Archive for the ‘Outdoors’ Category


Dr. Dunham’s Cabin Fever Cure

 
“I’ve got cabin fever, it’s burning in my brain. I’ve got cabin fever, it’s driving me insane,” sang the Muppets in their 1996 blockbuster, “Muppet Treasure Island.”
 
Well, in truth the movie may not have achieved blockbuster status, but most of us won’t soon forget the “Cabin Fever” song. Perhaps because it hits close to home.
 
Cabin fever has been recognized as a very real affliction for almost 100 years. It results from being confined to one place for an extended period of time. It’s exacerbated by inactivity. The usual result is extreme irritability and feelings of anxiety. It often strikes in winter when many of us shun the cold and curl up on the couch for the duration.
 
The most obvious cure is getting outside and interacting with the rest of the world. For those of us whose favorite activities include things like gardening, swimming or hanging out at the beach, the winter world may seem foreign and forbidding. But winter sports can be invigorating and entertaining. And there’s no better cure for the ills of cabin fever than the crisp air of a January day.
 
Did we hear someone say it’s too cold to play outside? Well, that’s only true if you’re not dressed for outdoors. Today’s winter clothing is light yet warm, so there’s no need to fear the frigid air, and bundling up need not cramp your style.
 
Winter Games, Out and In
 
Once you’re dressed for the occasion, the possibilities for winter entertainment are almost unlimited. Those who appreciate a good workout might try cross-country skiing or snowshoe hiking. Snowboarding and downhill skiing can provide a good amount of exercise as well, and few thrills compare to that of racing down the side of a ski slope at speed.
 
Ice-skating and sledding are a bit less taxing than skiing but can be just as much fun, particularly for the younger set. Most towns have a good sledding hill or two, and winter afternoons will likely find a happy group of kids enjoying the ride downhill. Ditto ice skating rinks or frozen ponds. You can find them everywhere, and there’s always something special about tracing lines on the ice as gentle flakes fall from a moonlit sky.
 
Of course you can invent your own winter games. When I was a kid, a zillion years ago, we would play football in the snow – on our knees. That required only a small parcel of land, which was all that was available in the urban area where I was raised. But while the playing field was small, the games were big.
 
For those who hanker to get out and do something but would prefer to minimize the strenuous part, there’s always ice fishing.If you’d prefer to fish on open water, some fast-moving streams in Colorado, like the South Platte River, offer winter fly-fishing.
 
On days when it’s just too cold to go out, try changing your indoor routine to relieve symptoms of cabin fever. Table tennis, a popular indoor sport, is a great way to stay active. There’s also billiards, air-hockey and Wii games that are played in front of the television. Some games, like Wii Grand Slam Tennis, mimic outdoor summer sports and can provide a pretty good workout. Or for a top-notch workout do some cardio and resistance training to get ready for swimsuit season.
 
Getting Away From It All
 
If you really have to get out of town to cure that cabin fever, then get out of town. There’s a winter resort in the U.S.A. for any winter sport you can think of, and accommodations range in price from very affordable to lavish and expensive.
 
Looking for something novel? Durango Mountain Resort in Colorado offers ski biking. Another Colorado attraction, Ouray Ice Park, offers ice climbing in the Uncompahgre Gorge. In Alaska you can try dogsledding. Skijoring, which is popular in Minnesota, is a melding of dog sledding and skiing.
 
What’s that you say? You want to get away from the cold? Then head south or west to Florida, Arizona or California. Caribbean and Mexican vacations can be very affordable. There’s always somewhere where one can find a bit of summer in the throes of winter.
 
A Cure That’s Sure To Work
 
But you don’t have to leave home to defeat the winter doldrums. Why not organize a winter Olympics for the neighborhood? And your event doesn’t have to focus on winter sports. Playing softball in the snow is a hoot, as is Frisbee golf. Picnic games like a three-legged race are even more fun in the snow.
 
Plan a post-Olympics tailgate with plenty of hot chocolate, some hot dogs or pizza, a blazing fire pit and some marshmallows to roast.
 
That’s a sure cure for even the worst case of cabin fever.
 
-Fun For All Ages
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail or text message programs (or both). Sign Up Now

Jigging Your Way to a New Way to Fish

 
As fall turns to winter and the lakes begin to freeze, that doesn’t quite mean fishing season is over. With some slightly different equipment—as well as your winter clothing—you can keep fishing all the way until spring. In case you’re new to the sport, have no worries. With just a few additions to your tackle box, you can be jigging your way to a whole new way to fish.
 
In order to get the proper setup for ice fishing for the first time, it’s recommended by Jim Burrows of Pure Fishing that fishermen get an ice fishing rod and reel, an ice auger, which drills through the ice, a skimmer to remove ice shavings and a depth finder. It’s also helpful if you can go out with someone who’s experienced in the sport for some extra guidance.
 
“If you know someone who does go ice fishing, I would suggest talking to them for guidance and possibly an invitation to join them,” said Burrows.
 
When searching for a great brand for your new rod and reel combo, Burrows also has some recommendations that are all available at Dunham’s.
 
“My preferences with regards to my ice combo include combos from Shakespeare, Berkley and Abu Garcia or rods from Fenwick paired up with reels from Shakespeare, Pflueger and or Abu Garcia,” explained Burrows.
 
In addition to the tools required to actually catch the fish, John Vander Sloot of Shappell and Eagle Claw also recommends that fishermen get a 5-gallon bucket for carrying everything as well as a sled, like the Shappell Jet Sled, for effortlessly getting everything from one end of the lake to the other. Also, while a shanty can be a very helpful (and warm!) tool, they aren’t required.
 
“A person can stand over their fishing hole or sit on a bucket,” explained Vander Sloot. “But a shanty is nice, especially if one is going to fish for an extended amount of time. They block the wind, making the day of fishing more enjoyable.”
 
With ice fishing and walking around on a lake, fishermen, especially those who are inexperienced, need to take a little extra precaution. If you’re worried about thin ice, Vander Sloot recommends the Ice Spud, which is a pole used for testing thin ice. However, as Burrows describes, it’s best to avoid areas that may look like thin ice altogether.
 
“I would recommend staying away from black ice, which is usually an indication it is very thin,” he said.
 
With some slightly different equipment, awareness of one’s surroundings, and a friend with some experience, fishing can be in season every month of the year.
 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail or text message programs (or both). Sign Up Now

Out of the House and Into the Go-Kart

Summer means one thing—getting out of the house. That can mean anything from a week spent camping to a day trip to a state park. Whatever the outdoor excursion, a go-kart can make a fun and exciting addition to your ad-venture.
 
Go-karts are great for your use on your private property, but have you ever thought of where else it can go? You should always be sure that the terrain you take your go kart on is safe and, of course, legal. Lindsey DeLong of American Sportworks said customers are sometimes surprised by where their go-kart can go.
 
“Several states accept go-karts as off-road recreation at various public places like parks, lake communities and national or federal trails and forests,” DeLong said. “Chances are (go-kart owners) might be surprised at some of the great options for family outings within a reasonable day-trip driving distance.”
 
“Over the years, customers of American SportWorks go-karts have taken kindly to trail riding and ‘mudding,’ along with driving in, through, around, or over most all manner of flora and fauna, field and stream, dirt and gravel,” DeLong said. “We do get some great customer feedback, and there is a wealth of information available on the Inter-net, like YouTube videos of customers having a blast.”
 
Before venturing off to the unknown, check first with government websites or local authorities to be sure what is allowed and where you can ride legally. And remember, unlicensed motorized vehicles cannot operate on sidewalks or roads. No paved roads? No worries! The messier terrain off-road is where American Sportworks go-karts were meant to be. Just remember to stay safe and respect the environment.
 
All American Sportworks models are recommended for riders ages 13 and up. Proper gear should always be worn and safety precautions should always be followed.
 
The models include the deluxe, electric start Carbide which has a 150cc single cylinder, air-cooled, 4-stroke en-gine and a one-year engine warranty. The Marauder comes with a 208cc, 4-stroke engine and a three-year engine warranty. The Black Widow also comes with a three-year engine warranty and has a 136cc, 4-stroke engine.
 
The whole family can enjoy the fun and thrill of a go-kart ride, not just the kids! Take Dad out for a spin and make this Father’s Day an adventurous one with a ride on your very own go-kart.
 
-Off-Road Warrior
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Anywhere You Want!

The variety of boats available for those looking to get out on the water this summer is as vast as the customers looking to pur-chase them. From kayaks, to stand-up paddleboards, to canoes, pedal boats and beyond, it has become incredibly easy to find the right boat based on need, ability, and various features.
 
But with such a wide array of boats and features to choose from, how does one go about finding that perfect boat to enjoy the summer to its fullest? Noel Basque of Pelican attributes a quality boat to its hull design.
 
“Designing a hull requires investment in R&D and industrial design so lower quality kayaks tend to have simple hull designs that allow them to float but not much more,” Basque says. “Hull design involves trade-offs, but a well designed hull will put a premium on one feature while optimizing others so that the paddling experience remains enjoyable.”
 
Another feature to consider in a quality boat or kayak is its construction. For example, Old Town kayaks are Roto Molded, meaning they’re made in an enclosed steel mold containing polyethylene powder. It’s put into an oven and heated until a plastic is formed.
 
“With this process we can make our kayaks thicker on the ends and bottom then thinner on the deck, where we do not need so much material,” said Mark Palinsky of Old Town. “This is all about product durability.”
 
The Swiftwater 10.5, manufactured by Perception Sport, has a versatile design made for handling both lakes and rivers con-taining rapids. It has both a large cockpit, but it curves over the paddler’s legs so that the operator is able to control the boat with his or her body, which is paramount in handling tougher conditions.
 
In fact, all Perception Sport boats are one-piece, meaning there is increased durability.
They’re built with a high-end plastic that has built-in sun protection and are very stiff, resulting in a very high tolerance for abrasion. The stiffness of the kayak also leads to increased performance.
 
“This is one of the biggest differences in quality because it affects how the boat handles abrasion, how easy the boat is to con-trol and how well they perform,” said Greg Larson of Perception Sport.
 
If searching for the perfect fishing kayak for Dad this summer, look no further than the Patriot or Blast, which are both made by Perception Sport. These boats, built exclusively for fishermen, have special features added to ensure that its operator is in complete control of the boat and his tackle.
 
“We have some models like the Patriot and Blast that have fishing rod holders built-in or added, and have a very flat bottom that adds to initial stability for fishing, hunting, bird watching or general recreational use,” said Greg Larson of Perception Sport.
 
The features of boats and kayaks not only differ between brands, but each brand has various features that differ with each line of product. For example, Pelican kayaks have features on their higher-end models that allow for more experienced paddlers to venture out for longer periods of time. They also offer more seating comfort, adjustable foot pegs to suit each and every body type, storage space, and knee pads or thigh braces which allow more comfortable paddling and increased control.
 
The Old Town Trip 10, a Dunham’s exclusive model, carries a weight capacity of between 275 and 300 pounds. The bonus feature of this model that you won’t find on every kayak is the rear hatch system for gear storage.
 
“The rear cover opens into a large compartment that has what is called a bulkhead, or divider that seals that part of the boat off from the rest of the hull,” explains Palinsky. “This helps keep your gear dry, and provides extra flotation to the whole boat.”
 
Pelican also has several choices at Dunham’s this summer, including the Vibe 80 stand-up paddleboard for small paddlers, the Ultimate 100SE kayak, and the Escape 100 kayak, which offers adjustable foot pegs, stern Quicklock storage, a cockpit table with day hatch and bottle holder, and comfortable seating.
 
So whether you’re new to kayaking or a seasoned sailor, Dunham’s has the variety of boats with features perfect for everyone. With summer at its peak, don’t waste it away watching from shore. Get out and paddle!
 
See you in the woods!
 
-Paddle Bum
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Get Up and Go-Kart

 
When the weather warms up, everyone is looking to get out of house and into the sunshine. When biking gets boring and in-line skating is dull, go-karting is a great way to enjoy the outdoors.
 
With go-karting, you won’t have any problem getting the kids outside, and you won’t hesitate to join them.
 
“There’s something about a kart in and of itself that just screams ‘active’ – it gives you the get-out-and-go mentality,” says Lindsey DeLong of American SportWorks. “It encourages families to not only explore new ways to have a blast in their own yard, but it may encourage them to find new places to adventure to (and try the kart out on, of course!).”
 
All of the American SportWorks go-kart models are two-seaters. That means more members of the family can join in on the fun! All of the American SportWorks models also come with the company’s history and expertise.
 
The models include the Marauder which comes with a 208cc, 4-stroke engine and a three-year engine warranty.
 
The Black Widow also comes with a three-year engine warranty and has a 136cc, 4-stroke engine.
 
The Carbide is a new model that features all the best parts of the retired Quantum model. This new go-kart features a speedometer, bucket seating and what DeLong calls a “buggy” style.
 
While go-karting is designed for fun, safety should come first before taking one out for a ride. As with any powered vehicle, seat belts and helmets should always be worn and riders should stay alert and be prepared for the drive.
 
The owner’s manual is a good resource to learn more about the vehicle and how to operate it safely. Before starting out, drivers should be familiar with the course and its surroundings.
 
“The best thing to remember is that it’s all about fun and not necessarily crazy stunt riding. Leave that to the pros!” says DeLong.
 
Being prepared to operate the go-kart won’t be like cramming for a test. DeLong says that operation of some of the American SportWorks go-karts are as simple as stop and go. Some models are equipped with a pull start while others have a key ignition. There are also models that come with neutral and reverse gears, but others just have brake and gas pedals.
 
So this spring, enjoy the great outdoors and experience the adventures of go-karting. It’s like fun on four wheels.
 
“Spring fever is only enhanced when you can zip around your yard in a kart,” DeLong says. “Go smell those fresh spring flowers – at 24 mph!”
 
-Off-Road Warrior
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Paddle Your Way to Adventure

 
Today’s kayaks offer safe, inexpensive fun for the entire family.
 
If you’re a frequent visitor to our lakes and streams, you’ve likely noticed that more people are enjoying the same waterways while paddling a kayak. In fact, according to The Outdoor Foundation, 32 percent more participants took up the sport between 2009 and 2011. That’s not surprising when you consider that it can be enjoyed by young and old, is relatively inexpensive and the equipment requires little maintenance.
 
“Kayaks are friendlier today than they have ever been. They are more stable, more comfortable and easier to use. They’re also safer. The cockpit opening is longer and goes past your knees, making it easier to exit the kayak in an emergency situation,” said Mark Palinsky, of Old Town.
 
If you’ve considered joining this extremely enjoyable and relaxing activity, here are a few options and suggestions.
 
Fishing and River Kayaks
 
As our experts pointed out, we’re seeing two significant kayaking trends in: people are buying them to fish and to paddle along our scenic rivers.
 
“The river kayaks are simply an extension of what people have experienced for years. They have rented kayaks and canoes at liveries and have enjoyed the experience so much that they have decided to purchase the kayak for personal use. Our Swiftwater 10.5 kayak is ideal for this use. The fishing kayaks are great for those who want to get away from fishing from shore and don’t want to use a powerboat. I recommend our Patriot or Blast models. They are designed to carry fishing rod holders and come in camouflage colors,” said Greg Larson of Confluence Water Sports.
 
Another option for anglers is Pelican International’s Castaway 100 sit-on kayak. It offers plenty of speed, capacity and storage space. Mark Palinsky, of Old Town kayaks and canoes, offers yet another approach.
 
“You don’t necessarily have to go out and buy an angler kayak. Kayaks that are serviceable, with a large cockpit and high level of stability, such as our Vapor 10 model, are very good for people who like to fish. What many of our customers have found is that it’s less expensive to buy a base model and customize it to their specific needs,” Palinsky said.
 
Kids’ Kayaks
 
As many parents are discovering, kayaking is an ideal activity that can be enjoyed by the entire family, including children. Before you purchase a kayak for junior, Palinsky offers the following advice:
 
“Like shoes, the kayak has to fit the child. Shoes that are too big make the child clumsy and shoes that are too small are not comfortable. Frequently, parents will buy a 9-foot boat and will have their kids grow into it. It’s not necessarily the best approach,” he said.
 
Palinsky recommends making sure the kayak is designed to accommodate the child’s weight and that the foot pegs can be easily reached, since they help provide stability.
 
Stand Up Paddleboards
 
Also extremely popular nowadays are stand up paddleboards (SUPs). In fact, The Outdoor Foundation reports that nearly 60 percent of stand up paddling participants tried the activity for the first time in 2011.
 
“SUPs are wide surfboards that you stand up and paddle with and are more versatile than kayaks. You can sit, kneel or stand up on them. Women are using them for yoga and core exercising,” said Lisa Senecal, Pelican International.
 
Dunham’s Sports carries three different Pelican International models: Vibe, for smaller paddlers (up to 120 pounds), Flow, for intermediate paddlers and Surge, for more performance-oriented paddlers.
 
“We’re seeing an increase of SUPs in river use, especially in Michigan,” Palinsky added. “What a wonderful way to go down the river; they provide a much better view of what’s in front and around you.”
 
Kayak Care
 
One of the most appealing aspects of this sport is that the equipment requires little maintenance.
 
“Pretty much all of the kayaks that Dunham’s carries are low maintenance – even no maintenance,” Senecal said.
 
“We have sun protection built into the boat, but not on the seats. We recommend using a good UV protectant to prevent sun degradation,” Larson added. All of our experts recommended storing kayaks on their side when not in use.
 
Dunham’s Sports carries a wide range of kayaks and SUPs for a variety of purposes, configurations and price points. Be sure to consult with a sales representative to help you make an informed decision so you too can enjoy our area’s wonderful waterways.
 
-Paddle Bum
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Quick Preseason Workout to Improve your Golf Swing

As warm weather approaches, it is time for you to get ready to play golf again. As all golfers know, it is easy to start feeling tired early on in the season. Your swing can also suffer, because the rotational muscles of the shoulder and torso still feel the cramp of being unused all winter. This may take a toll on your scores, or worse still, may cause injuries.
 
A preseason workout routine is highly recommended for golfers. It involves as much stretching as possible because tension is the enemy of a well-coordinated golf swing. “Tempo” is a term often used by golf swing coaches, and it refers to the natural rhythm of a good golf swing. These exercises loosen and lengthen the muscles of your shoulder and torso, which helps you develop a consistent tempo more easily. So, the sooner these exercises make it into your daily routine, the more fun you’ll have during those first few rounds on the course.
 
It’s important to begin with 5-10 minutes of light cardio exercise, just running in place or jumping jacks will do. This allows warm blood to fill your muscles, thereby loosening them and making the following stretches more effective. Allow yourself to breathe naturally, and take full, deep breaths as you’re performing these stretches.
 
Head rolls – 30-60 seconds: Roll your ear gently to one side, toward your shoulder. Tilt your head back, then forth, and repeat on the other side. This relaxes the tension in the neck, and encourages shoulder flexibility.
 
Shoulder stretching – 2-3 minutes: Raise your right arm directly in front of you, then bring it to the left, wrapping your left elbow around your right arm and using it to gently bring your right arm closer to your chest. You will feel the stretch in your outer right shoulder. Reverse this process for the left side. This allows for much greater range of motion and smoother rotation in your golf swing, which translates into more consistent shot making.
 
Side stretching – 1-2 minutes: Raise your right arm directly above your head with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lean your shoulders to the left and sway your right hip slightly out. You will feel a stretch along the right side of your body from your finger tips to toes. Reverse this process for the left side of your body. This stretch targets the outside of your arms, outer hips, and most importantly, your abdomen, which will further enhance your rotational stability and flexibility.
 
This routine can also be incorporated into a weight-lifting routine that focuses on developing the core muscles of your back and abdomen, as well as your shoulder muscles and hip flexors. Sit-ups, crunches, and push-ups are good exercises for when you’re unable to make it to the gym. Use this routine twice, when you’re warming up and cooling down, for best results.
 
The exercises discussed above are just a few basic exercises that you can do to get fit for golf. Are there any other exercises that had a positive impact on your golf swing? Please share your experience in the comments section.
 
-Par Shooter

*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Focus In on the Right Optics

Keeping your eye on the target is a whole lot easier with today’s optics. Optimizing your hunting performance with the right scope requires understanding optic features and assessing your hunting preferences.

Hunting optics can range in price from $30 to $2,000 . . . with plenty of choices in-between. The decision of what to buy is made tougher because a 4 x 32 scope that costs $30 may not appear to be much different than one that costs $200.

Lenses are the major difference between hunting optics. The least expensive scopes typically use plastic lenses. The next step up in quality and price involves the use of glass lenses.  Coatings added to glass lenses enhance brightness in low light situations and add a bit more cost. The most expensive optics use precision ground glass, similar to eye glasses.

Here are a few other tips to keep in mind when shopping for optics:

Power
The power of a scope is described by two numbers that indicate its magnifying ability and the size of the lens.
A standard 4 x 32 scope will magnify an object up to 4 times larger than you could see with the naked eye. The 32 indicates that the lens diameter is 32 millimeters.
The larger the second number, the lens diameter, the more it will help brighten the view.

Fixed Power
The magnification set by the manufacturer.
Fixed power scopes are adequate for hunters who need a good view of 50 to 100 yards.
The most popular fixed scopes are 4 x 32.

Variable Power
More applicable to a wider range of uses.
Variable power scopes can be adjusted according to the field of view needed as well as the available light.
Variable scopes range from 1.5 magnification up to 25 times for long-range viewing and shooting.

Field of View
How much you can see through your scope at 1,000 yards.
Generally, the higher the magnification, the less the field of view.
This information is always printed either on the instruction sheet or directly on the scope.

Eye Relief
The distance between your eye and the scope, which allows you to achieve the entire field of view.Can be adjusted once you have your scope and have it mounted.

The final key to selecting the right scope is assessing how you hunt. Hunting in the woods with shadows and less light requires a different scope than hunting in open fields with plenty of sun. Think about how you hunt, where you hunt and what the typical conditions are. Selecting the right optics becomes a lot easier when you can match your hunting needs with the right lens, power and view.

-Deer Abby

*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

HUNTING FROM BLINDS

A fundamental maxim of hunting is for you to see the prey before the prey sees you. This is why hunting blinds are so popular. They provide concealment for you, as well as a comfortable place to wait for that prey to appear. Whether you hunt deer, elk, turkey or waterfowl, blinds let you pick the perfect spot, help you blend into the environment, and protect you from the elements.
 
Buying a Blind
 
The obvious first question to ask is what are you hunting? Duck blinds and deer blinds are two completely different, well, animals. Waterfowl blinds can be set up on land or water. With deer blinds the fundamental question is bow or rifle. A bow means you’ll need more interior space. Draw your bow all the way back and then leave some wiggle room beyond that. You will also need some extra space depending on some other factors. For example, if you bring your son along, you’ll want more than a one-person blind. And if you travel via ATV you’ll want a blind big enough to hold the vehicle.
 
You also need to look at what you are hunting and the way you hunt it. Scent control is critical for deer, so you’ll want blinds with scent control fabrics. For turkey, that’s really not an issue. Camouflage is important, but don’t just assume any pattern will work. Take a look at the camouflage on the blind and make sure it will blend into the area you’re actually going to hunt in. Whether you stand or kneel will determine where you want visibility. Also, blinds with windows, screens or doors in all directions give maximum flexibility and the widest fields of fire. Portability is another big factor if you plan on moving often from site to site. Blinds vary greatly in how easy they are to transport and set up. If your site is semi-permanent, portability is not as big an issue.
 
Location, Location, Location
 
Just as in real estate, location is everything in hunting from a blind. Of course, you could say the same thing about any kind of hunting. You’ll want a high traffic location where you can blend in to your environment. That means finding appropriate cover. The best camouflaged cover in the world will stand out if it’s in an open field. Try to add bushes and/or tree branches to enhance the natural look and feel. If possible walk the area before you hunt it. Look for food supplies, cover and routes between the two. If possible, set up your blind a week or so before the actual hunt. That way the deer will get used to it.
 
But there is also an advantage to a portable blind. It lets you take into account prevailing winds so you don’t give away your scent. Try to identify several good areas for the blind and then you can set up in the best one for that day’s wind patterns.
 
Location and blending in are also important for duck blinds. You want to be on or near the water in an area you know ducks will be present. A high vegetation area will help attract ducks and will also help you camouflage the blind. You can cover the blind in camouflage netting to match the area, and cut a slit in the front where you are going to shoot.
 
Ultimately, the ducks will tell you how well your blind is set up. If circling ducks tend to fly away from your blind, you need to make some changes.
 
Tree Stands
 
Tree stands are another effective way to hunt deer. Their height gives you better visibility while preventing the deer from seeing you. While they may not be as comfortable as a blind, they give you clearer shots by allowing you to shoot over limbs and branches. There are four types of stands:
 
Ladder – Essentially a small platform at the top of some steps. Great for people who don’t want to climb and/or are insecure at height. Stable, but also heavy, not very portable and take time to set up.
 
Climbing – Involves two pieces, a chair and a platform below it. Allows you to ‘climb’ the tree while in the stand. Portable and easy to set up, but only for certain trees and for people comfortable at heights.
 
Hang-on (Lock-on) – This has a seat and footrest attached to the tree. Popular because of their versatility, they are lightweight, easy to set up and will fit most trees. The disadvantage is you have to carry the steps and climb the tree.
 
Tower – Not a stand, per se, but a separate platform with 3 or 4 legs. It’s necessary in areas without trees. It’s the only real alternative in prairie-like environments. It is comfortable and stable, but not at all portable.
 
-Deer Abby
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.