LAST UPDATED: May 8th, 2015
Yes, he named his invention a booger retriever. I asked the CEO of Walnut Grove Hunting Products why he named his gadget the “booger retriever” and he laughed and said, “If you drop it, this booger will get it!” And it certainly does.
Fortunately I have not needed to use the patented device while in the treestand yet, but have had a lot of fun just playing with it. It will pick up all kinds of stuff of different sizes, weights and shapes. If you drop something from your treestand this will most likely save you from having to climb back down.
The booger retriever is one of my favorite finds at the small shows. Our jobs take us to lots of trade shows and consumer events like deer classics or sportsmen’s banquets, which gives me the opportunity to walk the show floor looking for the latest and greatest new products. You expect to see new products unveiled at the big trade shows like the Archery Trade Show or SHOT Show in Las Vegas, unfortunately I miss things at these shows. They are just too big and I end up spending too much time in my client’s booths to get out and see everything. But sometimes you can also find the coolest inventions in a little 10 x 10 booth at a local deer classic. Here are some more of my favorite finds from all the shows and a few hunting trips.
The Hunt More Chair is a really great invention. I came to appreciate all the features of this chair after spending several hours in a blind deer hunting in Wyoming. We only had one spot to put the blind to intercept the bucks we had been watching. It was on a steep hill in the only point that jutted into the field where they could come close enough for a bow shot. My cameraman, his tripod, all of our gear and I settled in to the blind. I had the Hunt More Chair and he had a stool which we had to prop up to get it level. The legs on my chair could easily be adjusted to keep me level and the height could be adjusted to make it easy to shoot through the window of the blind. It also swivels silently so I could shoot in more than one direction.
I have used a couple of GPS units and so far, the more features one of these things has, the less I like them. I had two GPS units in my pack while elk hunting a few years ago. One of them had all the bells and whistles and an instruction book half an inch thick. The other one was easy to use and I relied on it most of the time. One morning we decided to follow an elk track high into the Colorado mountains in the snow. The track meandered all over the mountain and finally took us to secluded pond with elk all over the hillside above. We decided to wait for the elk to come to the water that afternoon.
Unfortunately, we were hunting public land and a couple of yuppie hikers spooked the entire herd. We were able to head in a straight line for the truck using the GPS unit. At the time I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to have something that was so simple to use, with very few buttons that would just get you back to the truck or camp when you were done hunting.
A couple years ago, while attending a writer turkey hunt I was given a Bushnell Back Tracker. I love this thing. It is so simple to use it can sit on a shelf for a year and I don’t have to get the instruction book back out and relearn how to use it. (Ok, I know there is eye rolling taking place among some of the younger crowd, but surely a few of my generation can relate to my anti-technology rant).
In the past few years I have started to get more of my deer done as European mounts. While hunting with some friends in southern IL they showed me a similar type mount done with an artistic flare. Mountain Mike’s Reproductions offers a dipped kit in fall foliage or wood grain that makes the mount a work of art.
The Trophy Skull Hanger from Skip Enterprises makes it easy to hang your European skull mount.
In the last few years I have spent more time taking kids hunting. This past spring I took my granddaughter on her first turkey hunt. She had seen wild turkeys from the road but never up close. When I opened up the Natural Series Turkey Target Kit from Caldwell Shooting Supplies, the first thing she said was, “Wow, turkeys are that big!” The target features a life size photograph of a turkey and was beneficial in teaching her where to shoot. Forty five mile per hour wind gusts on the only day we had to hunt during the Il youth-only season kept us from seeing a turkey, but she will be ready next year!