Examining the ‘orange army’ and more outdoor news
Take a quick look around the outdoors world with a tip, a new piece of gear and more.
Tip of the week
It’s a simple thing that can make a big difference. If you’re hunting deer from the ground this season, standing at the base of a tree, take a moment when you first get there to clear the area around the trunk. Scrape away any leaves, limbs or other things that might go crunch when you move. Then, if a deer appears and you have to move slightly to one side or the other to take a shot, you won’t make any sound.
Gear of the week
Gear name: RuckUp
Company: Osage River (everybodyshops.com/ruckup-tactical-stocking.html)
Gear type: Holiday stocking
Product description: Hey, everyone else has gone tactical in recent years. Why not Santa Claus, too? At least you’ll be ready when that day comes if the Osage River RuckUp tactical Christmas stocking on the mantel or under your tree. It’s 17 inches tall and 8 wide, with a removable United States flag path at the top. Being tactical, it’s of course got MOLLE webbing, three D-rings, a pocket and two swivel carabiners, too. It’s made of heavy-duty nylon and reinforced-carry handle to lug around your loot. Oh, and in case you overbought and are having trouble stuffing everything into one of these, the RuckUp has a side zipper that allows the stocking to expand a bit and fit larger items.
Available options: This comes in black, OD (or olive drab) green and Marpat (short for Marine pattern).
Suggested retail price: $15.99.
Notable: You don’t have to forget your favorite canine friend. There’s a RuckUp tactical K9 dog stocking, too.
Outdoors oddity of the week
There’s a reason they call the surge of deer hunters taking to the woods each fall “the orange army.”
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s most recent report on hunting, fishing and wildlife-associated recreation, America had more than 11.5 million hunters in 2016.
Some states account for a big chunk of that. Texas always leads the way, accounting for 1.1 million or so all by itself. Rounding out the top five are Pennsylvania, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin, typically in that order.
Now, not all of those people are deer hunters. But, by most state wildlife agency accounts, 90 percent or better are.
That’s a lot of people with guns.
The New York Times reported a little over two years ago that the U.S. military was made up of 1.3 million active troops, with another 865,000 in reserve.
Assuming that number remains roughly the same, deer hunters outnumber members of the nation’s military by about 5-to-1.
They dwarf the militaries of other nations — Great Britain, France and Germany, to name a few — by even larger margins.