“Just a few more pieces and I think I might be able to go kill a deer one of these days,” Tim Jones of Westover, Virginia, told Grand View Outdoors.
Jones, who describes himself as an “avid fan of hunting and the outdoors,” on his Facebook page, has spent more than a decade amassing a collection of hunting gear. He estimates he has spent upwards of $18,000 on boots and apparel, gadgets and gizmos, and high-end optics, though he told his wife it was all on sale.
“It’ll pay for itself in no time once I start hunting,” he said. “All that free meat, you know.”
Jones says he was inspired to start hunting by a magazine article he read in 2006. “It listed 10 must-have pieces of gear every hunter needs,” he told GVO, “so I figured I’d better start shopping before I could go hunting.” He picked up a nice pair of insulated boots, a .30-06 hunting rifle, a riflescope, a climbing treestand and some Army surplus camo, among other items.
“But then the next month, the same magazine had an article about camo clothing,” he recalls. Well, come to find out, there’s all this cool stuff out there I didn’t know about, that like hides your scent and has secret pockets and stuff. Obviously I had to upgrade the Army surplus gear I’d bought.”
The collection grew as the months rolled by. “Before long, they came out with a new camo pattern,” Jones reports. “I mean, you can’t hunt in old camo. Everyone knows that. It’s no good anymore. Why else would they keeping making new versions? So I had to upgrade that. And the boots I had, well, they just won’t do for rainy weather, so I figured I needed rubber boots. And then I saw this little umbrella thing that fits over your tree stand in case it rains. Obviously that’s a necessity.
“And did you know you can’t skin a deer with less than six different knives? I read about it. One’s gotta have a gut hook and one’s gotta have a nonslip handle and of course one needs to be shorter for caping. And you need a saw, obviously, to cut through bone. So I started buying knives, and then I read about these special sleds they make to help you get a deer out of the woods, so I bought one of those. But that really sounds like a lot of work, now that I think about it, so I’m in the market for an ATV.”
Though he has not yet set foot in the woods, Jones is optimistic that it’ll happen soon. In the meantime, his hobbies include dressing up in his camo and posting selfies on Instagram (#hunter4life), watching the Outdoor Channel, doling out free hunting advice on message boards, and practicing different face paint patterns in front of the mirror.
While he has not actually hunted yet, Jones estimates he only needs a few more things in his collection before he’ll feel prepared to go out in the woods.
“I just saw this video on Facebook about survival gear,” he says. “Space blankets and emergency beacons and fire starters, that sorta stuff. I mean, I’d probably only hunt a quarter mile from the house, but still. You can’t be too careful. I definitely don’t want to hit the woods unprepared.”
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