By CJ Rena Johnson
Getting Ready for the First
Hunt of the Year or of a Lifetime
Most of the hunters I spoke
with actually go so far as to wash their clothes
in unscented detergent and shower in unscented
soaps and shampoos before going hunting. You can
usually find these products readily available
anywhere you buy your hunting supplies.
Can you see the turkey?
also need to make every effort to cover up any
other smells by using such products as Scentlok®,
which is reported as one of the high-end
camouflage clothing product lines. They claim to
keep your perspiration and body scents away from
deer or other wildlife and everyone I talked to
had only good things to say about them and other
Furthermore, since most deer
hunting is done during the winter months,
remember to bundle up, but be aware cotton is
not recommended. It absorbs moisture, and you
are more likely to get cold and clammy.
Synthetics are typically the better way to go.
For really cold areas you might also want to
check into some other items like
battery-operated socks and products such as
Hothands®, which heat up when you activate them
and then stay warm for hours. They make them as
shoe inserts and for your hands. You can use
them anywhere you feel the need for a little
Now on to my favorite piece of
equipment; this is, of course, the ATV. There
are all kinds of ATVs available on the market
today. You can choose your favorite to get you
into remote areas that you just could not access
with your vehicle and that walking into would
take too long. An ATV is one of the best ways to
haul out your kill as well. Any kind of ATV
always beats no ATV at all, but be sure to check
new RUVs, such as one of my personal
Teryx NRA model that is designed
specifically with hunting in mind. You can check
these and others out at
This is just one of many such ATVs & RUVs
available on the market today.
There are all
kinds of accessories to use to equip any ATV you
choose for all aspects of hunting as well. Some
of those include winches, gun mounts, camouflage
seat covers, windshield covers and boots in
which to carry guns and ammo. To get your fields
and food plots ready there are all kinds of
disks, sprayers, and spreaders. Deer sleds and
skids are available to pull your kill back out
of the woods.
Camouflaged covers for your ATVs
can be used to hide them in the woods while you
are hunting. The list can go on as you explore
your personal interests. One of my favorite
places to shop for these and other accessories
is online at
ATV*092408. I also love an afternoon out at
such places as Big Bass Pro Shop® or Gander
Mountain®. Such places as Wal-Mart® usually
carry a large selection of hunting items as
well, so enjoy looking around for the best
available suppliers in your area.
also want to look into getting a good handheld
GPS system. There is nothing worse than having a
great trophy strapped to the back of your ATV
and be headed full speed back to camp to show
off to your friends and realize you keep passing
the same tree.
Most GPS units allow you to
mark several locations in memory so you can get
back to it easily, such as camp, your truck and
your new favorite hunting spot so you can hunt
there again next time.
Camo ATV with Gun Rack.
items that you might need out there in the field
include a good knife, a first aid kit, a
whistle, snacks, a bottle of water, and a good
flashlight with extra batteries.
Please keep safety in mind
and always use some aspect of the buddy system.
Either take someone with you that knows exactly
where you are going to be hunting, or let others
know where you are going and when you plan to
return. I know everyone has a favorite spot he
or she wants to keep secret, but always let
someone know where you will be, even if you have
to pick a non-hunter.
Radios are great to
have with you if you are hunting in low areas,
but you will need a backup source of
communication such as a phone on vibrate mode
especially if you are hunting in mountainous
areas. Often, the signal of a 2-way radio will
be blocked if you are on one side of a hill and
your buddy is on the other.
Other things to
keep in mind, where safety is concerned (and
safety is ALWAYS a concern!) is the blaze orange
clothing! Unfortunately, some hunters out there
still practice movement hunting! They are so
desperate for a kill; they will just shoot into
movement in tall grass, etc., hoping for a lucky
shot. Please always wear an orange vest or
something to make yourself seen on your way into
your hunting area. Any game that is going to see
you coming wearing blaze orange is going to see
you coming without it too, so you might as well
protect yourself from the ones with guns! In
some states you might be able to take it off and
stick it in your pocket when you are settled
down. However, be sure to check the game laws in
your state for their particular regulations, but
do not leave the safety of your vehicle without
it. Getting to and from your vehicle alive could
depend on it.
When I asked seasoned hunters
what their opinion of the most important piece
of equipment was in hunting and ATVing, almost
unanimously, I heard helmets, helmets, helmets,
and safety harnesses!
Some of the Blinds used by different
Even though in some
states helmets are not required for ATV use when
hunting, they are always a good idea. Accidents
can still happen even when going slow. Because
of this, you need to be protected.
I was surprised to learn was that a majority of
all hunting accidents occur at the tree stands
as a result of falling. A safety harness can
prevent most of the more common ones. So please
invest in a good one and wear it every time you
climb into your stand!
Whether you are new to
hunting or not, please remember what one expert
told me, “Always take time to read the rules and
regulations each year, as they change often; and
above all, use common sense and be careful!”
On a last note, again always remember to prepare
for the unexpected. As I always preach in
ATVing, enjoy the hunt/ride but prepare for the
As always, I hope you have an