On Target

Details About Two Important Items

We have talked about different gear that a hunting archer would have in the field, and it occurred to me that what has been said about a piece of equipment, might not have been understood. When I am doing a seminar, I can show the various items, but in writing, there is room for some misunderstanding.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the items that a hunting archer might want to have on hand in the field. Two items that come to mind when you have been successful in your hunt, and it is time to dress out a deer, are one, a knife, and second, a drag rope.

Let’s take a look at a good knife that a hunting archer might use in the field. I have to admit that most hunting archers that I know are very particular about the kind of knife they carry into the field. For instance, which is better, a fixed blade or a folding knife? Both have their fans for various reasons, and for me the answer to that question is complex. Both of the blade types have their uses, and you can make either of them work well for you.

Personally, I have a number of knives that I might carry with me into the field, depending upon what I want to do.

A good knife is one that has a razor sharp blade that can be easily replaced when needed. A knife like this will attract a lot of attention for newer hunters.

If you are a long-time reader of this column, you know that I am a big fan of hunting archers learning different skills that will serve them over a lifetime of hunting. Any hunter worth their salt knows how to sharpen blades, be they on the end of your knife or the business end of your arrows. Personally, I do not prefer to carry a knife with replaceable blades.

With that being said, the next consideration would be the game you intend to hunt. For deer-size animals and smaller, a good folding knife will do the job quite nicely. If, however, you intend to hunt larger game, you may have to split some heavier bones in the field dressing process. In this case, a fixed blade knife will work a good deal better for you. Some fixed blade knives are made from a good solid piece of steel that will stand up to a lot of heavy duty work.

Folding knives are great for cutting, but are a bit on the weaker side when it comes to heavier work in the field. They are very convenient to carry and stow well in your gear kit, but there are times when a fixed blade is a much better choice.

The second item we mentioned is the rope in your kit. A rope in the field can and does have a lot of different uses, and it is good to have one that will fill most of the uses nicely. The first use for a rope is to bring your gear up to and down from a tree stand. For that job, paracord works very well, but if you intend to carry only one rope, paracord will not work as a drag rope. The line is too small to comfortably drag a heavy animal any distance.

A 1/4-inch rope is a good deal more comfortable on the hands, and a 3/8-inch rope is even better. If you go any bigger, it gets a bit much to pack and as for any advantage, it is all lost on the bulk of the rope.

We have talked in the past about installing a serving, and here again, you can serve a hook onto the end of your rope, and that will do a great many things for you in the field. You can more easily lift and lower gear up to a tree stand. This goes a long way in keeping you safe while climbing up and down from a tree stand. Once you are all settled into your tree stand, there are times when you drop something from your blind. Instead of climbing back down, you can sometimes use your rope, and snag the item that has fallen, and bring it back up. That way you will not make a lot of noise when deer move in your area.

These are just two items most hunting archers carry into the field, but at times these can become very important to the success of that day. If you have not given these items any serious thought, today would be a great day to do just that. You may be in the field one day, and either of them might be just the item you need to do the job correctly.