By Kevin Tate/Outdoors Writer
While the basic elements of wind, weather and moon phase keep the core of whitetail hunting the same, scientific advances on the periphery continue to make the tradition more enjoyable and safer for all.
Leading the charge among the hottest new deer hunting gear this fall is the Tree Spider Speed Harness by Scent Blocker.
Everyone who hunts from a lock-on, climber or ladder stand is already familiar with the nest-of-seatbelts-style safety harness that’s been around for decades. These harnesses are perfectly safe and comfortable if used correctly, but they can be a real hassle to put on, especially in the dark or by the glow of the dome light in your truck cab, because every part looks and feels the same.
No one wants to solve a strap puzzle in the dark while the clock’s ticking down to sunrise. In the past few years, several companies have offered versions of the harness that fit more like a regular garment, but many of these were either bulky by themselves or didn’t get along well with the clothes worn under or over them.
Making sure you have a safety harness you’ll actually wear correctly is about as important as it gets.
Base layers and outerwear alike have come a long way in the past three years thanks to the advent of antimicrobial fabrics, cloth engineered to discourage the growth of bacteria that generate what deer and other game identify as human scent.
Combined with carbon-enriched fabrics that filter scent, these garments, many by Scent Blocker, Rocky and Under Armour, add a scientific edge to the pursuit of whitetail deer. Look for garments advertising the use of silver-coated threads or other antimicrobial measures.
As always, no gear and gadget review would be complete without a mention of the Thermacell mosquito repelling system. Dollar for dollar, if there’s an item on the market that makes a bigger difference in the enjoyment of an early fall or late spring hunt, or any kind of fishing trip, I’d love to know what it is. About $30 gets a Thermacell kit. If you don’t have one, you’re missing out.