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10-25-2012, 06:44 PM
I went out to GMU 54 for the first elk season, hunted hard, had a great time, but got skunked. While there, I figured out one good boot drying trick and was pleased with a little piece of gear, so I thought I’d share them.

Opening day was one of those days when it doesn’t seem cold enough to snow but it does anyway. It snowed and melted all day. Everything got soaked, especially my boots. In the evening I was sitting in the tipi thinking about how to get the wet boots up into the heat. I ended up taking a two foot loop of para-cord and tying a prussic knot up high on the tipi pole. I then used the boot laces to tie the wet boots into the loop of para-cord. It worked great, we dried out three pair of very wet boots. Just be careful not to let them get too close to the chimney.

The piece of gear was a “cover me bill.” http://www.covermebill.com/

Basically a nylon hood outer layer in blaze orange. It’s a little crude but it worked well. I like using hoods for warmth in addition to a fleece cap, but it always bugged me that there wasn’t a good way to wear blaze orange outside the hood. This thing has two eyelets to use a piece of string to fasten it in front of your throat. I didn’t care for the string approach because I couldn’t see the knot for tying and untying. I sewed on one of those light weight plastic clips you get with small electronic gadgets. For use without a baseball cap I just tucked the “bill” under the body of the hood and put it on. I’m confident it looked pretty silly but it kept me legal and warm.

Our friends at USFS have been implementing their new motor vehicle plan and have shut down a lot of roads. We were formerly able to drive to our preferred camping spot but now had to backpack two miles from the new end of the road. That made it harder to camp in the comfort to which we were accustomed, but we managed. We saw slightly fewer hunters and slightly more game, so I guess I like the new road plan. It was definitely nice not to have someone on a four wheeler come “scouting” through the area.

The mule deer seem to be coming back. I saw a few bucks, but nowhere near the numbers or the size of what I saw before the 07-08 storm. It was interesting to read DOW was going to back off the previous buck:doe ratios and start managing for lower numbers. I used to see some amazing bucks before the die off and had hoped the mule deer would come back to where they were before the storm, but it’s been almost 5 years.

I hope the rest of you guys have better luck getting one into the cooler.