouch of my jacket where I found it two days later!” [Note: the story is true, but with eight guys in a camp, there may have been a sordid jokester.] Here is the short list of common hunter losses: Sheath knives worn on a belt without a Velcro restraining flap (press buttons are not a l w a y s secure). Pocket knives placed in weak pockets (usually the worn-thin right pant keys and coin pocket) Vehicle keys (as above), and loaned to friends and left in the weirdest places. Ammunition from ammunition belts; as the belt stretches, the bullets become loose. Rifles not secured in scabbards; lost when a horse bucks and runs away. Fanny hunting packs, especially the hard to find cammo ones. Bridles placed over saddle horns when a packhorse is led on a halter. Small items carelessly wedged into a pannier at the last moment of packing. Flash lights, sight covers, and hand warmers left after dawn vigils. Sunglasses and water bottles left when returning to camp at dark
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Protect Your Gear - What Hunters Loose in the Field