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Having a tough time looking for a chair blind

I have always been a female who does not want flowers, candy, or jewelry for gifts. Instead, give me a box of shotgun shells, camouflage jacket, new long underwear or socks and I’m ready to swoon.

You’ve noticed recently that rifle or shotgun supplies are getting more and more scarce on retailer’s shelves. I’m considering if I’ll have to hone my skills with a slingshot in coming days and seasons.

Last week I visited every sporting goods store in the area looking to replace my aged chair blind for this turkey season. I’ve used the chair blind with success every year for turkeys and deer since the year they first hit the market.

Guess what? Could not find one anywhere.

“We don’t sell them anymore” one salesperson told me. “I got tired of hunters bringing them back after the season!”

Now there were all kinds and styles of blinds in the stores, but none with the chair installed as part of the blind. About ready to abandon my search, I remembered a sporting goods store on the outskirts of town and with hope rekindled, I drove out there.

When I turned my car off the highway into their parking lot, I heard an explosion! My front tire had blown out so for the next few hours I was busy summoning the triple-A folks and waiting for their arrival, found out that store had no blinds either, and then I was facing the indignity of having to be towed home while having to buy a couple of new tires,

Totally discouraged, I turned to my last resort: eBay.

And there I found one lone chair blind so I sent for it. When it was delivered, I was so thankful that it was exactly what I wanted that I couldn’t wait to use it this spring. I have already sprayed it inside and out with tick spray.

I would be toting all the modern equipment — a blind, a set of decoys, an assortment of calling devices, cushion for sitting on the ground, insect repellent or a box that fits onto a blind window and sprays repellent when squeezed. It’s little wonder that so many choose to hunt near the road or their vehicle.

I have my lineup of yard sale boots and my kit of safety and survival items I consider essential to any hunting foray such as a space blanket, and any medicines I may need during the day or in a non-expected overnight stay. There’s matches, water, a thin rain coat for rain.

That is why most hunters use a backpack these days, to carry all the items needed to help us if something unexpected happens.

Always tell someone where you will be so they can sound the alarm if you don’t arrive home at the right time. I carry binoculars always and sun screen if necessary. I also have extra clothes stored in my vehicle. It’s surprising how often the weather turns hot, cold or wet just when you are not dressed for it.

Remember, too, that we no longer have to wear fluorescent orange while turkey hunting. Many of us do display some when we are set up, so other hunters can spot us easily. I have fastened a few small patches of orange on my blind. I also have a square of orange that I put on the opposite side of the tree I am sitting against, even when in my blind.

Remember also that there are always a few careless guys out there that think that any time they are not seeing orange, there is no one nearby so they can shoot as they wish. That’s a foolish, risky attitude but there are those who see movement in the bushes and take a shot at it.

We have been hearing that gun sales are up and for the most part, we understand why that is happening. But just having a gun in a drawer somewhere in your home or vehicle is not a guarantee of safety. To protect yourself against someone that is threatening you, your gun has to be readily available and you need to be able to pick it up and have it in firing position quickly.

It means the gun alone does not protect you unless you know exactly how to use it without thinking. I strongly recommend that if you have purchased a gun, you practice with it while it is unloaded. I also recommend taking the classes run by experts on how to handle a gun and how to use it.

The White Horse Nation folks are experts indeed and regularly offer classes for all age groups on safety with guns, handling, shooting and maintaining firearms.

There are still seats available for all the remaining scheduled classes for 2021. For more details go to whnllc.com and click on scheduled classes. They will be taught by Wayne A. Bush, Certified Firearms Instructor and owner of White Horse Nation, LLC.

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