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A Few of Our Favorite Things -- Part Two

Steve Hickoff, a frequent contributor to T&TH and the author of the recently published Fall & Winter Turkey Hunter’s Handbook, is a true two-season hunter who enjoys fall as much as spring.Hickoff’s favorite flashlight, on those rare occasions he needs one, is a Streamlight Stylus.

“If I’ve nailed a spring gobbler’s roost, I get in there early — real early. Discreet flashes of this penlight pointed to the ground won’t disturb turkeys on tree limbs,” Hickoff explains.

“The Stylus weighs only 1.1 ounces and measures 6.2 inches. The skinny light runs on three AAAA batteries. Once I get set up, I simply slip it into my vest or fasten it to my shirt pocket with its sturdy clip.”

Another item Hickoff has added to his favorites list is the aptly named FatBoy cushion from Hunt Comfort.

This isn’t a wispy little seat cushion; it’s 14 inches by 16 inches and a bulky 3 inches thick to help you stay settled in for the long wait that all hunters know is sometimes inevitable.

“Patience is your best asset when trying to kill a tough turkey,” Hickoff says. “To sit tight, you have to be comfortable. The FatBoy is lightweight and its urethane coating makes it durable. You can either carry the cushion with a shoulder strap, or slip it into your game vest — before you put a dead longbeard in there, of course.”

I have no doubt that a couple of my favorite items are on many other hunters’ lists of warm-weather gear. The first is my ThermaCell Mosquito Repellent. I was highly skeptical when I first saw ads for the ThermaCell, but I soon found I’d been too quick to judge when the gadget saved my hide — literally — one morning in Florida.

The lightweight plastic housing contains a replaceable butane cartridge. Click the unit on and the butane-powered flame heats up a little mat that is soaked with mosquito repellent. As the mat heats up, the repellent is released into the air. Mosquitoes disappear in minutes. It’s amazing — and easier and more pleasant than slathering bug dope all over yourself. Make sure you get the ThermaCell holster too. Clip it to your vest and leave it there so you’re always prepared for an unexpected mosquito hatch.

My other warm-weather recommendation is a HeatGear shirt from Under Armour. HeatGear comes in a zillion configurations: lots of colors, various camos, long-sleeve, short-sleeve, compression-fit and loose-fit. For turkey hunting, I like any camo pattern in the loose-fit style. Last year the company introduced a polo-style camo shirt with extra venting under the arms, a nice upgrade.

Yes, Under Armour is a bit, OK, a good bit, more expensive than the average camo T-shirt. But the benefits are many. When you start to sweat, the micro-fiber material pulls moisture away from your body, keeping you cool. After a couple hours of hard hunting, when your cotton T-shirt would be drenched and clingy, an Under Armour shirt is keeping you cool as your body moisture evaporates.

If that’s not enough, HeatGear material is anti-microbial, which means that after a couple days in turkey camp you might stink, but your shirt won’t. And that will make it everyone else’s favorite too.

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