Time to get ready for hunting seasons
By Luke Clayton
Aug 23, 2015
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August is the month we hunters begin preparation for upcoming hunting seasons. Dove season is only days away, a trip to the range might be in order or possibly just a case of clay targets and an inexpensive hand thrower to refresh our shotgunning skills. For deer hunters, itís time to head to the deer lease and make sure the old cabin or RV spot and campground is serviceable for fall camping. Firewood needs to be cut and there might just be a leak or two in the old cabinís roof! August is the month that waterfowlers spend time painting their decoys or possibly shopping for a dozen or two new ones.

Then there are the upcoming big game seasons in the Rocky Mountain States. As Iím writing this weekís column, Iím right in the middle of packing all the necessary gear to spend three weeks in the high country of northern Colorado. My outfitting partner and I have two weeks of elk and bear hunters in camp this year and anticipations are high for a good hunting season.

The summer hunting shows are always a good place to see the latest innovations in gear that makes our hunts more pleasant and hopefully, successful. Here are a few items Iíve used that might make your hunting season an even better one!

GAME ALERT- If you hunt hogs much at night; I know you have experienced this scenario: You are watching a corn feeder with your night vision, anticipating the arrival of wild hogs at any moment. After a couple hours of ďmomentsĒ without seeing hogs, you neck is feeling a bit strained from constantly scanning the darkness via your night vision scope. Wouldnít it be nice if some way you could be alerted when hogs had arrived? Then you could simply ease into shooting position and collect your pork chops!  Well, take a close look at Game Alert by Hog Man Outdoors www.hogmanoutdoors.com . The Game Alert attaches to the bottom of your feeder via a powerful magnet and when hogs are in the area, they trigger a red light on the Game Alert that doesnít spook the hogs but letís you know itís time to make the shot.

There are many new products that help make your hunts fun and more productive. Pictured is the Game Alert by Hogman Outdoors. This unit attaches to the bottom of your feeder with a strong magnet. When game comes on the red light comes on signaling the hunter itís time to get ready to shoot. The light is used only as a means of signaling the hunter, not a light for illuminating the area around the feeder.

Iíve been using one of these very useful units for several months and it has made my night hog hunts much more relaxing. Itís important to note the Game Alertís sole purpose it to signal the hunter game is around the feeder. It is not a night light to illuminate the game.  Actually, the game never knows the light comes on.

NITE SIGHT- In order to harvest hogs or predators at night, you have to first see them. Night vision is traditionally extremely expensive with a price tag of from $3,000 to $5,000 or more!  Enter Nite Site, for around $600! Nite Site was developed in Great Britain and the company has recently set up operations in the U.S. with a headquarters in Ft. Worth.  Iíve been using my unit for almost 2 years and I absolutely love it. Most night vision depends upon ambient light but NS uses infra red technology and works as well on a pitch dark night as it does during a full moon. Itís also very serviceable for daytime shooting. Hereís how NS works: A little ďscreenĒ attaches to the top of your scope and a cable leading from the screen attaches to the eyepiece of your scope via a rubber adaptor. The scopeís crosshairs and whatever is seen through the scope is visible on the screen. Assuming your scope is sighted in, you simply put the crosshairs (visible on the screen) on the target and make the shot. There is no adjusting or ďsighting inĒ. If your scope is sighted in, you are ready to go. Iíve killed several wild hogs using this unit, itís awesome! Check it out at www.nitesite.com . You can search Nite Site on Youtube and watch many videos of the unit in action.

SMOKIN TEX ELECTRIC SMOKERS  has a new unit- Just about every hunter or fisherman I know enjoys eating the fruits of his or her outings. For many years, I have been using my Smokin Tex 1400. There is no telling how many pounds of wild pork, elk, venison and game birds I have turned into tasty meals with my smoker. After about 8 years of heavy use, it works as well today as when I first fired it up! Iíve found the 1400 model to be large enough for all my cooking needs but for those that need to prepare even more meat, the folks at Smokin Tex came out with the Model 1460. For many years, I lost a great deal of sleep staying up half the night keeping wood fire smokers fueled and at the just right temperature. Since I discovered Smokin Tex, I let my Smoker slow smoke game meat at around 190 degrees all night, while Iím sleeping! To check out the smokers, go online to www.smokintex.com.

SNAP LOCK HUNTING BLINDS  www.snaplockhuntingblinds.com- Itís time to get hunting blinds in place. Did you ever have a ďspotĒ back off the beaten path where you wanted a permanent blind but just couldnít get a heavy stand back through the cover? Check out the Snap Lock Hunting Blinds. They actually snap together and are ruggedly built. Each panel weighs about 15 pounds. You can carry the sides and roof back through the heaviest of cover. Once assembled, they are very sturdy and dry. I have been hunting from a couple of their models, one 4 foot by 4 foot and the other big enough to bowhunt from, itís 4 foot by 6 foot. Itís nice to have walls around you and a roof over your head when the those cold ďNorthersĒ blow through!

The-Eliminator spinner plate is an innovative new design that can be added to any deer feeder with a 1/4" motor shaft. When the motor spins, The-Eliminator drops down and throws feed. When the feeding cycle is complete the spring-loaded shaft returns the plate to the top position. Mount The-Eliminator against your funnel or downspout for a tight seal. It excels as a spinner plate for truck, ATV, and UTV feeders because it is nearly immune to the bouncing and vibrations typical of this application. Does The-Eliminator cost more than tradition spinners? Yes, but with ever-rising price of corn and protein it could easily pay for itself in a few short months. For more information, visit www.ultramaticfeeders.com

Listen to Outdoors with Luke Clayton and Friends each weekend on radio stations from Nebraska to Texas or anytime online at www.catfishradio.com. While visiting the radio site, check out Lukeís new book Kill to Grill, the ultimate guide to hog hunting.