The Crusty Lantern

Faithful lantern

Old faitful

The red lantern sputtered to life. Instead of being bright, it belched orange flames out the top, and black smoke escaped the flames. As the fuel pipe warmed, the orange flames subsided and with a soft woosh the mantle popped to life and a warm, bright light illuminated the campsite.

The old lantern had been on many adventures with me over the years. It was no longer shiny and sometimes it took a bit of coaxing to bring it to life, but we share a lot of wonderful memories. As I stare into the light, many of those memories come back to me. In some ways, they are etched into the surface of the lantern itself.

There is the crack in the globe from a thunderstorm that caught me by surprise while I was napping near that trout stream in North Carolina. Just one errant drop of cold water on the hot glass and a battle scar was born.

The pot metal frame around the controls and globe are pitted and show signs of rust. No doubt from the many late night blood trails followed to recover deer, the lantern often set on the cold damp ground to serve as a trail marker.

Inside the globe are the lifeless remains of numerous moths, mosquitoes and other flying insects that were also hypnotized by its light during camping adventures from early spring through late summer. Below the glow, the fuel tank was smeared with grease spatter from countless meals cooked on its companion stove, under the very light it provided.

So many memories, numerous stories, experiences and life lessons, told and re-told under the light of this crusty, old lantern. Yet, this lantern is not different from so many just like it: each with their own stories to tell, their own scars and distinguishing marks. How great it would be to hear them all.

Please head over and check out our new website “The Crusty Lantern”. While there be sure to subscribe as we will have our first giveaway soon and the winner will be drawn from the subscribers of the website. We will be publishing our first article tomorrow and hope to announce some gear giveaways very soon.

Tip of the Week – The Best Approach

The best approach

The author explaining how to best approach a stand to Thom

So you have found that perfect spot to catch a wary whitetail off guard. You have the perfect tree for your stand and it is located in the perfect funnel to bring old Mossy Horns into your shooting lane. There is still one key piece to this puzzle that is often overlooked. How to approach the stand.

I used to say deer were lazy, I have since changed that wording to something that sounds a bit less negative. Deer are “efficient”.┬áHumans on the other hand…….well, it is what it is, we can sometimes be a bit lazy. So when most think about how to get to their stand they simply base it on the path of least resistance and while this is one consideration it certainly should not be the only one.

After I have located a spot I plan to hunt I spend some time analyzing the situation to determine the best approach to my new spot. I go through a series of questions and weigh my options. Depending on the location and whether public or private some questions may carry more weight than the others. In almost every situation I at least consider the following:

  • Where do I anticipate the deer will be as I am making my way to the stand? Will they be bedded, feeding or in transition from one to the other?
  • What is the prevailing wind for the location? How can I approach without my scent being broadcast into the area I suspect the deer will be as I make my way to the stand?
  • Is there an approach that will be quieter, such as through a stand of pines.
  • What is the path of least resistance. This is more important during early season here in GA. I prefer to not be sweating profusely when I reach my stand.
  • Are there any terrain features I can use to my advantage to solve any of the previous questions? Creeks and drainage’s are at the top of my list of terrain features I can use.
  • If hunting public land, does my preferred approach force me on to private property. If it does I will either seek permission or find another path. Trespassing is never acceptable!

Once I have chosen a path I will use that path when scouting or checking trail cameras to commit it to memory. If it is a lengthy approach or in an area I want to stay out of I will store the route as a track in my GPS so I can enter in near darkness and find my stand without disturbing the area.

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