Tag Archives: survivor

Coastal Survival

If you live near the coast, you’re in a unique position allowing you to utilize resources from both land and sea. Since there have been and will be many land survival articles, I will focus on the sea aspect in this one.

We’ll start with water. Of course you can’t drink seawater,dis_process until you take the salt out. So how do you take the salt out? There are 3 principle types of desalinization, electrical, thermal, and pressure. Electrical desalinization is a process utilizing an electrical field to remove the salt. It’s technical and papers have been written by universities about it. Due to its complexity it’s really not a helpful process for the average person. Pressure desalinization is the act of using centrifugal force to pull the salt out of the water. Thermal desalinization is the oldest and most natural form of removing salt from seawater.desalinazation So natural, that it occurs by the sun everyday around the world. The water vapor forms clouds and then is released back to earth as rain. We can simply replicate this process a couple different ways. Either using a heat source and distilling the water, or utilizing the suns radiation in a solar still to evaporate the water.

Shelter on the ocean is a serious problem. If you’re in the ocean, you have two serious concerns hypothermia and shark attack. Hypothermia is when the bodies core temperature falls below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. hypothermiaDue to water being an excellent conductor of heat, it can pull the heat out of a body, and since we lose like 80% of our body heat through our head and neck, keep them out of the water. Also don’t shed clothes, they will act as a barrier and your body will heat the water between your skin and your clothes acting as an insulation layer between you and the outside water. On a long enough timeline everyone’s survival rate drops to zero. If the water temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit the danger for shark attack is elevated. The lower the water temperature, the greater the risk of hypothermia due to prolonged exposure, when exposed to cold water the Coast Guard’s 1-10-1 rule applies. The first stage in cold water exposure is Cold Water Shock, you have one minute to control your panic. Studies show that 20 percent of people exposed to cold water die in the first minute; they panic when they are first immersed, breathe in cold water and drowned. The next phase is Cold Water Incapacitation, over approximately 10 minutes you will lose effective control of your body, fingers, hands, legs and arms. You need to deal with self rescue during this brief phase because your ability to swim will become greatly reduced as time passes, if you aren’t  wearing a life jacket at this point and are unable to get out of the water, the odds are pretty good you’re going to drown. The last phase is Hypothermia, you have approximately 1 hour, depending on water temperature, and physical condition until your body shuts down, you lose consciousness and die.fishTrap

Another thing the ocean has in abundance is food; in the form of fish, shellfish and water fowl. Since this isn’t a hunting or fishing article, I won’t get in depth into gathering food but will touch on a few gathering techniques. You can of course always fish with a hook, line and pole. But there are several ways to harvest fish without a line and hook. There are several different types of commercial fish trap available for purchase, but you can also make one from sticks and twine, or using sticks in the sand you can make a tidal fish trap.fishspear16 Making a fishing spear is also an option, it’s a little more complicated than just sharpening a stick, but still not very technical.

When you live near the ocean, like coastal dwelling people throughout history, you must master the sea and to do so you’re going to need a boat. I’m going to talk about boat building next week, but will talk this week a little about some aspects of their use.

When you’re standing on the beach and looking out to sea, due to the curvature of the earth, the horizon is only 8 miles away. You can see larger objects such as cruise ships or aircraft carriers out to 10-12 miles depending on their height but a small motor boat or row boat, you would be lucky to see at 8 miles. If you were sitting in a canoe or kayak out in the water your horizon would be down to perhaps 5-6 miles. This comes into play when we start talking about navigation.N-chart_11451-9

Whether you’re navigating on land or on sea, before you can plan where you’re going; first you must know where you are. To know where you are, you need a map or chart, a compass, and a straight edge. There are a few different grades of certainty that I want to talk about. If you look on your map and find a tower, an antenna, or even a notable landmark or pier that you can see from your location; take a bearing to the object and lay it out on your map with your straight edge, what you have now is a line of bearing. Find another object that is like 50-60 degrees off from the last, and lay it out on your map, you now have an estimated position. Repeating the process and at the point where the 3 lines meet is a fix, for most of what we’re doing here an estimated position will work for what we need, if you’re navigating a deep draft ship in close proximity to shoal water, knowing your exact location is crucial, however if you’re in a row boat, and you know where you are within 100 or 200 yards, you will be fine because from there you can visually navigate to where you want to go.


Mountain Survival

If you live in the mountains, you’re probably aware of the unique hazards associated with this environment. You may get something out of this week’s article but it is meant for people that are either city dwellers or live down in the flat. It will be a big help to the people of California that are trying to escape overhiker the mountains before Governor Moonbeam builds his wall. Seriously though, the effects of altitude on the body, environment and weather make mountain survival truly unique.

If you find yourself having to cross large mountain ranges, stick to the passes or canyons. Figuring that it would be shorter to go over the mountain, rather than around it may be true for birds but unless you’re in an airplane, it’s not so for humans. They may not look steep from a distance and even as you begin scaling them they may not seem bad, until they are.mountain Nonacclimatized individuals rapidly ascending above 3,000 meters (9800 feet) are at risk of developing high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), a life threatening condition where the air pockets in the lungs fill with liquid.

Many people are afraid of bears or mountain lions or wolves or some such animal, that they are going to be attacked or eaten, but you are far more likely to die from the elements. The mountain will kill you before something that lives on the mountain will.

I will include a quick note about wild animals… For the most part they are more afraid of you than you are of them. There are very few actual man eaters in the mountains.mountain-lion-on-rock_jpg_adapt_945_1 Even grizzly bears and mountain lions would much prefer easier prey than humans. That said there’s no sense tempting fate, so when encountered give them a wide berth, but DO NOT run from them. This same advice should include ANY large animals that have young with them. You seriously don’t want to get between momma and her baby! Your food can attract animals, especially meat, so take care to keep any that you may be carrying in airtight wrapping.

Temperature can be a killer on the mountain. During the spring and fall, the daytime temperature can be, depending on altitude, up in the 70’s or 80’s (Fahrenheit) but at night can still get down below freezing. So it’s very important to layer your clothes! If you’ve been out hiking all day and your clothes are sweaty and wet, and then the temperature drops off fast at night you could find yourself in a hypothermia situation.

Weather at high altitude can change rapidly, due in part to the more powerful and steady winds aloft. Also as water vapor forms clouds and is blown across the mountains, even if it doesn’t become a storm,shelter due to the resulting contact with the ground, water condenses on objects making you and your gear wet. As I talk about in The Rule of 3’s, one of the first things you should think about, especially in a mountain environment is protection from the elements. Starting with your clothes, you should have at least 2 ways to stay dry, and a method of building and/or maintaining a shelter.

Another concern is the need for water. The air at high altitude is very dry (when there’s no precipitation present) especially in the winter when the moisture in the air is frozen. This leads to… DON’T EAT THE SNOW! Although it satisfies thecreek need for water, it erodes the need for shelter; in that it lowers the core body temperature and can lead to hypothermia. There is a long running myth that fast moving water is safe to drink, all ground water found in nature should be treated or filtered before consumption. There is the possibility that you will be okay drinking it, however any bacteria present could result in stomach cramps, diarrhea, even parasites. I don’t think I need to tell you that if you’re running from Governor Moonbeam’s stormtroopers, drinking bad water will really slow you down!



Urban Survival

In the United States, 80.7 percent of the population lives in an urban area, according to the 2010 census which is the latest census data available. Many of us would love to live on our own plot of a thousand acres, off grid and self sufficient or our own private island, but for most of us it’s just not a reality. When life gives you lemons, you can just be sour, or you can look at the bright side, take stock of your resources and make lemonade. If you are like me and although you would truly prefer to live on a mountaintop somewhere, but due to the circumstances you find yourself in, created by the choices you’ve made over your life thus far; your preference has to take a backseat to the realities and responsibilities of the life that you have created. Just because you work and live in an urban area, doesn’t mean you’re any more or less vulnerable than the person that lives on the mountain. highway

In the city you don’t normally have to worry about wolves or bears, but there is the potential of human predators that can cross your path. When living in the city there are two different times of concern: everyday life and life after TEOTWAWKI. Generally speaking in everyday life, minimizing your chance of becoming a victim can be done through situational awareness, attitude, and body language. One thing about living in or near the city; if you want to protect your family and prepare for any emergency, embracing technology is a necessity.

One night last May the wife and I were sitting in an upstairs room of our house that overlooks our driveway, watching a movie. The following morning, my wife got in her car to find out it had been burglarized! They didn’t take a whole lot, just a few CD’s, a box of .380 ammo and her garage door remote.home-security-cameras-480pix I zeroed out all the garage door codes and paired new remotes and installed a day/night vision HD security camera system. Lesson learned, no matter how nice the neighborhood, there is always the potential for theft. Another thing that I am in the process of doing is converting my home to a smart home system, utilizing the z-wave and zigby technologies as well as wifi. I have a hardwired security system but want the added flexibility of a wireless system.

Other basic steps for hardening your home against intruders:

Doors, make sure all your exterior doors are solid core and deadbolts go without saying. Take the screws out of the existing plates in your door jams and replace them with 3 inch screws, do the same with the hinges. The longer screws will go through the door jam and into the double studs inside the wall on each side of the door. If the hinges face outside replace them with hinges that the hinge pins are not removable. Consider installing a separate steel security door in addition to other external doors.

Windows, during normal life there isn’t much you can do except lock them and have window sensors and breaking glass detectors, unless you wantwindowBars to live with bars on your windows. However, you can precut plywood for each of your windows. In the event of a storm or an SHTF event you will have the plywood sheets cut and labeled; use 3-3 ½” hex head lag bolts with washers to bolt them to the studs and plates inside the wall around the window opening.

Security lights and motion sensors are a big deterrent for criminal activity. Turn on the lights floodlightsand the cockroaches run for cover. Inexpensive exterior lights can be purchased with motion sensors attached from most hardware stores.

Monitored security systems and their signs are also a huge deterrent. Actually it’s the signs that scare off the bad guys. Actually the average response time of police to a 911 call in the U.S. is 10 minutes, if they come at all to a house alarm. In cities like Los Angeles or Salt Lake police won’t respond to home alarms unless they have an eye witness like a private security company.

In an SHTF event, more often than not the best course of action is to shelter in place, unless like in the case of a storm or other emergency where burglarcompetent governmental agencies have called for an evacuation. If after such an event, a real and legitimate government has not been reestablished in the area, you may need to defend borders until such time as it has been reestablished. In that case, what you have or more accurately what people think you have can make you a target. In an urban area your greatest threat is the rest of the starving, sick and scared population.

Another thing about an urban area is the plethora of resources in a post TEOTWAWKI event. While there is game to hunt in the country, in the city and surrounding area there are rail yards, steel plants, lumber yards, warehouses, cold storage, dry storage and many other places, even national guard armories in a post apocalyptic world.



Bushcraft: Time and Direction

This week we’re going to cover some bushcraft basics. Knowing an approximate time of day or night is a useful ability when hiking, camping or working outdoors. When out in the wilderness you should always have a compass, but if it should become lost or broken, knowing how to find your way is pretty important.

We’ll begin with some global facts. Both the sun and moon rise in the east and set in the west. In the northern hemisphere they track through the southern portion of the sky and in the southern hemisphere the reverse is true. In the mid latitudes of the northern hemisphere during the summer there is approximately 14 hours of daylight and 10 hours of dark;timezone while in the winter there is 10 hours of daylight to 14 hours of dark. The southern hemisphere is exactly the opposite from the northern and around the equator it is basically 12 hours of each all year long extending to the mid-latitudes in the spring and fall. Noon or “high noon” occurs at the high point of the sun tracking through the sky if you live in the center of your time-zone and it isn’t daylight savings time. As an example, in Chicago in the summertime noon would occur 30 minutes prior to the sun reaching its zenith. Add an hour for daylight savings time and subtract 30 minutes because Chicago is on the eastern side of its time zone. Therefore the sun would actually zenith at 12:30 pm.

Knowing when noon is and what part of the year we are in allows us to divide the sky into segments, between 5 and 7 on each side of the zenith depending on the season. So if you have a compass but no watch you can tell the time by the suns position.

If you have a watch but no compass point the hourwatch-as-a-compass1 hand at the sun then put a blade of grass or small twig across the watch halfway between the 12 o’clock position and the hour hand; in the northern hemisphere the half way position is south and the opposite end is north, the opposite is true in the southern hemisphere.

Another useful thing to be able to estimate is the amount of daylight remaining. As the sun begins to get close to the horizon, hold your hand sideways at arms length with the fingers parallel to the horizon, each time-until-sunset-3finger width between the sun and the horizon represents approximately 15 minutes until sunset.

All of the methods above can be duplicated at night with a full moon. It’s when the moon isn’t full that things become a bit complicated. Look at the phase of the moon and divide the circle of the moon by the number of segments of hours in the night. For example in the summer divide by 10 in winter 14, counting from the right side the number of dark segments tells how many hours before sunrise the moon will set in the case of a waning moon. In the case of a waxing moon it tells how many hours after sunset the moon will rise. By knowing what time the moon will rise and set allows us to know when the moon will be at zenith thus directly south in the northern hemisphere. So in the case of the moon graphic,moonPhase on a summer night, the moon is divided into 10 increments, the dark portion is 2 increments therefore the moon will set 2 hours before sunrise. In this case, sunrise corrected for daylight savings time would be approximately 6:00 am and sunset would be 8:00 pm, moonrise would be 2 hours before sunset and moonset would be 2 hours before sunrise, or moonrise at 4:00 pm and moonset at 4 am. Therefore the moon would be at zenith at 10:00 pm, or directly south in the northern hemisphere.


Having FON Yet?

According to international law, all sea bordering countries are allowed to claim 12 miles off their coast as their sovereign water. Outside 12 miles from every country is considered international waters and can be used by any other country for any internationally legal use. With every rule there are always exceptions. One such exception is that if the sea lane is less than 12 miles wide and there is international water on either side of the sea lane, free travel must be allowed. There are other exceptions as well, but the primary one that I want to discuss is when a country tries to claim more than the 12 miles. This is pretty common because the 12 mile limit is supposed to follow the coastline, however sometimes a country will have a gulf that exists adjacent to their  country and although they’re only entitled to 12 miles off their coast they will claim the whole gulf. After a period of time, that country will then go to the United Nations and claim that since no other countries use that waterway, it should be internationally recognized as theirs.map In places where there are internationally contested waters the US Navy will periodically conduct Freedom Of Navigation (FON) operations. Where a ship will navigate through the contested waters and their movement will then be sent to the UN to prove that it is indeed not undisputed water and that other countries do use it. You may be thinking right now that it’s not their place, why doesn’t the US just mind their own business? Great question let me give you an example. Say Country B claims the whole gulf instead of just the 12 mile limit. If left undisputed, the fishermen from countries A and C couldn’t fish the very rich fisheries in the gulf which they should be able to do.

It’s all very interesting but, so what? Why am I bringing this up? Well its relevance is very simple. We, all must occasionally conduct FON Ops. I’m not talking about buying a boat and heading to some disputed water. I’m talking about exercising your rights sometimes just because you have the right to do it! I’m talking here about peaceful protest, speaking your mind and letting your voice be heard, carrying a gun if and when you can (NOT ILLEGALLY!),chl if the police want to look around your property or search your car, make them get a warrant. Look I’m not saying from now on lets all just be argumentative, I’m not saying that at all. Let me relate an experience that happened to me recently.

People that know me can attest that I’m a pretty big gun rights advocate, not that I’m an activist or anything. I just believe passionately in my Second Amendment rights, that it’s the 2nd that give the rest teeth, and if it goes away the others will follow. As I’ve stated before, I live in Texas and have had a Concealed Handgun License for years. For those of you that don’t know, as of January 1st 2016, anyone that possesses a CHL in Texas, can now carry an open handgun. In other words, handguns, if carried in a designated manner, no longer have to be concealed. I have a full sized 1911 .45 ACP that I have rarely carried because it’s so large that it’s difficult to carry concealed, but it’s also my favorite gun to shoot and the one that I am most accurate with. When the new law passed, I thought “I will finally get to carry my 1911” and occasionally I do, in a shoulder holster.shoulderholster Last week I was shopping in Costco warehouse near my home. I’ve been a member there for over 11 years and have been in there several times, open carrying since it was legal to do so. I was approached at the back of the store by what turned out to be a manager, who informed me that my gun was not allowed in Costco, I asked if it was because I was open carrying, because they didn’t have the required signage prohibiting it. He asserted that all guns were prohibited. To make a very long story short, I left with a refund of my membership fee and vowed I would never go back. I then appealed to the corporate office, hoping that it was just an antigun manager and that I could at least carry concealed in the store.  The response that I got from Costco corporate headquarters was actually more ridiculous than what I was told at the store. I was told that for the safety of Costco guests and staff no firearms were allowed on the premises. I say more ridiculous because most mass shootings happen in gun free zones, so by banning guns they’re actually increasing their risk factor. DS-mass-shootingsI have been asked by friends and associates why, I didn’t just leave and come back either without a gun or just carry concealed. The answer is this: to carry after I have been verbally notified that it is not allowed makes my doing so a crime; to not carry and continue to shop there, requires that I compromise my beliefs and in my eyes at least, put the lives of my family and myself at risk.

Folks, like I said earlier, I’m an advocate. I truly believe more guns make a society safer. To that end, I refuse to do business with companies that don’t allow some form of handgun carry. I understand property owners have rights too, if they don’t want people walking around their store with a hand cannon on their hip, I will still do business with them if they will allow me (and others) to carry concealed. If, like in the case of Costco, they ban all firearms from their store, I believe their policy is foolish and dangerous and I will spend my money elsewhere. Studies show that 32% of Americans own guns. If those gun owners stopped doing business with companies that are openly hostile to gun ownership, those companies profits would tumble to the point, they would necessarily be required to change their policies or go bankrupt.deathsUS

I’m merely using gun ownership as an example; there are many issues out there that people feel strongly about. Take a stand and stop supporting something that you disagree with by blindly going along. Before you start with, one person can’t make a difference, you’re right, one can’t, but it has to start somewhere and if everyone took a stand for what they believe in, then we will make a difference. This includes these Hollywood celebrities that use their popularity to further a cause. If they come out against something you’re passionate about, blacklist them. There are several stars that I won’t watch a movie just because they’re in it! And I’m a big movie fan! I have purchased over 500 movies.

Go out there and exercise your Freedom Of Navigation! Are you having FON yet?


Traditionally Ghillie

Guest post by Kenny Hearrell

I had spent most of the summer watching 3 mature whitetail deer in the thirteen hundred foot tall hills in southeastern Oklahoma. white-tailed-buck-New-ZealandAll three of them had been using well worn travel paths, along the tops of the hills, hitting the corn that had been put out, but mainly eating on the abundant acorns that the mature oaks nestled up on high had been producing. Almost as if a magical clock had rung its bell, they all disappeared in mid October, leaving only a few small bucks, some does, and a massive army of pigs in their place. Bow season had started up, and the big boys that we had been watching had vanished.

My first thought was that the pigs had run them off the land that we were hunting. Seeing as one of the boars that seemed to show up at every stand was in excess of 400 pounds, I wouldn’t want to stay around either. After the last three bow hunting trips I’d gone on, not seeing one single deer, I decided to do some in season scouting of the property that I was on. Coming off the tops of the hills, armed with my bow, some topo maps, and a light rain to mask my movement, I worked my way around the funnels and creeks that run throughout the property. The upper areas that I had been setting up in were open areas, with grand oak trees interspersed with mature pine and cedar trees. The bottom areas were the exact opposite, thickets and immature stands of thick pine groves that would not support any kind of stand. It was at this point that I made my discovery, one that fired me up for my next set of off days to hit the woods again.

In the bottom part of where three hills converge I found a rub line in an immature stand of pines,deer-rub a rub line that would have excited any hunter. Along with a multitude of trashed young pines, every other brush and small tree in the area had been either rubbed and some even pushed into the ground. The damp ground also gave up signs of many big whitetails, and the tail tale sign of where our deer had turned to spending their free time.

As I looked at all the new sign that I had stumbled upon, I soon noticed that there was no good trees to hang a stand or to lean a ladder stand against. No despair came over me though. I knew that it was time. Time to break out my ground game. Time for some eye to eye hunting, on their level, mano a deero. A new excitement came over me as I packed my way back up to the camp to load up for the drive home.

“Time to break out the ghillie suit” I happily exclaimed to my wife when I got back home. “You didn’t see anything again?” as she smirked at me as I started unpacking my ghillie suit and prepping it for the next hunting excursion that I was already planning. “Its time to get on the ground and go after them, like the one that you helped me get loaded up when we lived up in north Iowa”. It was going to be at least another week until I could make the three hour drive back to my land to hunt,bullseye-kids-ghillie-suit-woodland due to work, but in my mind I was already working up my to do list for the next adventure. As I sat in the middle of the living room floor I asked my middle daughter to go get the vacuum cleaner as I picked out briars and leaves out of my suit from the previous years hunt. Picking out the leaves brought back lots of previous hunts memories.

You may be thinking ghillie suits and a traditional bowhunter magazine? Ghillie suits have been used for over a century, used by Scottish game keepers to fend off poachers and to look over their Lords game. The game keepers even developed tactics so that while wearing their suits they would grab game as it passed by them, and take back to their Lords castles for them to hunt in their courts.  The suits were eventually developed into tools for military use, and about the only difference in the suits that are used by our military snipers presently and what the Scots used, is the materials that are used to make them.

My first suit was of the home made variety. I went to my local army surplus store and purchased a one piece flight suit, and a roll of netting. The next stop was to the craft store where I purchased jute twine,ghillie01 clothes dye, and several rolls of dental floss. I must have spent forty plus hours of sewing netting, and the taking strands of different colored jute and tying into the netting until the entire flight suit was covered. I never used the suit for bowhunting though, at the time it was my varmint hunting suit. One of the advantages of the suit that I made was that it kept me plenty warm during the coldest part of the winter. But as one could guess, it was almost unbearably hot when the temperature got above freezing. As a birthday gift one year, my wife purchased me a new camouflage outfit, one that was made with “leafy” pieces of fabric sewed into it. Not quite a ghillie suit, but it served its purpose. Many years later, I would get my original suit out and attempt to use it for bowhunting, only to learn that the additional thirty plus pounds that I had gained from weight lifting, rendered it too small for me. It eventually was donated to a co-workers son that developed an interest in varmint hunting.

In 2009, at the peak of the whitetail rut in North Iowa, I had permission to hunt a corn farmers land. A few days after he had harvested a field of corn, I spotted several bucks running does in the open fields. The situation presented itself that I could set up on a fence row that had about a ten foot width of underbrush running its length, dividing the cut corn field and a grass field. Whitetail-Deer-Buck-e1379704530124-726x711The deer were using this as a travel route and they had created a super highway trail right down the center of this fence line. At the time, I was using my leafy suit, and almost the same situation presented itself that I face today, no trees to get up in the air in. So, I took a small stool with me, a buck decoy and armed with some parachute cord and some handheld pruners, I fashioned me a very crude ground blind on the fence line. As the sun came up that morning, the wind started to blow right into my face from the direction of the corn field. It was very cold that morning, and with the wind blowing it was down in the single digits. At around 8:30, I had decided that the cold was going to win out on me that day, that’s when I saw a buck chasing after a doe. My adrenaline started pumping as I watched them for over 45 minutes, several hundred yards out in the corn field. They would stop running and from where I sat, you could see the steam rise off of them. The chasing and stopping seemed like it lasted an eternity but as soon as it all started it was over with. Both the buck and doe disappeared from my vision.

As I sat there, I started thinking of packing all my gear back to the truck, which was about a mile away, and that’s when I heard it. I loud thump just eight feet to my left. I slowly rolled my eyes in that direction and there he stood. The eight point that had been chasing the doe earlier, and he was standing right next to me. He was intently focused on the buck decoy sat up out in his corn field and he was none too happy about it. He had both ears laid back on his head, and all the fur along his spine was raised up on end. He had no interest in me being there at all, as he quartered right in front of me, positioning himself between me and my decoy. At six feet, I drew back my bow and sent my G5 Montec tipped Gold Tip arrow straight through the buck. The arrow landed out in the corn field some forty plus yards away! The buck trotted over to where my decoy was set up, blood pumping out both sides of him, and using his last bit of effort, ran his antlers into the side of my decoy. That was the last step he took. I called my wife and hardly able to breathe told her, “get some warm clothes on; I am coming to get you”.

That was the start of my love of hunting from the ground, and utilizing a ghillie suit in my tactics. ghillie02During the 2013 bow season in Texas, I had a chance to hunt a friend’s property in West Texas, Even though there were plenty of trees to hang a stand from, I still chose to get up against a mesquite tree that had some brush growing around it, and I got myself set up on the ground. This time, I was wearing a ghillie suit made specifically for bowhunters. This one is designed so that the bow arm does not have any strings or other material that will catch your bow string once you draw or release your arrow. This suit was also bought for me by my wife (see the developing pattern that camo makes a good present for me!).  On the second day of the hunt, I had in excess of twenty deer surrounding my location, with eight of them being 8 pointers or better. I severe case of buck fever took over me and at 16 feet, I sent an arrow a foot over the top of a really nice 8 point.  Even though there was no deer loaded up, it was still very exciting to be experiencing hunting in this fashion.

My years of hunting from the ground and especially with a ghillie suit have taught me many things that I would like to share. First and foremost, if you make or buy a ghillie suit, absolutely stay away from flames, and consider the use of some type of flame retardant product on your suit. You do not want to be caught in one of these suits if it ignites. The many different types of fabrics and strings used could potentially be like dry tinder igniting should a flame get too close you. Second, I like to keep my suit as scent free as possible. I always use a scent free detergent, washing it in a 5 gallon bucket, and letting it hang dry outside. If you want to make your significant other extremely upset with you, go ahead and wash and dry your suit in the washing machine and dryer. Don’t ask me how I know this tidbit of information. In addition to keeping myself and my underclothes as scent free as possible, I also spray my suit down with scent killer before going in the field. Hunting on the ground you often lose the advantage of having your scent blow over animals as you would in a tree from an elevated position. My last piece of advice is about getting into and out of your hunting areas with your suit. The suits are designed so that everything in the woods sticks to them. That means, briars, mesquite branches, leaves, small insects and rodents, everything. About the only thing that I have not had stick in my suit is rocks. But I am not discounting that not happening either. My solution to this problem is that I simply roll my ghillie suit up into a tight roll and attach it to my backpack. Once I get to my hunt location, I take a few extra minutes to get into it, and then the hunt is on.