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Know-How: Power Up

Know-How: Power Up

“A leaf blower?” I questioningly repeated in a discussion with Dr. Grant Woods of GrowingDeer.tv. Then he explained to me how easy the tool makes putting in a woodland food plot.

His outline was simple. Go to your location of choice and blow leaves out of the way. Scratch some crevices into the dirt with a rake. Sprinkle the scratched soil with seed and fertilizer. Before you leave, carefully blow the forest debris back over the planted area and pray for rain. In a few weeks you may just have a green patch capable of attracting a buck to an X-marks-the-spot site.

Woods’ use of a cordless leaf blower got me thinking. What other ways could I use some of my home hardware tools for deer hunting?

Leaf Blower
How many times have you wondered how to clear a trail of crunchy leaves to access a stand in silence? The answer is sitting in your garage. After clearing a path to your stand or ground blind, blow off an area around it so when you arrive you can move about in silence as you prepare to climb the tree or slip into the blind. Of course, leaf blowing and other in-field power-tool work is best performed in the preseason due to noise.

Reciprocating Saw
As a fan of European mounts I struggled to prepare them while on the road—that is until I started bringing along my reciprocating saw. The tedious job of removing the head, enlarging the skull cavity to remove the brain and detaching the lower jaw is a snap with the saw. I also carry a clean, extra blade; when I need to disassemble a deer speedily the saw slices through bone and hide to make any butchering chore a breeze.

While helping a buddy of mine from Kansas put up a new treestand, I noticed he grabbed a cordless reciprocating saw from behind the truck seat. Minutes later he showed me why.

“While you hang the stand I’ll trim shooting lanes,” he directed. “Once you’re up there point to the limbs and brush I need to saw for a clear shot.”

After he opened up shooting lanes, I dropped a haul line and hoisted the saw to the stand for a few bursts of limb trimming at elevation.

A cordless drill is invaluable around the home or shop. It’s also invaluable in the woods when hanging stands. When you come upon trees with trunks of iron, a cordless drill and a couple bits can make securing screw-in accessories a snap.

I first started using a cordless drill when battling rock-hard ash trees. I simply couldn’t get screw-in tree steps to bite. My answer was to pack along my cordless drill and bore a starter hole for the screw thread to grab hold. Bow hangers also have a screw to fasten to a tree. I’ve lost more than one battle to an ancient oak that wouldn’t allow me to attach a hanger to its trunk. Hunting accessory hooks and even some models of treestands have screws for attachment purposes. A cordless drill and driver can make even the most stubborn of trees say “uncle.”

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