The Blind Bag – More Than You Need & Never Enough

I just don’t remember having the need, or the thought that perhaps, I might use more than shells and calls in my early days of hunting. In fact, regarding shells, there was a time in Missouri where you could only have ten shells to hunt geese on public lands. But today we haul a ton of stuff simply because shell bag designers have put great thought into styles. Some use a backpack and others a bag, but whatever you use I know there will be some discussion about what you might consider hauling in for a hunt. 

I started by looking at my bag, one I reviewed here back in August. It took some thought but I made a list of all the things I thought were needed in my bag. 

The number of things you can get into your bag is remarkable. Even with all of this I had room in the bag for more!
  • Lighter
  • Chapstick
  • Lens cleaner
  • Baby wipes
  • Shells
  • Remote control batteries
  • Extra decoy wings
  • Multi-tool
  • Velcro
  • Zip ties
  • Headlamp
  • Headlamp batteries
  • Sunglasses
  • Extra gloves
  • Calls
  • WD 40
  • Gun oil
  • Hand warmers
  • Flashlight
  • Bottle opener
  • Bug spray
  • Facemask
  • Decoy fuses
  • Choke tubes
  • Black tape
  • Spare bolt arm
  • UV flashlight
  • Wind gauge
  • Neck gaiter
  • Brush trimmer
  • Folding knife
  • Earplugs
  • Water bottle
  • Thermos
  • Wader patch kit
  • Advil/Tylenol
  • Zip lock bags
  • Carabineer
  • Clamp

Now let me explain a few of these. First, a multi-tool is something that you cannot live without in your bag. It will cut wire, brush, has different types of screwdrivers and those pliers will be needed sooner or later. Not sure how many times it has happened but those baby wipes sure can come in handy. I carry a spare bolt arm for my old Stoeger as the gun would be worthless without it. Almost all of these simply pull out so catching it on something or just not getting it back into place after cleaning might ruin a day of hunting. The UV- flashlight is something you might consider as it can quickly tell you what is “shining” in UV that you may not be able to see but researchers say waterfowl do see this end of the light spectrum. And that wader patch kit may not necessarily be something you have to use in the field, but having it in your bag on a trip might save someone a day of wet feet. Finally, the Advil and Tylenol might get you through a day of hunting when you feel terrible. I hunted one morning with friends and was sick from the moment I hit the marsh. Cold sweat, vomiting, and chills came on once setup and birds were all over. In the end, I had to head out but had I had something to make me feel better I could have hunted at least a few hours.

I hope you take the time to add to this list. Food of course is always nice so maybe some crackers, a candy bar, or some protein to keep you warm. Feel free to add your favorites and let me know what else is in your bag. 

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About the author: David R. Vaught, Ph.D. began hunting waterfowl at a young age due to his father being a waterfowl biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation. Today he hunts both public and private waterfowl grounds and is always working on something related to waterfowl throughout the year. He loves to turkey hunt and fish for walleye and crappie in the spring. David is a university professor, holds an NRA Level II coaching certification and works with youth in trap and skeet shooting in the summer with his annual trap-shooting academy.

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