It's time. The light is changing ever so slightly, the breeze is taking on a more earnest feel, and the first leaves have started diving off the trees and whirling around in the yard.
Yep, it's time for all the fall hunting catalogs to arrive!
I actually have a stack of unread hunting magazines and catalogs about two feet high, but for some reason - maybe the weather? - a couple new arrivals caught my eye yesterday, and I found all sorts of intriguing stuff.
The first thing I noticed wasn't something I necessarily needed, but I immediately thought of Jody at The Hunter's Wife. It would be the perfect revenge for the horrible way Mark scared her the other day. Behold:
What, we hunt cows now?
No, silly, it's the Confidence Cow Decoy! The photo in the Cabela's catalog is even better than this one, because it's got a hunter in a field holding his gun and a bunch of dead geese, with a fake cow standing behind him.
I guess the idea is that you can hide behind it, or move closer to unsuspecting waterfowl while holding it in front of you like a shield.
But me, I'm thinking it would be really cool to just put it right outside my office at school.
Finally a power tool for me!
What, you don't get it yet? It's a bird plucker!
Plucking ducks is one of my least favorite tasks, but I refuse to skin them or breast them out, because Homey don't cook that way. And seriously, I don't believe in wasting yummy skin or meat.
I've hunted at clubs with pluckers and I've always been told they were expensive, but this thing costs $30. Does it work? I have no idea. But I salute the inventor.
Meeting the need for speed
I did a double-take when I saw the newest steel shot from Remington: Hypersonic Steel, advertised to fly out of your barrel at 1700 feet per second.
As is always the case with interesting new shotgun ammo for waterfowlers, the stuff is 12 gauge only at this point. Lucky for me, I just switched to a 12 gauge this year - woot! I may buy a box of this just to check it out. At $20 to $28 a box it's not the cheapest, but it's still cheaper than my fave, Hevi Shot.
And now for the chick stuff
In the four short years I've been hunting, it seems the selection of women's hunting clothing has grown exponentially. Here are just a couple highlights for fall hunting:
Prois Eliminator series
As a member of the Prois field staff, this waterproof jacket is the item I'm looking forward to most this year.
I don't need it for deer hunting - for the most part, our deer seasons in Cali are over before it gets cool, much less wet. I'm getting this for duck hunting.
I know, I know - it's not a duck jacket. But there are precious few duck jackets out there for women, and I heard from one of my friends at Prois that this one works well in the marsh.
Cold-weather Cazadora Waders
All right, ladies, when Cabela's unveiled the Cazadora women's waders last year in 3mm neoprene, all the waterfowling women in the colder regions of the country said, "Not warm enough!"
This year, you get your wish - the same Cazadora waders design, but in 5mm neoprene with cozy 1000g Thinsulate boots. Click on the photo for more details.
And if you're a mild-climate duck huntress who hasn't gotten the original Cazadora waders yet, the good news is they're on sale for 25 percent off - $160. Just click here. (And yes, the name is not a coincidence - I helped do product testing on these waders two seasons ago.)
More upland and shooting clothing from Filson
Filson has really expanded its women's hunting line since it was introduced back in 2008. One new item this year is the SPF30 women's shooting shirt. I don't have it yet, but I have its non-SPF predecessor and love it - it's very well designed for maximum movement, with pleated elbows and back. The construction is also very strong.
The only shortcoming is that the shooting patches are just patches of fabric - there's no sleeve for inserting a recoil pad. Given that recoil-pad inserts are all over the newest Filson catalog, I'm hoping they'll get around to adding that feature to this shirt.
OK, so now you know what I did last night when I should've been sleeping.
What can I say? I'm ready to get rolling with fall hunting, but it's August, so catalog window-shopping will have to do.
To read my gear review disclosures and policies, click here.© Holly A. Heyser 2010