Outdoors With Kevin Fox
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My Christmas List
In a few hours, it will be black Friday. In the world of COVID it appears some weeks are black Mondays through Sundays, but it is time for my annual shopping list. If it appears that some items are repeats, it is because they are good ideas for which there is always a need and they never go out of style. The first thing I will tell you is don’t go bankrupt getting gifts. You can never duplicate or come close to the gift that was given this time of year by our creator. I mean how can you replicate God coming to earth, dying for your sins, spending three days in hell only to have victory over death? And then you say “Oh, I think a pair of dress socks ought to match that!” I hope you get my point.
However, there are ideas that are highly functional and desirable for obvious reasons. The first, and once again don’t break the bank, is a gun safe. If entirely possible buy local! These are your neighbors, these are fellow tax payers, these are the parents and grandparents of fellow students. Many run gun shops and a second job when they get off work of their first job and they deserve our support. When I say a gun safe it gets a little confusing. Let me simply say price is based on how long they can with stand a certain temperature degree without damage to the firearms. If you live where you cannot see a water tower or the last time you saw a fire truck they were asking directions, then you may need something a little more expensive to withstand temperatures for a longer time period. My primary reason for a gun safe is not only to protect my firearms, but to protect my family. With possible litigation facing us only daily, it is important that your firearms are stored so that they cannot be accessed by a family member or a guest of your home. No doubt if an accident should occur the second call after the 911 call will be to the law firm of DEWEY, CHEATUM, & HOW. Even if you are found incent, it will no doubt cost you an arm, a leg, or firstborn and you may still lose in the court of public opinion. Having a gun safe is sort of like putting salt on your sidewalk, it at least shows that you made an attempt to protect the public. So in this case get a gun safe that is lockable and somewhat fireproof. Aside from your long guns I would also have a small safe to hold your handguns for the very same reason: to protect your family and your guests.
Once you find the safe you like or want, then go down your memory list and remind yourself of those you helped move a piano or a refrigerator. Call them up and say I know you are looking for a way to pay me back. Three or four men or one high school boy showing off for his girlfriend should be able to move most safes. Please think about this item seriously.
Another item I like and use a lot is my shooting table. It has an adjustable seat and an adjustable rifle rest. The entire thing is padded. I remember distinctly my father having me carry a metal five gallon bucket out in the field about 80 yards. I would place the bucket, come back to him, he would shoot the bucket once in the center region, smile, and say we are good to go. Those days are long gone. Now, I am shooting ten times at a target to develop a pattern which translates to shooting one time at an actual deer. There is a certain amount of satisfaction in doing your homework before the hunt, be it black bear or bunnies.
With today’s political climate, it may take some work, begging and a great deal of patience to buy another gun. In some cases, inventory is down and demand is up. The same is true of ammo. However, there is satisfaction in seeing a year’s supply of ammo or that long sought after firearm finally at home in your safe. I will tell you it will take persistence and patience to see it happen, as well as diligent work from your local gun shop.
My next item is a smaller item and therefore more affordable. Everyone has what they consider their favorite model or manufacturer of binoculars. For example, there are Vortex and Leopold. I believe they both carry lifetime warranties. My opinion is slanted a little towards Leopold, only because they may have been my first quality pair of binoculars. Over the years I have purchased perhaps five or six other manufacturer models. I still have them if you wish to see them, some have retained moisture in the lens, some have eye pieces that no longer adjust, and some look as though I am peering through a kaleidoscope. Right now the major drawback is that none are heavy enough to use for decoy weights. Perhaps a dozen years ago, I received a pair of Leopold Yosemite binoculars. Certainly not a high priced item, but what they had going for them was they were small enough to fit in my blind bag and had quality Leopold lens, which translated into no replacement cost when one lens fogged up. Three weeks later, I had a new pair of binoculars with no questions asked and no cost to me. Now I also have a pair of higher quality Leopold McKenzie’s that I took to Africa along with the Yosemite. Both worked out extremely well through some extreme conditions.
I have another item that may seem a little cheap on the list, but that is not the case because you have to buy two of them. As part of your home protection plan, please consider purchasing as a very nice stocking stuffer two tactical flashlights. I am not talking about the flashlights you buy at the end of the aisle at the grocery store for a $1.99 including outdated C batteries. One light will go in your vehicle readily at hand, and the other will go on top your handgun safe, wherever you keep that at. It gives me goose bumps to think of searching my house for some noise in the night with a tactical light attached to my handgun, because wherever I point my light my gun is also pointing, therefore I like to keep them independent of each other, keeping my firearm pointed towards the floor in my right hand and in my left my tactical light searching the darkness, in relative safety, seeking to find what caused the noise. It seems simple enough, but the last thing I would want to do would be to harm a loved one while trying to protect a loved one. Both lights must stay where you have them otherwise when you need them (like that one sock in the dryer) they find a way of separating and disappearing.
The final item is a personal item, but as I get closer to my reunion date I get great comfort in packing a small personal camouflage waterproof Bible. I am not some preacher, but I am also not an idiot as far as anyone can find evidence. I do know where my strength comes from, as well as my salvation. So in my blind bag or my bow bag or in my hunting backpack you will find my Bible. I have read on bear stands in Canada, in airports in Johannesburg, along pot holes in South Dakota, and even turkey blinds north of Kahoka. It does not guarantee success in the timber, but it tells about successes yet to come. It is small like a paperback book and is perhaps the one thing you may have to buy online.