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I am still in Montana hunting pheasants. This year I have been shooting very well. Much better than usual. Many days I am bat

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  • #16
    I have been hunting fifty years this season. Bubba, I probably have a thousand percent more hours in the field than you. And most of those hours were spent walking and tracking, not sitting in a blind or stand. I am well-acquainted with my limits and my comfort zone. You, on the other hand, know nothing about them.

    My dad started me bird hunting in Montana in 1963. He never carried water or trail mix or sandwiches and Dad certainly enjoyed his food and drink ... exceedingly. Many others have hunted birds with me over the years ... my brothers, cousins, and friends. As far as I know, none have carried water or snacks. Big game hunting, on the other hand, is a different matter. I'm usually hunting alone and in the wilderness. There's no cell coverage or ranch homes. I carry food, liquids, fire starter, batteries, knife, flashlight, GPS, flagging, TP, a bit of first aid, balaclava, rain gear (if needed), etc. Never know when I might need to spend the night on a track.

    I did not anticipate having to work so hard to get my birds yesterday. But it really wouldn't have mattered much if I had. Only difference being that I probably would have left old Pearl in the vehicle (I'm a bit surprised to see she seems to be doing just fine today). Hunting this way is not something one can just drop into. And, of course, I didn't just drop into it. I have been hunting all day several times a week for months now. Yesterday I did not get hungry until the hunting was done and I was nearly back to the vehicle. Never did get real thirsty. That would not be the case if I had just arrived in Montana! When big game hunting I always leave a couple of colas in the rig to help rehydrate and keep me alert for the drive home. Out here I usually just pick one up if needed at the grocery store on the way back.

    It's no wonder you have to carry water if you're eating trail mix. Gad, that stuff just makes me thirsty.

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    • #17
      Ontario, it much weight to carry a small water bottle, a brownie, a candy bar or even a sandwich.

      What is you fell and got hurt with your cell phone working in that drop zone location.
      Would you eat raw pheasant?

      That water/food energy boost could of increase your walk to eighteen miles.

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      • #18
        sorry "not" working

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        • #19
          Jhjimbo: You're right about the boots! The new Columbia boots are great ... so far. Extremely comfortable, lightweight, warm, no leaks. What a world of difference.

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          • #20
            Gary, if I broke a leg I guess I could crawl to the busy US highway which is always in sight or one of three ranch houses in the area. When back in Ontario I also don't pack a lunch to walk my dogs a couple of miles through town to Tim Horton's (donut shop).

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            • #21
              Okay Honk!

              Concentrate! (if that's possible for you!)

              Hours, experience afield aren't the topic!
              The topic is: it's lunacy to go afield unprepared for at least SOME eventualities!
              I spent hours afield with my dad and gramps in east Texas. I flopped down and sucked water out of many a "spring branch" as my grampa called 'em. We didn't have beavers. Giardia wasn't a major concern.

              Since then I've learned some valuable lessons.
              Water (staying hydrated) prevents cramping!
              Staying hydrated also prevents kidney stones!
              Staying hydratedhelps you stay more alert!
              Gatorade ain't the best for hydration! Plain old water is!

              You don't need to tote a five course meal, or even a sandwich, but a fist full of trail mix will give you that energy boost needed to complete the task at hand.
              Food and drink help keep you calm and alert so that you can make those tough shots.

              You're pretty smug about going afield unprepared, and it's your choice.
              I'll take a snack and some water! ...just in case!

              BTW! That's awfully boastful talk for somebody that has no idea of my "outdoor experience"!

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              • #22
                This is getting pretty exciting. BTW it's nice to see someone else arguing besides me for a change, so I'll just sit back and watch. :-)

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                • #23
                  The "boastful talk" was merely a safe assumption given your insistence on carrying a lunch for a walk in the park.

                  Kidney stones are largely genetic. Had a bad episode back in 1978 ... the week I was doing my final exams for BA. Never had a problem since then. Possibly caused by being too lean then and playing a lot of basketball (not enough kidney fat for all that jumping and jarring). The beer was flowing freely that week so dehydration was hardly the issue. Beer did become a problem when bladder infection set in and I started tearing the fixtures off the washroom walls.

                  Now, Bubba, why don't you try to concentrate ... on the original question. I asked why would I become a better shot when there's fewer birds and I'm more run down. So, how does carrying water and snacks to be "more alert" help if my shooting has already improved to nary a miss? Frankly, I'm not sure how it could improve any more.

                  I wrote about this last year as well. At that time I observed that I seemed to shoot better at the end of the day when I'm more tired. There is, of course, a difference between shooting more accurately and more safely. When tired I am careful to compensate by taking the time to be more sure of my footing and checking my gun safety constantly.

                  I have been known to develop leg cramps if I overdue it the first couple of days hunting. Last year was a b*tch. But once I'm in the groove I never have issues. I try to kick up my milk consumption during hunting season. Calcium is key to cramp prevention. Eggnog is great stuff. High in calcium, vitamins, and protein plus some sugar for energy. I often drink nearly a quart when I get home at night.

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                  • #24
                    "...The beer was flowing freely that week so dehydration was hardly the issue..." per Honk

                    I rest my case!

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                    • #25
                      Honk,

                      Alcohol is a "diuretic"! Even an old east Texas redneck knows that! LOL!

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                      • #26
                        Yeah, my mom thought drinking caused the problem. Her mother was a hopeless alcoholic. Much to Mom's disappointment, the doctor would not concur with her theory that beer led to my kidney stones. But hey, what did he know. He was only a specialist in internal medicine. Anyway, during finals I was also drinking lots of other non-alcoholic fluids, particularly coffee.

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                        • #27
                          OH, Hydration(plain water) will help reduce the chance of kidney stones, ones that are made up of mostly calcium. If you are prone to them don't drink a lot of milk or use calcium based anti-acids. For leg cramps try a vitamin with magnesium, that is what the muscle is short of. The muscle is also calling for more blood circulation when it cramps. A bath will help promote circulation in the lower extremities.
                          On hunting: what is the sq. mile area you are hunting? How far are you at any time from the nearest ranch and how many birds do you think you walked by in that 12 mile hike? If you are in sight of a ranch all day I don't think you need much food, but you should have some water.
                          Your pee needs to be a light straw color, any darkening is a sign of dehydration.
                          When I lived in Nebraska I got two one day with my car - hit them at about 85mph and had to go in the body shop to fix the damage.

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                          • #28
                            jimbo

                            You're spot on!
                            But Honk is a brilliant man (heck, he's even eddicated!) and the consummate outdoors man/hunter!
                            ROTFL...CGU!

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                            • #29
                              Wow! Dallas and Carl, eat your heart out!

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                              • #30
                                I have lousy circulation in my legs, especially the left one. Have varicose veins that are downright frightening to look at. Often wear support stockings, especially when driving long distance. All things considered I do remarkably well. Haven't had a bout of kidney trouble since 1978 so doesn't seem I am "prone." I have put them through the wringer endless times since then.

                                Jimbo, I was hunting with all three dogs yesterday. Not much chance that we walked by many pheasants without putting them up. That little Britt has a wicked sharp nose on her! I'm seeing a lot fewer chicken tracks in the dry canal bed than normal. Numbers are definitely down.

                                The place I was hunting has multiple areas of habitat so it's a matter of cris-crossing the entire ranch bottom to cover all the possibilities. That's what puts on the mileage. The entire area is only about five miles long. Width varies. I have thoroughly hunted all of it in one day but that's really pushing it. Pearl can't hold up to those kinds of days any longer. It's not good for me to do it more than a day at a time either so today was our break. Damn temps are dropping to single digits so we won't be out very long tomorrow. The birds bunch up and hang in the sagebrush when it gets real cold. Hard to get close enough for a shot. It should be interesting.

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