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Old 10-03-2016, 07:42 PM   #1
RAMSLAYER
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Default Public Hunting Gear

Deer season is upon is, and with no lease this year I am looking to join fellow TBHers on public land. With weather, timing and other elements uncontrollable, one of the few things a hunter can control is his gear. So what is something you find beneficial to your success on public land? Big or small don't hesitate to post. Hope others can find this this helpful too!
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:45 PM   #2
homegrown
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Location: maypearl
Hunt In: Hill, Bosque, Ellis, SE OK, NM
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Game cart a good set of boots & a lot of patience.
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:48 PM   #3
Texas Grown
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^^^ Homegrown's got it. I've been doing it for 30 years now.
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Old 10-03-2016, 09:45 PM   #4
BuckSmasher
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Location: Tyler, TX
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The single most important piece of equipment I use beside my weapon is a climbing deer stand. Other stuff I like in no particular order,
- Map Apps
- Mountain Bike
- X2 on the comfortable boots
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Old 10-04-2016, 11:20 AM   #5
Slow&Steady
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Rowlett, TX
Hunt In: Whatever public land I can find game on.
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I find the following items to be indispensable when hunting public land.
- OnXMaps Hunt app (or a gps and good map with topo overlay over aerial photo)
- Good boots
- A very light and mobile climbing stand, hang on and sticks, or ground blind (depending on where and how you hunt)

Once the season ends, you'll want to trade some of the rubber off the bottom of your boots for some on site knowledge.
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Old 10-04-2016, 01:39 PM   #6
pelochas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow&Steady View Post
- OnXMaps Hunt app (or a gps and good map with topo overlay over aerial photo)
How does the OnXMaps Hunt app perform on a iphone when no signal? is membership worth the costs, its minimal.
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Old 10-04-2016, 02:17 PM   #7
hogdaddy
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i cringe just saying it, google earth (especially the tool bar on top) is your friend.

it will tell you things i never would and i've said way too much already.

good luck, nothing like slicking game out from under everyones nose for free.
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Old 10-04-2016, 03:54 PM   #8
Felix40
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Location: Cloudcroft, NM
Hunt In: Public land
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I use Gaia gps app rather than onx. I like it and it's cheaper and faster. Also I use a good backpack rather than a game cart. It's way more convenient. I'm a big fan of a light lock on stand and rapid rails because you can put it on more trees than a climber. Plus if you use one of your rails to hang a camera it will be less likely to get stolen. Still could happen though.
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Old 10-04-2016, 03:57 PM   #9
Harry
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: In stand on a pine tree
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lightweight tree climber
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Old 10-04-2016, 04:25 PM   #10
tbeak
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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A good gps and boots.
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:12 PM   #11
pelochas
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Im new to the gear and public hunting. Went to SHNF past Sunday with a ground blind but son and i found it difficult to find a clear area to setup and much less an open area to view more than a few yards.
Im looking for tree stands. Not sure if I want to go with climbers for son and I. A two man ladder stand is probably best for us now. Any recommendations on a light and easy to setup stand?


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Old 10-04-2016, 10:14 PM   #12
Etxnoodler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelochas View Post
Im new to the gear and public hunting. Went to SHNF past Sunday with a ground blind but son and i found it difficult to find a clear area to setup and much less an open area to view more than a few yards.
Im looking for tree stands. Not sure if I want to go with climbers for son and I. A two man ladder stand is probably best for us now. Any recommendations on a light and easy to setup stand?


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Your not going to find a good 2 man stand you can carry very far. I would suggest a lock on with climbing sticks and make sure he is wearing a harness.
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Old 10-05-2016, 04:31 PM   #13
Kirby86
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Fort Worth,
Hunt In: Public Land, probably your spot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelochas View Post
Im new to the gear and public hunting. Went to SHNF past Sunday with a ground blind but son and i found it difficult to find a clear area to setup and much less an open area to view more than a few yards.
Im looking for tree stands. Not sure if I want to go with climbers for son and I. A two man ladder stand is probably best for us now. Any recommendations on a light and easy to setup stand?


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With 2 people your best bet is going to be a hang on stand with climbing sticks. The cheapest options are going to be very heavy, but if you split 4 sticks between the two of you it'd help. Sportsmans Guide has sticks and stands for pretty cheap but you're gonna be looking at carrying around 30 lbs each.

I just purchased an X stand backcountry combo for my girlfriend and myself. She will be carrying one of those el-cheapo sportsmansguide stands that I have put a molle kidney belt and shoulder straps.

There are cheaper options, but there aren't many lighter ones! Ground blinds can work but you had better have a near perfect setup. I will say that I owned a ghost blind but I never really found a perfect application for it so I sold it.

You won't be getting a two man ladder stand in and out very easily unfortunately. They're incredibly heavy, and the risk of them being stolen is very high.
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Old 10-05-2016, 04:44 PM   #14
Low Fence
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Quality gps
Tree- brella... Umbrella that attaches to a tree. Best $20 I've spent on gear.
Light weight rain suit ( I have frog tongs), there are better but these have served me well

Spend all you can on your stand. It's the one item that will keep you in the woods comfortable. Also be lugging it around, and setting it up. Lots of factors there.
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Old 10-05-2016, 04:49 PM   #15
Redbone
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Location: Orangefield
Hunt In: TX & MO
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One of my best buys is a bow sling. A lot of the public places I hunt require a long walk. A bow sling helps a ton when you need and extra hand like dragging a deer out or holding a flashlight or whatever. It also keeps limbs and grass out of your cams and strings when walking through brush.
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:37 PM   #16
pelochas
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I have a bow sling and it helps a lot.
Thanks for the recommendation on the stands and sticks.



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Old 10-05-2016, 06:47 PM   #17
acearrow
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Location: Gainesville, TX
Hunt In: Nashoba, Ok
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bow sling
good XL game cart (makes carrying in stand easy also)
backpack with room for additional gear and snacks
depending on where, mountain bike-comes in handy in some areas on Grapevine and probably Hagerman (of course, there are no deer in either of those places)
I rigged up a system where I could attach my game cart to the bike and pull it back as far as the trail would let me go.
Don't forget a pen, some paper, and a zip lock. Many public areas require you to mark you stand with date and time it was set up.
I saw an awesome bike set up for sale at Cinnamon Creek but it was pricey.
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:52 PM   #18
Saddle Tramp
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Location: Rockport
Hunt In: Most Public some private
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The main thing you need is a Movie Camera.
Because if you stay in the public camp ares you are going to see some crazy s##t that your friends aren't going to believe. I have fallen out of my chair laughing at some of the stuff I've seen. Oh and a fire extingis r somebody body always catches their boots or pants on fire.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:12 PM   #19
hopedale
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Location: Williamson county
Hunt In: WMAs
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I've got several items in my pack, but I make sure I've got a compass and map of the area I'm hunting in my pack.

Also, I make sure I've got a lighter and working flashlight.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:10 PM   #20
XBOW STALKER
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Location: FORT WORTH
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Don't forget the T.P.!!!
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:18 AM   #21
jmack82
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My list varies from when I pack in for the day or decide to stay in the backcountry. I always have my frame pack to haul out a kill. It beats a game cart any day and also holds my gear. Short list for a day pack in:
Frame pack
100 oz camelback
1st aid
Snacks
Fire sources
Bino w/ harness
Rangefinder
Bow/rifle
Sidearm
Kill kit (knife, surgical gloves, bags)
Moleskin
Paracord
Caribiners
TP
Wipes
Headlamp
Flashlight
Map
Gps

I can keep it under 30 lbs so hauling out a kill can still be done. Overnights are obviously more complex with sleep systems and additional water depending on location of a water source. Hope this helps a little.
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:44 AM   #22
cashcropper
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For 2 people get a 2 man ladder stand that has a ladder that breaks down in sections. Mount a set of bike tires on it and remove a couple ladder sections and you not only have a game cart but you can roll the stand in instead of carrying it.
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Old 10-24-2016, 10:04 AM   #23
Felix40
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Location: Cloudcroft, NM
Hunt In: Public land
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I pretty much only hunt out of a lock on stand. I think for two people you're going to be best off with two lightweight lock ons and sharing rapid rails. Typically I will hang my stand on my first sit and leave it until Im done hunting that weekend or whatever. I can hang it almost as fast as a climber but I can put it on almost any tree without doing much trimming. You need to have cover around you so I HATE trimming all the limbs off my tree to use a climber.

For the ladder portion I highly recommend 3 rapid rails. With 3 sections you can get up to 25 feet of you are moderately athletic. They go up super fast and break down to a very managable size. Plus you can use one section to hang your camera and get it 12 feet off the ground where the chance of it getting stolen is very low.

All in you should be around 20 lbs for a single stand. Add 10 pounds for a second one if you share a ladder.

I don't see any way possible that a person could get a two person ladder into most of the places I hunt. That's coming from someone who has carried a one person ladder over a mile before I switched to lock ons. A ranger was even ready to give me a ticket because he was convinced I had to have ridden an atv in to haul the stand in. It was just my bad luck because the spot was fairly well know to be good and he WAS riding an atv in to hunt it.
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Old 10-24-2016, 10:25 AM   #24
pelochas
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Location: Pasadena
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cashcropper View Post
For 2 people get a 2 man ladder stand that has a ladder that breaks down in sections. Mount a set of bike tires on it and remove a couple ladder sections and you not only have a game cart but you can roll the stand in instead of carrying it.


Good idea. I saw a two man stand for $99 at BPS. Wondering if that cheap is good enough or bad reviews


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Old 10-24-2016, 10:31 AM   #25
pelochas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix40 View Post
I pretty much only hunt out of a lock on stand. I think for two people you're going to be best off with two lightweight lock ons and sharing rapid rails. Typically I will hang my stand on my first sit and leave it until Im done hunting that weekend or whatever. I can hang it almost as fast as a climber but I can put it on almost any tree without doing much trimming. You need to have cover around you so I HATE trimming all the limbs off my tree to use a climber.

For the ladder portion I highly recommend 3 rapid rails. With 3 sections you can get up to 25 feet of you are moderately athletic. They go up super fast and break down to a very managable size. Plus you can use one section to hang your camera and get it 12 feet off the ground where the chance of it getting stolen is very low.

All in you should be around 20 lbs for a single stand. Add 10 pounds for a second one if you share a ladder.

I don't see any way possible that a person could get a two person ladder into most of the places I hunt. That's coming from someone who has carried a one person ladder over a mile before I switched to lock ons. A ranger was even ready to give me a ticket because he was convinced I had to have ridden an atv in to haul the stand in. It was just my bad luck because the spot was fairly well know to be good and he WAS riding an atv in to hunt it.


Thanks for the tips.

We scouted over a couple miles yesterday on trails looking for paths in. Its a workout and carrying a stand, sticks, or a ladder is going to be tuff.


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Old 10-24-2016, 10:48 AM   #26
Felix40
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Location: Cloudcroft, NM
Hunt In: Public land
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I mean you are looking at 20lbs for rails and a lightweight stand. Shouldn't be too big of a deal. Strap it to your pack and go. Just remember that you will have to get a deer out of wherever you hunt too. That's the real chore. I recommend drinking a monster to get amped up before you get after it lol. . Good luck to you.
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Old 10-24-2016, 02:17 PM   #27
gumbl3
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Location: anna
Hunt In: muenster
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Harness and tree belt

I'm usually out by myself hanging stands, taking down stands, with the harness and belt I can usually do it in one or two trips up the tree and stay safe doing it
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Old 10-28-2016, 06:51 AM   #28
RedTail Hunter
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I've been hunting Texas Public around Grapevine Lake this October and I was thankful I had my GPS. I got turned around one moonless night. I've been trying to go in very light. My basic gear is as follows:

1. Camo pants with BIG cargo pockets (big help)
2. Climber
3. Foldable hand saw on string with clip so it's easily accessible.
4. Small pair of Browning hand/tree limb clippers with belt pouch. (Awesome to have to make shooting lanes and when you get caught in thorny vines)
5. Rubber boots
6. Snake stick for walking (ran into a snake the first night on the trail)
7. Canteen on my belt.
8. Head lamp (must have)
9. Small bow hanger
10. Long string for pulling your bow up the tree and to tie your climber together.
11. Grunt call on neck string
12. Wind indicator on neck string
13. Face net
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:17 AM   #29
Double-O-Dave
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Location: Austin, TX
Hunt In: Goldthwaite, TX - Mills County
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Good lists so far. I'll add the following: a small flashlight (I use one of those squeeze activated types) and a whistle on a neck lanyard, and an extra orange vest. The reason for the flashlight and whistle will become apparent if you get hurt and/or lost, also, the flashlight is good for a quick check of your equipment - including bow, crossbow or shotgun -when/where legal. The extra orange vest - there are some folks out in the woods that aren't very experienced hunters. I would use the extra vest to put over my game cart - especially if I'm hauling an animal out on it just to help prevent any cases of "mistaken identity". I also pack an orange cap to wear on the way into, and out of the woods to also prevent "mistaken identity".

Good luck,

Dave
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:18 AM   #30
Boone44
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Hunt In: DCNF
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Climbing stand
GPS
Compass
Tree umbrella
2 flashlights
Rangefinder
Shooting stick/rest
Deer cart
Patience
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Old 11-10-2016, 11:49 AM   #31
qWuARk556
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Deer cart, for sure. Try dragging 150lbs more than 20 yds and youll know.

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Old 11-23-2016, 08:45 AM   #32
texmet
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Fort Worth / Chicago
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My rope-style tree harness strap was a nice relatively inexpensive upgrade that I think is significantly better than the strap that came with my Summit climber. It is faster to move up and down the tree and creates less noise than the buckle from the original strap. I can see durability and wear over time taking a toll but I'd rather replace it over time and be faster/less noisy getting into my stand.
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Old 11-24-2016, 10:38 AM   #33
Muddman
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Bowie Texas
Hunt In: Wise & Montague County
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The older I get, I have about stopped using a tree stand. Besides my bow and binoculars I take a folding stool. Its easy to carry and I don't leave a stand on public land. I can usually find a natural blind and the stool makes it a comfortable sit.
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Old 11-24-2016, 11:41 AM   #34
texmet
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Location: Fort Worth / Chicago
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Muddman - I like the idea of your minimalist approach. I fear that I'm too much of a novice to pull it off. I'm guessing you are pretty diligent about scent control and minimizing movement (whereas I need elevation to cover up my mistakes).
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Old 11-29-2016, 01:54 PM   #35
TexasRangerFan7
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: West Texas
Hunt In: San Angelo
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Surprised no one has mentioned a Thermacell..this is a must have for me at the start of the season when its still 90F degrees outside & mosquitoes are in full force! Also, serves as a great wind indicator.
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Old 09-23-2017, 04:53 PM   #36
Jackbdwyer
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Flower Mound
Hunt In: Public
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I like to take my climber. If you can find a tall tree it's just fun to be up there. If not, it's a good seat on the ground.
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Old 09-23-2017, 05:21 PM   #37
KYBourbon
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A lock on stand and Lone Wolf climbing sticks. Light weight and doesn't limit my trees like my climber does. Lone Wolf isn't cheap, but I think Muddy makes the same sticks.
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:58 PM   #38
Jackbdwyer
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Flower Mound
Hunt In: Public
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I have had limited chances to use the climber down here in Texas (compared to further north). The trees don't grow tall and straight on the types of land that's public down here.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:24 PM   #39
Statton48
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Longview
Hunt In: East Texas and Comanche
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Bringing this back from the dead??? I'll add what one of my MUST is: a dang good set of binos!! I can't tell you how many deer I've walked right into bow range, and never had a clue they were there. Now I glass every few steps, of course mornings are different. This is in my private and public places I hunt. Not just public
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Old 01-07-2018, 07:45 PM   #40
Hammerdown15
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Location: Pearland
Hunt In: Warren, Tx
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At the end of the season now, what was that one thing that you wished you would have had at the beginning of the season or will have before next season?
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:29 PM   #41
Texas Grown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerdown15 View Post
At the end of the season now, what was that one thing that you wished you would have had at the beginning of the season or will have before next season?
20 years of youth back. But that would only be good for only 15 years.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:07 PM   #42
Ispdnxs
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Join Date: Oct 2016
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Having a better game plan with more spots prepped ahead of time. You never know when someone is going to disturb an area or hunt right where you planned to be. Having a plan a, b, c...x, y, and z. My whole plan went in the garbage the first two weeks of the season. Almost every time I thought I had it figured out, some unexpected variable would pop up.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:53 AM   #43
seminole1990
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Prosper, Texas
Hunt In: Valdosta, GA; Haskell, Tx, The H, LBJ Grasslands
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More spots scouted...totally my fault for not even looking into LBJ until the day before the season started...never even thought it was an option, so my first scouting was done mid week first week of October...way too late. Luckily I found a spot. I hunted it most of the year, saw lots of deer, and only saw another truck there once. As the season progressed and no big shooter bucks were sighted, I was reluctant to move...ended up doing it but it would have been better to have alternated units more and had them picked out and ready.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:54 AM   #44
seminole1990
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Prosper, Texas
Hunt In: Valdosta, GA; Haskell, Tx, The H, LBJ Grasslands
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Also...use my bike to access spots quicker would've been good.
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:14 AM   #45
UrbanBuck
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Waverly
Hunt In: DCNF, SHNF, CROCKETT
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good flashlight, GPS, and a GAME CART.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:09 PM   #46
allenshawn1
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Location: DFW
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light weight everything! Think outside the box.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:51 AM   #47
PlanoDano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allenshawn1 View Post
light weight everything! Think outside the box.

Exactly, at the end of the year I think about what I can leave home or in the truck next year.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:08 AM   #48
woodsman
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Garland
Hunt In: . . . the re-public . . . of Texas
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More time!!

I got in 5 days of hunting, and going for the last 3 of ML!
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:36 AM   #49
EastTxHog
Nubbin' Buck
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Hardin County
Hunt In: East texas
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anyone got opinions on hang on stands something comfortable and easy to walk with on your back research is telling me either millennium or lone wolf the millennium looks more comfortable for longer sits
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:12 AM   #50
Ispdnxs
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Join Date: Oct 2016
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The way I have my lone wolf packed it is more comfortable than my hiking packs. Have heard good reviews from friends on the millennium stands though. May give one a try this summer once I free up some funds. I have only had an issue with one part wearing out on the line wolf where the seat adjustment bolt has destroyed a little wear plate that prevents sound. Thatís after 1 season of heavy hunting all pack in pack out on public land.
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