Thanks to our weekly turkey hunts, it seems that April has slipped into May with hardly any of us noticing. The only thing hinting that we are edging closer to summer is the melting snow and showers causing Idaho to become one giant mud puddle. We refuse to let that damper our moods however; particularly since turkey season here goes until the end of this month. However, even though it isn’t summer time here yet, we’ve already begun to think forward into fall. Why you ask? Well, 1. because during a few of our turkey hunts we’ve run across some pretty awesome sheds, and 2. because we (like many of you) like to get any new hunting equipment by May or June so that we have loads of time to break it in before the fall deer season begins. Therefore, we decided to examine what we feel are necessary items to help make sure you have a safe and happy hunt.
Now, there are several ways you can prepare for a hunt. You can use a list from a previous year (most seasoned hunters at this point have this down pat), you can ask a friend for advice if your newer to the hunting world, you can look to the internet for other people’s preferences (like this sweet list your reading now), or you can go online and find a pre-made check list like this one by Gander Mountain. We prefer not to use pre-made lists, because we found that often times the list includes too much and ends up forcing us to haul around unnecessary equipment that only bogs us down. Regardless of where you get your information though, we found most lists (ours included) have these items: A fully charged cell phone, flashlight, lighter, wooden matches, batteries, energy bars, water, a pee bottle, a compass, hunting knife, binoculars, gloves, rain gear, gloves, a hat, and rope. These items should be in every hunters pack along with their hunting license and tags. We aren’t going to explain why you need these items, because they are fairly self explanatory. Rather, we are going to focus on the other items we like to carry in our packs.
Whether you prefer to hunt using a tree stand, or hunt using ground cover, a scent eliminator is a necessity. There are hundreds of scent eliminators on the market, and picking the wrong one could cause you your hunt. We love recommendations from other hunters, but as of this moment we like the Scent-A-Way Max spray, though there are tons of ways to eliminate or mask your scent without having to buy a scent eliminator. Since most of us here like tree stands, we also always bring a small collapsible saw. There is nothing more infuriating that seeing a perfect spot, but being unable to set up the way you’d like due to branches. Also infuriating? Falling out of your tree stand because you either failed to bring a tree belt, or failed to put it on properly before you finish setting up in the tree; so don’t be that person: remember the belt. One of our good friends Jim Sullivan forgot his belt one year and fell out of his tree stand causing paralysis. Jim is now in a wheelchair, but still loves to hunt. So if you, or anyone you know, is disabled and still likes to hunt make sure to stop by Jim’s site Accessible Outdoors for tips, tricks and reviews for disabled hunters.
Once you’ve got the check-list for the tree stand done, you now get to move on to the fun stuff: calls, lures, and scents. Scents, we feel, are more of a personal preference. Some of us like using mass market scents, like HooDu Deer Attractant, some prefer to use urine, and some of us like using quirky (yet effective) home-made scents like vanilla extract, maple syrup, or peanut butter. No matter your preference, remembering to bring your attractant is key in ensuring a successful hunt. The importance of a good call is also something you never want to overlook; just make sure the call your using suits what you’re looking for. One of our staff swears by the Primos Hunting Speak Easy, while another one prefers the more traditional Extinguisher Deer Call. Regardless of your preference, we recommend you always bring two that way you have not only more options for calls, but a back-up in case one of your calls runs out of batteries or breaks.
Finally, the last few things we recommend are just personal preferences. We almost always make sure to take along some toasty toes and hot hands. Idaho whether can be fickle, and we dislike chilly extremities when it can be easily avoided. We also like to bring along surveyors tape because you never know when you might need to mark a path. Last, but not least, we bring our Pro-Tracker, ultimate tracking and recovery system. We know a lot of you might wonder why bringing a Pro-Tracker is necessary, but we can quickly and easily explain. We like bringing the system so on the off-chance our shot goes awry and isn’t a kill shot, we know we are very likely to find the wounded animal. We (of course) will try to follow the blood trail, but we’ve been on far too many hunts where the blood trail run cold or is lost due to inclement weather and we just hate the idea of not only losing a trophy, but leaving an animal wandering around with an injury that is our fault. By bringing the Pro-Tracker system, we can do our best to make sure that if our own personal tracking skills fail, that we still have a good chance of recovery. We hope you guys like our recommendations, and please leave us some recommendations of your own. What items do you swear by or rely on during your hunts?
The Pro-Tracker® Transmitter is a rechargeable, lightweight, water resistant transmitter that disengages from the arrow upon impact; allowing for pass-throughs. The transmitter hooks into the animal’s hide and begins sending Radio Frequency (RF) signals every three seconds for the duration of the battery life (10-12 hours). You will need the Pro-Tracker® Receiver to read and track the signal.
The Carrier is what screws into your arrow and holds the transmitter. It is aerodynamically designed to compensate for the weight and shape of the transmitter. Meaning minimal adjustments to your equipment for the same precision. Our Aluminum Carriers are made from a 7075 aluminum alloy which is typically used in aerospace programs. It is the strongest aluminum alloy in the market and made to resist high velocity impacts.
The Pro-Tracker® Radio Frequency (RF) Receiver is a compact system with an easy to attach antenna. This state of the art receiver can track up to 6 different transmitter signals at the same time. Displaying signal strength, transmitter number, current time, time spent tracking, and current battery life, all on an easy to read LED screen. Available only in the Pro-Tracker® System
The Pro-Tracker® Custom Carrying Case helps you keep track of your Pro-Tracker system and ensures everything stays together. Its lightweight and durable design ensures your equipment is protected while being as easy as possible to carry during your hunting trip and recovering your trophy.
This dual-charging station allows you to charge up to two transmitters at a time. It includes both a USB and outlet adapter. The outlet adapter allows you to charge your transmitters at home while the USB adapters allow you to charge your transmiters in your truck for extended hunting trips.
The patented Pro-Tracker® Recovery System will help you locate your trophy with durable state-of-the-art technology.
The compact receiver can track up to 6 different transmitters at once. Displaying signal strength, transmitter number, current time, time spent tracking, and current battery life, all on a easy to read backlit LED screen. By watching the receiver you can even determine if the animal is moving or is stationary.
Once activated upon impact with the target the transmitters have a 12 hour battery life. They are also waterproof and rechargeable so they can be reused over and over again. They come with a charging station that can be plugged into wall outlets or vehicle USB ports for extended hunting trips.
The Pro-Tracker® System has been field tested by top experts in the archery industry. With the Pro-Tracker® System you’ll see virtually no difference in the trajectory of your arrow because of the aerodynamic and lightweight design of the carriers and transmitters.
Tests have even shown the system does not impact the level of penetration the arrow has. The Pro-Tracker® System has the durability and precision to recover your trophy.
Not only does the Pro-Tracker® system not interfere with ethical shots, but numerous wounded loss studies have shown just how much it is needed in bowhunting. According to one study done by the Oklahoma Fish and Wildlife Agency, 50% of deer that were shot were never recovered.
There are many reasons why it could become nearly impossible to recover an animal. Sometimes game only bleed internally and don’t leave a blood trail, or flee into impossible terrain. Sometimes the weather takes a sudden turn.
Whatever the reason, the Pro-Tracker® System is designed to overcome these obstacles and recover the animal without detracting from the method in which you choose to hunt. Whether in a tree stand, ground blind, or stalking your favorite game, the Pro-Tracker® System is the one sure method for the ethical recovery of all wounded game.
Q. Is the Pro-Tracker® Legal in my State?
A. ‡ Indicates states where we believe based on our reading of the State regulations the use of the Pro-Tracker System are prohibited. In no way is this considered to be a legal opinion.
‡ Alaska: No
Arizona: Use at your own discretion (unlawful to use electronic night vision equipment, electronically enhanced light-gathering devices, thermal imaging devices or laser sights; except for devices such as laser range finders, scopes with self illuminating reticles, and fiber optic sights with self-illuminating sights or pins that do not project a visible light onto an animal. I is unlawful to use tracking devices to aid in the taking of wild game).
‡ Arkansas: No (It is unlawful to use electronic tracking devices to locate wildlife or computer assisted hunting equipment)
California: Use at own discretion (has several municipalities, most of which have their own additions or addendums in regards to legal hunting equipment)
Colorado: Use at own discretion (Colorado does have specific restrictions in regards to battery operated equipment on bows and arrows. Tracking devices, specifically, are not mentioned in the regulatory manual).
Georgia: Use at own discretion (it is unlawful to kill or cripple game without reasonable efforts to retrieve. Unlawful to use electronic communications equipment to aid in the pursuit of game).
‡ Idaho: No (cannot take big game with aid of radio telemetry)
Illinois: No (electronic devices, including but not limited to those that use radio telemetry, are not permitted)
Iowa: Use at your own discretion (it is unlawful to use dogs, domestic animals, bait, radios, handguns, rifles and crossbows , automobiles, aircraft, electronic calls or any mechanical conveyance or device to hunt deer. You cannot use a two-way mobile radio transmitter to communicate the location or direction of game or furbearing animals, or to coordinate the movement of other hunters).
‡ Kentucky: No
‡ Minnesota: Yes
‡ Montana: No (electronic or battery-powered devices attached to a hunting bow. – A bow sight or arrow which uses artificial light, luminous chemicals such as tritium, or electronics).
Nevada: No (it is unlawful to hunt any wildlife with an arrow that has any chemical, explosive, or electronic devices attached).
New Hampshire: Yes
New Jersey: Yes
New Mexico: Yes
‡ New York: Yes
‡ North Carolina: Yes
‡ North Dakota: Use at your own discretion (Telescopic sights, range finding devices, battery- powered or electronically lighted sights or other electronic devices attached to the bow, or the arrow, are not permitted (exception: lighted nocks and recording devices which do not aid in range finding, sighting or shooting the bow are permitted). Handheld range finding devices are legal).
‡ Oregon: No (electronic devices may not be attached to bow or arrow).
South Carolina: Yes
‡ South Dakota: Yes
‡ Washington: No (It is unlawful to have any electrical equipment or electric device(s), except for illuminated nocks, attached to the bow or arrow while hunting).
West Virginia: Yes
*Disclaimer: This research was obtained by the staff of Pro-Tracker and is not to be considered a legal representation as to law. When using the Pro-Tracker system the user must assume any responsibility as to the State regulations that they are in. This is only a guide.