28 September 2010

Burr under my saddle

I just finished reading an article in Minnesota Sportsman magazine titled "Hunting Rainy Day Whitetails" by Stephen D. Carpenteri in which he is making the argument for getting out after whitetails in the rain, something I completely agree with. I do get out in the rain as it is a special time in the deep woods when movement is quiet, scent is not blown about near as much in clear sunny weather, and if you know your ground you know where the deer take cover.

What I take umbrage with, in his advice, is the following statement:

"Before I tell you what you should bring with you on rainy day hunts, I'll explain what should be left behind. Don't bring electronic gear (unless you are willing to risk losing it to moisture). Forget your wallet,keys, pocket knives, extra flashlight and GPS unit. Leave your pack behind. Don't bring cameras, cooking gear, tripods, range finders, space blankets, survival gear or anything else that rain will ruin."

First, I would say he carries too much shite in sunny weather if he is carrying all that.

Second, ever hear of hypothermia? When does deer hunting take place, that's right, fall and winter. When wet you loose body heat about 40% faster than in dry conditions, at a slight breeze and below 40 degree temps and you have the perfect recipe for hypothermia. We won't get into the what ifs, like getting turned around or getting so far out you need to spend the night as making your way back in the dark through rough country could spell disaster via broken ankles and nasty falls.

Third, if your "survival gear" can be ruined by rain, you don't have "survival gear" you've got some mamby-pamby hucksters version of survival gear.

I enjoyed the rest of the article, but advice to potential green horn backwoods hunters to leave their survival kit behind when hunting in the rain in the fall/winter is just plain stupid and reckless.

A survival kit needn't be heavy nor adversely impacted by wet weather, hell that's when you are more likely to have need of it!


  1. I tried to find the original article, no luck. I totally agree with you. What kind of 'survival gear' should not get wet? And why leave your space blanket? I would like to see a list of his survival gear and know how much he has used it.

  2. It was published in the October 2010 issue. I was very surprised to read that suggestion, considering how cold and wet it tends to stay here through the winter. I guess it's ok if he's hunting his backyard or never gets more than a couple hundred yards from the truck. Isn't what we do here in the north. It's miles and miles of timber and stream, not the sort of place where you throw caution to the wind.