If you are like me most of your week has been focused around getting ready for opening day of rifle season for deer and elk this Saturday. Checking off items on my hunting to do list is always fun for me. I am also in charge of coordinating my hunting buddies. This includes giving them a list of food items to bring, letting them know what other items they need to contribute and of course a time when we will be leaving town. Hunting is a good time but to me getting ready is also a lot fun.
When I am getting ready, I use my vehicle checklist and the hunter’s checklist. I don’t include every item on the checklists but it really helps cut down the time to gather the things I need. The paper that I printed these checklists on is well worn by the end of the week. On that note, a couple of folks have e-mailed a couple of suggestions for items that might come in handy and you might want to add them to your list.
Rod Deitz had a suggestion “The plastic garbage bag for the rain vest. It should read, in my opinion, “clear plastic garbage bag” to allow some degree of hunter’s orange to be visible. Sheelia Miller shared this tip that involved newspapers and duct tape, “Some years ago the disaster coordinator in Kalispell showed me a variety of ways to use newspapers and duct tape as insulation for our bodies. Use 3 or 4 layers to go around your core, your arms, set your foot on a bunch and form a boot, tape. Snowmobiler’s should stow some for their outings as well”. If you haven’t and would like to print off a copy of the checklists, click HERE for the Hunter’s Vehicle Checklist and click HERE for the Hunter’s Checklist.
Hunting is big business in Montana, especially for rural Montana businesses. I know that these merchants really appreciate your business and for some if it weren’t for the Montana hunting season they might not be in business at all. The latest figures from FWP estimate that over $271 million was spent in 2011 by hunters in Montana. This year the general rifle big game season is starting 6 days later than last year. I hope the late start this year will result in some good hunting later in the season. Hunting is always better when colder temperatures and snow hit Montana. With the last day of hunting scheduled for December 1st in Montana there is a good chance old man winter will be here before the season ends.
With all the talk and excitement of hunting, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how good the fall fishing is right now. Brown trout are spawning and rainbows are feeding. River and lake fishing has been excellent. Reports from the reservoirs located over by Helena have been good. Bob Snodgrass and I went fishing the lower Flathead River Sunday and caught and released our limit of smallmouth bass. It was slow for the first couple of hours but once we found them it picked up because they were schooled up in 20 feet of water. Night crawlers on a single hook with a bell weight on a three way swivel worked the best.
(Written by the Captain; Cover photo: deckanddockboxes.com)