Blind bags are to waterfowl hunters as golf clubs are to Tiger Woods or Harley-Davidson motorcycles are to Milwaukee—you can’t have one without the other. Back in the day, we duck and goose hunters simply hung things around our necks or shoved the necessities in the multitudinous pockets adorning our brown canvas Carhartt duck coats.
But times have changed. No longer do we head afield with nothing more than call and ammunition. Oh, no. We’re packing everything including the proverbial kitchen sink, and then some. Just take a look at what I’m carrying inside my floating blind bag (17 inches x 10 inches x 10 inches) from Avery Outdoors and more significantly, why I’m carrying it.
1. Ten rounds of Winchester’s Xtended Range 3-inch, No. 4 shot (geese over decoys), or 10 rounds of Environ-Metal’s Dead Coyote (pass-shooting geese), or 25 rounds of Environ-Metal’s Hevi-Steel in 3-inch, No. 4 shot (ducks). Why? It’s important to match your ammunition to your target species. There’s no sense in shooting T-Shot at 25-yard decoying Canada geese, or steel No. 7’s at 45-yard mallards in a 25 mile-per-hour wind.
2. Coyote Leather lanyard with Zink Power Hen, Primos Wench, Grounds Snow/Speck, Olt A-50 Canada goose call, and a Zink Paralyzer SR-1 in Cocabola.Why? It might appear I carry far too many calls, but I’m comfortable with each and would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
3. Avery Outdoors Game Hog duck/goose strap. Why? Occasionally, even I will shoot a mallard or honker—hell, maybe even two—and a strap makes hauling them home much easier.
4. Assorted Avery Outdoors skull caps, palmless calling gloves, rag-wool gloves, fleece handmuff, and neck gaiter. Why? Any time there’s water involved, your gloves are going to get wet. It’s nice to have a dry set to put on once you’ve settled down in the blind. You might even want to think about carrying a set of rag-wool gloves in a sealed Ziplock bag, just in case.
5. Several packages of chemical, break ‘n shake handwarmers. Why? Warm is good; remember that.
6. Coast Cutlery battery-powered LED headlamp with adjustable strap. Why? For setting decoys in the dark, finding the shells I’ve dropped, or rooting through my blind bag before shooting time.
7. Two choke tubes, modified and full, for my Mossberg M935, and a gas-metering wrench for my Remington MP-153. Why? Truthfully, I’ve never changed tubes in the field, but just in case.
8. Alpen 10×42 mm armored binocular with a Cabela’s Bino-Harness. Why? I’m a voyeur. A quality binocular aids in scouting, identifying distant species, or passing the time by spying on your fellow hunter.
9. One hundred feet of olive-drab parachute cord. Why? A thousand and one reasons; trust me.
10. Cellular telephone. Why? For emergencies.
11. A sandwich-size Ziplock bag containing Q-tips, bandages, tweezers, assortment of safety pins, 3-foot hunk of rawhide lace, Chapstick, Visine, and most importantly, toilet paper. Why? Come on now, do I really have to explain toilet paper?
Contact: Avery Outdoors; www.averyoutdoors.com.