I have been tying flies professionally for many years, The invention of the Brush was one of the most significant developments in the craft. For most of that time two major companies have dominated that market. Well not anymore since Sight Cast Fishing Company came out with their Redfish Brushes.
Most, if not all brushes available today are very uniform in width with little “Fishy” characteristics. They look great in a vice but lack that fish appeal. This is where the Redfish Brushes shine. They are crazy all over the place in length giving a much better profile. They also have rubber legs built in the brush.
Redfish brushes don’t come in every color in the spectrum but, they do come in the RIGHT colors.
The brushes are destined for greatness in fly fishing shallow water.
Its tough to find gear, especially clothing, that is both high quality and functional. Cabela’s seems to have found that balance in the Prairie Runner jacket. Although probably not designed for the Southeast its a perfect fit. The coat is heavy enough for those rare 20 degree mornings yet light enough to wear up to roughly 50 degrees. Its tough to find an upland jacket that’s not just to darn hot for southeastern hunting conditions. The pit zips come in very handy when the temps push 50 during the midday.
The jacket features a front loading and backloading game bag than is more than generous in size. The game bag also has an internal suspender system to better distribute weight, that’s a huge plus when hunting pheasants and you are trying to carry 5-6 birds any distance at all.
This coat also has plenty of pockets. It has 4 zippered pockets and two bellows pockets. The bellows pockets will comfortably hold well over a box of 20/28 gauge shells apiece. It also has a pocket that is designed to hold your tracking/training remote. Most jackets have pockets but this one seems to have the right pockets!
I can say this jacket is in fact very water proof and breathable.
Most upland coats fail the range of motion test but not this one. The sleeves are designed to facilitate not just motion but the motion of mounting a shotgun and swinging through a bird. The polyester ” stretch” in the sleeve area helps that range of motion a lot.
Other features are the D rings positioned about the bellows pockets and the compartment for a water bladder.
Over all this coat gets 5 stars in the upland coat department.
I, like many others, am mourning the passing of the 2020 deer season. Now its time to pull stands, cameras, and blinds. In other words the not so fun part of season, but still a part of the experience nonetheless. However there are things we can all do to insure a successful season in 2021.
Mark new stand locations now– After all the hours in your current stands you have seen either new stand locations or a better place for your current setup. Those late fall/Winter trails won’t be easy to remember in 8 months. Once green up starts those late season trails will disappear. By now you know how the travel patterns change from early season to when the acorns fall and late season. More often than not the stand locations from October are not in optimal places for a December hunt.
Study your local food sources– Deer don’t move along a certain corridor by accident so when the season is over take a walk and figure out what made the deer move along those secondary travel corridors. Was a an adjacent crop field? Was it a lone source of water? Knowledge is power and since you’re no longer “hunting” deer now you can study those deer. Once I had an abrupt change in travel corridors that made no sense. After season closed I found that the neighbor has a large dove field every December. Thar winter wheat was enough to change the deer’s travel patterns during the late season weeks..
Tree stand maintenance- Once season is over and you have pulled tree stands its time to actually look at those stands. I am a ladder stand kind of guy so I am forever looking at welds, bolts, nuts and noting anything that makes noise when I move. After the season replace anything with broken or cracked welds
Over the years I have developed a fetish of sorts for knives. I have boxes full and none really became a true Everyday carry knife for an outdoorsman. I am an outdoorsman so i never fell victim to the “tactical” knife trap. I want a functional knife that I can open a package, dress out a brace of upland birds, or dress a deer. Several years ago a purchased a havalon brand knife but the blades were a pain to change, especially with wet hands. Then in 2019 I came across the Outdoor Edge 3.5 inch Razorlite EDC. The knife only weighs 2.8 ounces and the blades are simple to replace. Outdoor Edge designed a release button for the replacement blades rather than make the operator fight with the blade and risk injury.
The replacement blades are stiffer than the other brands and lock in tight leaving zero movement in the blade assembly. The replacement blades are made of 6mm thick 420 J2 stainless and they are literally razor sharp. I carried this knife for over a year and the blades stay very sharp for a long time. We dressed and deboned 4 whitetail on a single blade. It comes in a couple colors but I prefer the black/blaze orange for field work.
If I was rating this knife on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best it would be a very solid 5.