One of our recent gear winners, Tracy, just emailed me a discussion topic idea. She said:
_Darn it! I'm already addicted to hunting, do I really need to become addicted to blogging about hunting?_ Then she suggested we talk about: _Bad habits. For example, I have been repeatedly accused of violating all sacred scent control laws. I try, I really do, but I'm guilty of cross-hunting my wardrobe and have gotten lectured for wearing my “deer bibs” on a very cold rabbit hunt (or worse - a pheasant hunt with the dogs!). Tips? Experiences? Ideas? Anyone tried the at-home scent control pointers in F&S (was it October or September maybe?)_ I'm going to expand Tracy’s topic by talking about hunting habits in general — good, bad, whatever. We’ve been touching on the subject a little lately anyway. Dana mentioned reading a romance novel in her ground blind, and ANewMe2B said she’s been known to listen to audio books and work on her grocery list. For myself, I’ll admit to the habit of eating all my food way too early. It’s a silly weakness, but if there’s a snack close at hand — from an apple to a fun-size Snickers — half of my brain is always on the food. Little tricks like hiding it in an unlikely pocket so I don’t find it until later, or packing more food than I need so it will last longer just don’t work. My stomach is onto all my ploys, and no matter what, at some point way too early in the day, I’ll look in my bag and not believe that every single wrapper is already empty. Pathetic. As long as I’m at it, I’ll admit to another one. I pack too much. Way, _way_ too much. I’ve attempted to scale back, but it’s not easy, considering my un-killable impulse to prepare for every possible scenario — even if it would take a rift in the very fabric of reality to occur. I’m better than I used to be, though. On my first hunt, for whatever reason, I put two brand new boxes of ammo in my day pack. I have _no_ idea what I thought I was going to do with 40 some rounds in a 9-hour period, but I didn’t know what a day in the field would be like, and wanted to be prepared. I chalk that one up to a rookie mistake. Good habits include my self discipline. I was raised Roman Catholic, and thanks to a particular Sunday school teacher who shall remain nameless, I’m very good at sitting still when I need to. Aches, stiffness, cold — I manage to suffer through it all without incident. So what’s the good, bad, or just plain ordinary of your hunting behavior? And I’m not just talking about habits in camp or in the blind. Off the field, do you buy more gear than you necessarily need? Or maybe find yourself telling the same hunting stories a hundred times (not that there’s anything wrong with that). It would be great to hear there are other scent-control violators out there like Tracy, or over-packers like me (maybe together we can convince ourselves that those three extra pairs of socks can stay home).—K.H.