Stitch Kit Temptation
What Vehicle is Best For Hunting?
Author: Albie Berk
What vehicle to use to scout or hunt is a decision largely based upon availability. Some hunter’s use elaborately set up rigs with big recreational vehicles sporting a canoe on top trailing an all-terrain two, three, four, or more wheeler to the rear. In some instances a bicycle may be just the thing to take you to the outskirts of town and stow away noiselessly where there are no places to park anything else. Of course packing your deer out may be another consideration! Most any automobile in good running condition will carry you to good deer hunting. The most popular mode for getting into the woods and getting the deer out is the four-wheel drive truck.
Maintenance and repairs should be performed on all vehicles well in advance of the hunt. An old fan belt or hose could be just the thing to foil your plans. A low battery can absolutely ruin your day. Make sure there is a good jack and spare tire. Gas and oil should be put in a day or so in advance to avoid the smell on your clothing and hunting boots. There are the rare instances of hunters having automobile trouble and having good luck hunting where their car broke down, but we choose to avoid these circumstances when possible. Remember Murphy’s Law. Murphy said: “If anything can go wrong, it will.”
Only take your vehicle to the limits of its design. Although it is a display of determination and fortitude to gun your family car as far as you can down a muddy logging or farming road until you become stuck, so you can hunt and worry about getting out later, this is simply asking for trouble for yourself as well as for those who will have to help you. This is a situation all too often encountered by hunters who find their roads blocked by someone unequipped to be in there. Farmers who live near old, muddy, rutted roads to deer woods have many encounters with bogged hunters seeking their help.
Use common sense and avoid unnecessary hardship. If you are going to travel one of these roads, get out of your vehicle and check out the pot holes and ruts before endeavoring to cross them. Don’t go in over your head. Remember that going in means you must come out. If it looks as if you may become stuck, keep moving, as this greatly decreases your chances of getting bogged down.
Keep up good speed over sand or gravel especially. You may let some air out of your tires to give yourself more traction in snow, sand, or mud. If you have extra air stored in a tank or a cigarette lighter operated air pump, you are well prepared, but if not you will just have to take it slowly to a gas station. If you get stuck and your tires are spinning, let your passenger get out and push right from the beginning instead of after the rut is deepened. Here a stitch in time saves nine. If you bury your vehicle you will have to use that shovel you thoughtfully placed in the car or jack it up to put something under the tires for traction. In these conditions you will need a good piece of wood for the jack to keep it from burying itself. When attempting to drive out, shift from drive to reverse in automatic transmissions or from second gear to reverse in manual and rock out. If you have a handy power winch attached to your vehicle that you can hook up to a tree you are in luck. A less expensive come-along tool can be very useful. Improvisations made with ingenious use of available materials have gotten many a wayfaring hunter out of a rut.
It is a good idea to carry alone some or all of these materials for getting stuck: winch or comealong, good bumper jack, block of wood, short-handled shovel, pair of grate tracks, pull chain or tug rope, tire inflation device.
If you should get stuck or have a breakdown, be patient and wait for another vehicle to assist. Don’t panic. Carefully build a fire to keep warm if necessary. Even in the most remote area someone should come around eventually. If you consider it a better move to seek help, then leave a note stating your intended direction. To avoid misunderstanding you may wish to leave a note on the windshield explaining who you are and what you are doing.
Even if you are so far out in the wilderness that you would never expect anyone else to come there, and you are not stuck, you should leave space for others to park. Be sure to park your vehicle in a way that is considerate of others. It is courteous not to block roads or take up space other drivers may need to turn around. Avoid parking in fields and crops and leaving ruts in the fields to create poor farmer relations.
Park your vehicle in a location where it could be watched. Few thieves will be foolhardy enough to risk being shot at by an armed hunter who may be watching or may be appearing at any moment. Anti-hunter fanatics have been known to slit tires and otherwise vandalize hunters’ cars. Likewise, greedy, land-dominating hunters who are unwilling to share their hunting site may seek to run you off by damaging your vehicle. It is a good idea to cover any valuable temptations visible to thieves.
An effective auto heater may be a necessity in colder areas. To be without one may be life-threatening.
Deer are not usually afraid of moving vehicles and rush off only when the vehicle stops. A deer within hearing distance is well aware of a stopped car and knows what a car door sounds like. The squeak of a car door may put the local trophy on the defensive for the rest of the day. When launching your hunt, make as few noises with your vehicle as possible, and you will enjoy increased success.
With deer poaching being such a problem in many regions, deer are wary of automobiles. Cut your headlights as you enter an area to hunt and use your parking lights to creep along the remainder of the way if this can safely be done.
Carry a basic repair kit that includes at least a crescent wrench, pliers, and a screwdriver along with standard tire changing tools. Having a screwdriver handy more than once has made the difference between a good hunt and a bad one.
We can only hope that three- and four-wheelers won’t be recreational slobs during the deer season when hunters are trying to be the least disturbing as possible.
A working horn is useful for calling other hunters and signaling for help.
Be careful when operating winches. Always be mindful of the possibility of cable break or release under stress. Stay protected from cable whiplash. The floor mat from your vehicle or your hunting jacket are handy to be placed on the tightened cable to foil the backlash.
Stitch Kit Temptation
Stitch Kit Temptation
Stitch Kit Temptation