Scouting for Wild Turkey
It was a beautiful day in Colorado today, a lot of sunshine, 55 degrees, and not too much wind. I headed up to the mountains to do some scouting for spring turkey hunting, and I had a great time. I also had the opportunity to test out a lot of new gear, including my truck, a back pack, a pair of boots, and a survival tool. Except for the survival tool, all of the other things I really did need today, so it was a valid test of those items. For the survival tool, I had it with me in case I needed it, and decided to do some testing with it since it was the first time I used it.
The truck did fine on the sometimes snow-packed and icy roads, I could feel the auto traction kick in a few times on the icy parts of the road shaded by pine trees. And on my way home I picked up a bicyclist who had a broken crank shaft and needed a ride 25 miles into town, so it was nice that I had the bed to put the bike into.
The back pack is one I got last month from Blacks Creek to use as a day pack that also has the ability to pack out elk or deer quarters. It’s a very nice set up with a light, but durable frame, and a day-size pack for whatever I might need for a long day of hunting, and even enough room for things I might need if I had to stay out over night. I purposefully over-packed it for what I needed today, I wanted to see how it felt with about 20 pounds of gear in it, and it did great. It felt good on my back and shoulders, it was quiet while walking through the forest, and everything was easy to get to when I needed it, so I am very satisfied with that pack so far. However I need to test it more before the big game seasons this fall. And I forgot my tripod today, so I can’t say how that will pack, but I am confident it will lash on just fine.
The boots I used today were a pair of Bogs muck boots that I won in a raffle at a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation event. I am not even sure who makes them; it only says “Bogs” on the boot. They are camouflaged with thick rubber around the feet, an aggressive sole, and neoprene-like material that goes up to the top of my calf. They are rated to 0 degrees, and they kept me plenty warm walking in the snow on the north-facing slopes of the mountains today, where the temperature was probably in the high 30’s. I’m not sure I can fault the boots at all for their tread, it was very difficult walking on the steep slopes because of the consistency of the snow, it was very slick because of the warm day. I was slipping and sliding quite a bit, but I am not sure any other boot would have done better in those conditions.
The survival tool I tested today is the Dog Tag Deluxe 4 in 1 Survival Knife, a product that I have had available on my website for quite a while; you can find it here https://www.bearmilleroutdoors.com/product/dog-tag-deluxe-survival-knife/ . This is a very convenient survival tool that you can carry with you every day, as its name implies; it’s like wearing dog tags. For those of you who don’t have military experience, it’s a durable necklace with your identifications on small metal tags. I decided to see how easy it would be to start a fire in the
environment I was in today; lots of snow on the ground, a brisk breeze every now and then, with dry wood found only on the standing trees. I used the lashing holes on the blade and attached it to a stout pine branch, used it as a mini hatchet, and it cut through small branches with ease. Once I had a small pile of wood, I used the blade and the fire rod, with some pine shavings and resin, and started a fire with only a few strikes on the rod. The intensity of the sparks from the fire rod was amazing! My only problem with this product is that the compass and the fire rod are not attached to the necklace, but that’s really not a big deal. To me, having that blade alone is a great piece of survival gear.
It was a great day to be out in the wilderness, and I found some good sign of wild turkey, which is what I set out to do in the first place. I accomplished my goal, I had a great time, and the excitement is growing for turkey season!