By Mark Huelsing
Less than $20 – Meat Eater by Steven Rinella
Steven Rinella’s latest book, Meat Eater – Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter, is not a collection of words to be read, but a journey waiting to be experienced. If this book were simply about Rinella retelling his hunts, it would be good, but Meat Eater is so much more!
Rinella dives deeper – to the story behind the story – the meaning beneath the hunt. I was challenged as I digested the sometimes weighty ideas that Rinella presents the reader. This book encouraged me to continue to think deeply about why I hunt, the responsibility that I have as a human predator, the future of hunting and conservation, the connection that I have to the land, and to the food that I consume.
Less than $50 –Real Avid’s Bowsmith or Gun Tool
What if you could take the functionality and versatility of a multi-tool, but make it specific to a gun or a bow? Well, you would end up with the Real Avid Bowsmith and Gun Tools.
Don’t let the Bowsmith’s small size fool you – it contains 28 tools to help the archer repair their bow in the field. The Bowsmith features needle-nose pliers, nock spreader, nock crimp, string-loop setter, broadhead sharpener, broadhead wrench, fletching stripper, insert extractor and more. You can’t always have a bow technician readily available when things go wrong, but with the Bowsmith you probably wouldn’t need one anyway.
The Real Avid gun tool is an all-in-one package that can save a hunt or a trip to the range. The Gun Tool packs 18 of the most commonly used tools for rifles and shotguns down into one small, ergonomic package. The Gun Tool includes a pin punch, choke wrench, windage and elevation blades, torx bits, hex bits, screwdriver heads, and a magnetic storage block built into the stainless steel frame.
Less than $100 – Hunting GPS Maps
Most of us spend a lot of time scouting from home. I have literally spent dozens of hours searching for maps, adding overlays to Google Earth, and trying to find the latest information on public/private boundaries and road access. Those weren’t the hours I spent studying maps – those were just the hours I spent looking for those resources. I wish I would have known about Hunting GPS Maps sooner!
Hunting GPS Maps offers solutions for handheld GPS units, as well as desktop computers. Their maps are updated every year and include features that you simply cannot find elsewhere. Hunting GPS Maps include public land boundaries and names, PLAT data (private landowner’s names), topographic overlays, Game Management Unit boundaries, Forest and Wilderness Area boundaries, old and new forest roads and trails, established trailheads, land trusts, and more.
And best of all, not only can you use this information from home, but you can pack in into the field with you using your handheld GPS!
Less than $250 – SKB Bow or Rifle Case
Every investment is worth protecting. As hunters, we invest a lot of money into our weapon setup, in addition to the investment of time that we spend getting everything dialed to perfection. The last thing that I want to happen is for all of that time and money to be compromised when I am transferring my weapon to a hunt, especially if I am hunting out of state. I started using SKB cases to protect my bows and rifles, and I couldn’t be happier. I know that regardless of what may happen to my bow of rifle during transport, my SKB case will keep my weapon safe. And SKB will even cover up to $1,500 of any damage caused by airline carriers when flying with any of their ATA-rated hard cases.
Less than $500 – The Outdoorsman’s Tripod
The advice is common and sage – When shopping for optics, spend as much as you can afford. But quality glass is only as good as its foundation. The clearest, sharpest optics will lose their advantage if they are not used on a solid tripod. The Outdoorsman’s tripods offer an amazing combination of stability, versatility, and light weight. Their 100% aluminum construction means no plastic parts, and their lever lock design means that setup is fast and secure. Another great feature of these tripods is the incredible range of motion on the tripods legs, which means that you can get setup in the most difficult angles or positions that the terrain may throw at you. An Outdoorsman’s tripod is definitely on my wish list!