Check your hunting backpack

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Dennis Clay

A prudent hunter will check the backpack used in the field every year, before the beginning of the hunting season. The item-by-item review will assure the hunter everything needed while hunting is close at hand.

My backpack has not been reviewed since last hunting season. Now is the time to check each item inside.

The pack is roughly 14-inches high, 14-inches wide and 16-inches deep. It has three major pockets with the size of the pockets increasing in size from front to back. There is one other pocket, a small mesh pocket, in the very back.

This small pocket holds several strips of butcher twine, perhaps 10, each a yard long. These are available in case a member of my hunting group states, ďOh darn, I forgot a piece of string.Ē The string is used to tie the notched tag to the big game animal.

Two members of our group carry a container of dental floss for the same purpose. However, many hunters use electrical tape to secure the tag after attaching it to the animal.

The problem hunters are trying to avoid is having the tag become disconnected as the animal is taken from the field. A small incision is cut in the ear, the string is passed through the cut and through the notched tag. The ends of the string are tied in a knot, securing the tag to the animal. Then the strong electrical tape is used to close the ear, so there is no way the tag could become disconnected.

Also, in the small pocket is a small Wenger knife. Wenger is, or was, one of two companies making Swiss Army knives. This knife has a small blade, a nail file and cleaner, a key ring and serrated edge scissors, plus, of course, a toothpick and tweezers.

The blade isnít of much use, being so small, but the tweezers and scissors have the possibility of being extremely useful, with no other tools of the same usefulness available in the pack.

The next pocket holds three knife sharpeners, two cow elk calls, a deer call and a 9-volt battery, wrapped in thin cardboard, one ink pen and a Gerber Strike Force fire starter.

My hunting backpack is used to store much of my small hunting equipment items, as is now apparent. There is no need to carry three knife sharpeners into the field. One would be just fine, but why not store all three in the pack between seasons.

There is no reason to carry two cow elk calls into the field, one would be fine. There is no reason to carry an elk call during deer season or a deer call during elk season.

Next week: Checking the backpack pocket by pocket.

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