How you like them apples?

As I sit in my tree stand looking out in front of me for any movement there are so many thoughts that go through my mind. Now it’s 9:30 am and its one of those beautiful days where the weather is perfect and I know I need to sit longer through midday. There wasn’t much action in the morning; all of the squirrels, birds, and other critters have finished their morning rummaging, and it’s quiet for a while. Well, it’s quiet except for that dreaded sound that I always hear about this time of morning. Did anything else just hear that insane growl or just me?
No it’s not a predator, it’s my stomach growling for a snack, for some nutrients, and energy to refuel and allow me to make it through another few hours. As I scan the area for any movement before reaching into my backpack for a snack, I feel I am in the clear. I don’t know how many times I have looked around, seen nothing, and seen nothing in the area for the last 3 hours, and as soon as I move to reach for a snack or anything from my backpack, something appears or runs off in the distance. I know I am not the only one this has happened to and I don’t know if in my hungry state of mind I was not as keen in scouting the area or if it is just dumb luck. Either way I try extremely hard to make sure nothing is around when I make a major move like this.
So what is on the menu? I always have at least one bottle of water or Gatorade to ensure I stay hydrated, more if I know I will be stalking or hiking, but the snacks and food vary depending on what my taste buds are craving. So what is the best way to pick a snack for the field? Well that actually requires some thought before heading out…noise, smell, disposal, and residue are all factors of consideration. You can’t just grab a bag of chips and head out; the noise of the bag, the noise of the crunch, and the smell can all ruin a hunt. Whatever snack you do choose can be repackaged to save on the noise in the field. We have all been that kid in class trying to secretly open a bag of chips or candy bar that causes more noise than anyone can imagine; everyone turns to look at you and yells SHHHH or you get busted by the teacher for the forbidden food in the classroom. Same applies to hunting, the least amount of noise, movement, and foreign smells the better your luck will be. So take some small Ziploc bags with you or wrap snacks in paper towels to eliminate noise and distraction.
Some of the best snacks that most hunters, including myself, pack into the woods are beef, venison, or turkey jerky. This type of snack can be wrapped in a paper towel or in a less noisy bag, it doesn’t crunch or crackle when you eat it, and it’s quite filling and tasty if you ask me. Other snacks that are popular include energy or protein bars to help replenish vitamins, a hearty trail mix of nuts, berries, and even a bit of chocolate for those with a sweet tooth, filling candy bars such as a Payday or Snickers, various filled crackers, and even some fruit. If none of these will sustain you throughout the day a full size sandwich is also a great idea if you can keep from smashing it in your back pack! If you are hunting a ground blind, bringing an extra pack for lunch is feasible, especially if you will be sitting all day.
Just remember whatever snack or food you choose if if it’s in a noisy package, take the time to repackage it, don’t pick something too smelly, sticky, or juicy unless you have a scent free wipe or something similar to clean your hands, and never leave your trash behind. Always pick up any leftovers, packages, or containers that you used (leaving garbage behind is the number one reason why many hunters get kicked off land or leases). This will also benefit your hunt and prevent from contaminating your hunting area and leaving ‘human’ signs behind that can spook animals or even draw in unwanted pests like raccoons or rats.
There is one more snack that many hunters really love to take into the field and until recently I did not think was controversial. The Apple. This piece of fruit is a great snack to pack in your bag because it doesn’t require packaging, the disposal is easy, the smell is natural, and although the crunch can be slightly noisy it can be eliminated with specific biting and chewing. Many hunters then toss the core out of their stand or blind and there are stories and theories that it can attract deer. There are many deer baits or attractants on the market too that advertise an ‘apple smell’ as well and I don’t doubt that this smell can work to a hunters advantage. However, I recently had a conversation that in states that do not allow baiting, throwing out an apple core can be considered baiting and therefore is illegal. I pulled the regulation from the state of Georgia and it reads as this…
“It is unlawful for any person to hunt any game animal (except as noted below) or game bird upon, over, around, or near any place where any corn, wheat, or other grains, salts, apples, or other feed or bait has been placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered so as to constitute a lure, attraction, or enticement to such game animals or game birds. It shall also be unlawful to hunt any game animal or game bird upon, over, around, or near any such place for a period of 10 days following complete removal of all such feed or bait.”
I am not sure how to interpret this 100% and I am not sure if any person would actually get a ticket for eating an apple, throwing it out, and then shooting a deer, but if the law states it then hunters should abide by it whether they think they will get caught or not; I do not normally hunt in states that have baiting laws so this is definitely new to me. I have to say I was surprised by this when discussing apples as snacks but it definitely caught my attention.
So my challenge and questions to my readers are 1) what are YOUR favorite snacks to take into the field and why…and 2.) If you hunt in a state where baiting is illegal, can you enlighten me on the apple situation?

Dec 27, 2012 | Category: Blog | Comments: none


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