I only own two acres, but am blessed with the chance to hunt hundreds of pristine private acres in Michigan’s heavily hunted southern farm fields. The best part about it is that it doesn’t cost me a dime! However, I do pay for the chance to hunt with blood and sweat, but no tears–just hard work.
Many people ask how I have gotten so “lucky.” I don’t take offense to the question, but do clearly let them know that I’m not lucky; just motivated. Every landowner in the area knows that I’m a hunter who is willing to work for access to private land. I have developed great relationships with several of them and work hard for the chance to hunt their property. Sometimes I don’t ever even step foot on the property during hunting season, but it’s nice to know I have access to it if need be.
I’ll do anything for hunting rights such as house sit, feed animals, do farm chores, mow lawns, cut wood, plant food plots, create trails, post the perimeter with no trespassing signs, bale hay, and so on. Regardless of the task, rest assured, ScentBlocker has gear that I use while doing “hunting work.”
Cutting wood is my favorite way to earn a chance to hunt for two reasons. One, I like to cut wood. I appreciate the exercise and the chance to be outside using chainsaws. Two, I heat my home and hot water with wood. There’s something primal about cutting wood and heating with it. I have to cut wood anyway, so if I can get free wood and gain access to hunting land, it’s a no-brainer for me. For someone who doesn’t burn wood, take it and sell it. All over craigslist people are selling firewood. It’s a lot of work, but selling the wood will at least help offset the cost of fuel and time.
Many times the farmer or landowner will want the wood. That’s fine, just look at it as a way to earn the chance to hunt without spending a lot of cash.
When I cut wood I like to wear my ScentBlocker Recon gear. Recon is lightweight, durable, moisture wicking, and burr/thorn resistant. Often in the past my skin would look like I battled a wood chipper and lost. Now, with my Recon gear, cutting wood doesn’t have to be a bloodbath.
I still always wear a safety helmet, steel-toed boots, and chainsaw chaps. Invest in high-quality wood cutting gear; it may save a life and it’s well worth it.
Many landowners aren’t hunters, but moved to the country to be closer to nature. I have found that these people like to have well-maintained trails on their property. These trails can be anything from wood hauling two-tracks, to horse trails or simple hiking paths. Regardless of the intent, trail creation and maintenance is no joke. Once again, I use my Recon gear. Many trails are simply overgrown with massive, aggressive thorns. The ripstop Recon gear holds up perfectly to them, and after a while of bushwhacking, I have re-gained control. Other times, the trails don’t exist yet, and I need to bring the chainsaw along. No matter the purpose of the trail, or how much effort it takes to create it, I have found that deer and turkeys use them more than the landowners! Naturally, these trails make great places to hang a fall ambush treestand.
Everyone loves food plots! But only after someone has tried to create one do they then only realize how much work they are. At times, it’s as simple as frost seeding clover in late winter. Most of the time, though, a food plot requires a lot of backbreaking labor starting with the cutting and removal of trees and continuing throughout the summer in the form of mowing and spraying. Regardless of the food plot task, Recon Lifestyle gear is perfect for it. Light, comfortable, and flexible; this gear will also stand up to the roughest bark and nastiest thorns Ma’ Nature can throw at us. Plus, the shirts are ventilated allowing for maximum cool comfort on those brutally hot summer days.
Ahhh, baling hay! What an amazing experience…when I was 14. Now, in my mid-30s, I’m not so fond of it anymore. I really appreciate the Recon gear for its durability and moisture-wicking qualities when tossing around a few hundred square bales. I still bale every summer, with a smile on my face. Baling hay isn’t as easy as it used to be, but knowing that I am earning hunting rights through the ordeal helps it be more bearable. I do also smile watching my own kids toss bales and learn some of life’s important lessons; like wear long sleeves and gloves. Someday they’ll learn, and when they do, they’ll probably be thankful for Recon gear as well.
Try as I may, I’ll never convince my wife that fishing is work. Regardless of her ill-informed opinion, ScentBlocker’s Recon Lifestyle gear reminds me of the fishing clothes I bought when I was a younger and richer man. They’re perfect for a hot day on the lake. The pants are incredibly comfortable, perfect for squatting down to take fish off and popping back up for another cast. The shirt sleeves are easily rolled, and the back is ventilated. This stuff wasn’t designed for fishing, but it could have been.
Whether it’s Recon gear or Recon Lifestyle clothing, this stuff is perfect for any sort of manual labor or physical fun. Light, wicking, durable, and comfortable; the Recon series is as addictive to wear as it is pleasant to look at. Try some Recon gear soon. Justify the purchase to your significant other with, “I can use this stuff to do ____________” and fill in some chores from the honey-do list.
Images courtesy Jason Herbert