By Steve Galea
Like many hunters and anglers, when it comes to hunting and fishing gear, I have a lot. I actually have so much that you could probably do a two-part episode of Hoarders on my fly fishing and fly-tying collection alone. Then, there is the bow hunting gear, arrows, broadheads, field points, duck and turkey hunting stuff, upland bird hunting equipment, block and tackles, shooting accessories, binoculars, trail cameras, camping gear, reloading equipment, sharpening tools, knives, decoy carving tools, ice fishing rods, reels, tackle, and electronics, as well as the camo and hunter orange clothing, waders, footwear, and game calls for pretty well every occasion. I believe, if Ontario opened up a special season for lassoing ostriches, somewhere in my collection, there is gear specifically designed for the task.
Perhaps understandably, Jenn doesn’t understand why I need all this gear. That’s why she asks me silly questions like, “How many camouflaged hats do you need?” The answer, of course, is at least 56.
The reason is, we hunters are not at all like your run of the mill clothe horses who often get rid of their perfectly good clothes merely because they are no longer trendy. That’s because our hunting apparel never goes out of style, mostly because it was never in style in the first place. This is why you will never see hunters in camouflaged or hunter orange coats with padded shoulders. Or balloon pant waders.
That’s why, over the course of a hunting or angling lifetime, we collect stuff and rarely get rid of it. This is good for the first decade or so, but eventually it becomes an issue, even with the most patient of spouses.
Your first clue will be when they calmly say, “Don’t bother to call the police. I found my car in the garage. It was under your duck hunting gear.”
Or, “Don’t make any sudden loud noises in the basement. We don’t want another avalanche in the fishing section.”
When you get subtle hints like this, it is probably time to consider a little organization. I reached this point years ago and started buying big plastic stackable storage bins so that I could organize my hunting and fishing gear and put them away neatly in the furnace room.
These are ideal for storing all your gear for whatever season in one place. For instance, you might have on big bin for all your upland hunting footwear, and another for your hunting and fishing wading gear. Add to that one for your duck hunting parkas, another for your knife sharpening tools, and maybe one for your trail cameras or fly boxes. The point is, if you use these bins correctly and label them, you will be able to find everything you need prior to the season you need them for – and you will be able to put them all away neatly so that you do not look like a crazy hoarder.
This makes life easier for both you and your spouse. And, it will also allow you to know what you actually have and determine what you actually need. (For instance, I suspect you could probably get away with less than 20 camo hats).
That’s why I have at least 20 big storage bins in my basement as we speak. And you know, as soon as I find them, I’m going to start organizing.