Deer season is right around the corner. Make it a safe season when you go into the woods and as the Boy Scouts say, "BE PREPARED." That means be prepared for anything. The best way to do this is to carry a small pack or what I call a War Bag, with you. Some people call it a 'possibles bag' and some people take a camouflaged hunting bucket with a lid. You not only can use it to sit on but it also lets you carry more 'stuff'.
In my pants pockets and jacket pockets, I carry a pocket knife, a wallet with my drivers' license, hunting license, and money, a clean handkerchief, ammunition, a hunting knife in a sheath, a whistle, a small flashlight, a pencil and paper, a cigarette lighter (even though I don't' smoke), toilet paper in a plastic sandwich bag, a pruning tool to clear away twigs and limbs that are in my field of vision or to cut through the breast bone of a deer, several paper towels folded in a plastic bag, a pair of gloves, chewing gum, a compos, hard candy wrapped in paper, a chap stick, a few candy bars, and a sandwich or two.
In my war bag or bucket, I carry an extra knife, extra ammunition, a sharpening stone, an extra handkerchief, a small first aid kit, extra batteries or an extra flashlight, a canteen of water, rubber gloves for dressing out a deer, waterproof matches, a space blanket, twenty or thirty feet of parachute cord, a deer drag rope, dry socks, paper towels, a 4 foot x 4 foot sheet of plastic, extra food, a signal mirror, jerky, hard candy, a blaze orange plastic poncho, extra toilet paper in a plastic bag, some cheap cigarette lighters, a first aid kit, extra prescription medication and aspirin tablets, cough drops, anti-acid tablets, a metal drinking cup - can be used to heat water, a small alcohol stove, extra fuel, instant coffee, salt packets, pepper packets, bouillon cubes, tea bags, sugar packets, crackers in a plastic peanut butter jar, a fold-up saw, a few 8-penny nails, coat hanger wire, a small pair of pliers, a small gun cleaning kit, a small bottle of cooking oil - can be used to oil firearms or used to prevent chapped skin, some monofilament fishing line, and whatever else I think that I might need when I'm out in the wilds.
This may seem like a lot of 'stuff' to carry in the woods but you only have to 'need' one of these items once to convince you it's worth carrying along the next time.
Here's what you can do if you want to 'build' your own hunting bucket. You can do it for practically nothing. You will kill a twenty-dollar bill if you purchase one at your local sporting goods store.
I went to a local restaurant and asked for a 5-gallon bucket that they get pickles in - they're green plastic. (Don't take a white bucket into the woods - it's the same color as a deer's raised tail and you might get shot.)
Maynards sells a black plastic lid to fit 5-gallon buckets so you can use the bucket as a seat. The lids cost around $5. You can sit on the lids that come with the buckets but they are hard to get off unless you go around and cut most of the flange off. Go ahead and splurge - buy the lid, after all you're still saving about $15. These can be used for ice fishing seats also (my kids used to call them Bucky Buckets).
Replace the metal bail with parachute cord; it's much quieter. Now stock the bucket with the above items or what you have that you might need in an emergency. Put the items that will be least used in the bottom and build up from there. Remember, the toilet paper (in a waterproof bag) always goes on top. Put on the lid and you have a carry-anywhere Bucky Bucket that will always be stocked and ready to take anywhere. Check the contents from time to time and replace anything that goes bad or has been used. I sometimes carry bucket in the back of my car even when it isn't deer season.
Always carry a few cans of Vienna sausages with you wherever you go. I don't care if you don't like Vienna sausages; it's hunting tradition. Good luck getting your deer. I'll see you out there in the woods or on the water.
BOOKS NOW AVAILABLE
Autographed copies of my new book, HOW TO EAT A WILD GREEN PANCAKE and other humorous tales, will be available for purchase from 9am to 5pm on November 3rd and 4th at The Waynedale News office, 2700 Lower Huntington Road. The price is $19.50. They make great Christmas gifts - Give Your Loved Ones The Gift Of Laughter.
Ray McCune, Associate Editor
The Waynedale News