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OUTDOOR JOURNAL

He’s got this one in the bag

Do you have a rucksack? I thought I did when I began researching for this week’s column.

Turns out that what I have is really a shoulder bag, or a haversack. And I don’t appreciate any remarks about me using a lady’s fashion bag by Gucci to hunt deer. Rather than being made from fashionable (and expensive) leather my bag is made from some sort of heavy canvas. As for expensive, I think my bags cost less than twenty bucks. Try to expect that price on a Gucci and get laughed right out of Macy’s.

The Gucci I checked on the internet cost over a thousand dollars. You could buy a darn nice deer rifle for that much money.

If you know a muzzleloader shooter, he or she will often carry a shoulder bag and refer to it as a possibles bag. In it there will be some spare lead balls, a powder measurer, some flint and steel for starting a fire, and of course a knife.

I am certainly not in league with the primitive long hunters, but I do hunt and my shoulder bag definitely serves the purpose of a possibles bag. In fact Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett’s bags might have been made from leather or tanned buckskin. Their bags might even have fringes or decorative beads and died porcupine quills. I’ll bet a similar decorated lady’s bag might even rival a Gucci.

My bags on the other hand are utilitarian not fashionable. One of mine, which I call my boat bag, is plain tan, and since I do not have a death wish it is only used on my boat.

No way will I walk in the woods during gun season toting anything the color of a deer. During archery season my possibles bag is camo. I also carry the camo bag during gun season, but I am dressed in so much orange that no one should mistake me for a deer. Even so I am always cautious.

So what do I carry in my bag? The contents might rival a lady’s purse. First of all I carry my hunting licenses and the required permits. You might think this is a simple procedure, but I once almost shot a fall turkey before I realized my permit was for spring turkey. Fortunately I realized my mistake before I shot. If you hunt private land you also need to carry your permission slip.

With all of my permits in my bag, I also carry a face mask to keep my shiny white face from spooking a deer. Along with the mask there is a pair of lightweight camo gloves.

A red bandanna has multiple purposes. It can be used to clean the fog off of glasses, and strips can be torn and tied of branches to mark the trail when following a deer. The red bandanna may also be used to break up the camo pattern on my camo bag. If I had a hunter orange bandanna it would be even better for this use.

My bag features pockets along the sides and these work well to hold various game calls. I always carry a predator call just in case a coyote presents me an opportunity. I have never shot a coyote, and would pass up a buck deer to end this drought.

A folding trimming saw and loppers can be used to clear shooting lanes, and of course every hunter hopes for success so the bag carries a sharp knife. Daniel and Davy probably carried a knife with a large blade, but my knife is plenty big enough to field dress a deer, as long as I keep it razor sharp.

A first aid kit could save a life but I think my best first aid would be a cell phone to call an EMT. They know how to save a life, and I don’t. A handheld GPS would be used if I hunted large areas, but I don’t travel far from the road. But I do tell Barb where I’ll be hunting and she knows who to call if I need found.

So like a lady’s shoulder bag, my possibles bag carries much to help me enjoy a safe time while hunting. It might even carry makeup if you consider camo face paint as makeup.

As for perfume, does smelly deer attractant qualify as perfume?

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