A hilarious list of aggravation and misfortune from the Team Realtree crew
Whoever said, The worst day of hunting beats the best day of work, has obviously never had a raging poison ivy rash where the sun doesn't shine. He's never listened to a cameraman's gastric bathroom emergency at the base of his treestand. He's never felt the weight of a tractor implement on his little toe while preparing a food plot.
As in everyday life, not everything is perfect in the woods. Stuff happens. Even the men and women who love hunting so much that they've dedicated their lives and careers to it can admit to a few pet peeves. Fortunately for us, most of these are pretty funny. Here's a list of the 10 best from the Realtree team.
1. Tiny Pee Jugs
OK, let's face the facts, says Ralph Cianciarulo, Realtree pro-staffer and co-host of Archers Choice TV. As we get older, some things are not as easy to control, or should I say 'hold.' I notice pee jugs filling a heck of a lot faster than ever before.
Ralph encountered this problem just this past winter.
I had a full jug with a few hours left to go until dark thirty. Yep, it was the dreaded 'Oh, no!' My big Gatorade bottle was filled to the rim and panic was setting in. Do I climb down and pour it out to create a new pond in our woods? Do I try and hold it and hopefully not bust or explode? So many thoughts rush through my mind at these times. But all I know is I wouldn't give hunting up for anything!
2. No Pee Jugs At All
Vicki Cianciarulo gets irritated when guys (Ralph) complain about having to use pee jugs in the stand. We (female hunters) don't have that option, she said. I've tried every device they've come out with for girls, but it's just not happening, so I just don't go while I'm in the stand. My camera guys won't drink all day when they have to hunt with me because they claim I never have to go, and if I don't get a break, they don't get one either.
3. Unfriendly Competition
Realtree's Will Brantley is tired of the competition between hunters. Everything becomes a contest, and there's so much jealousy because of it, he says. My buck scores more than yours. That's 'my' deer because he's on my camera. You're duck hunting in 'my' public spot. It's endless.
But, I will admit, the competition can be entertaining at times. Like when my buddy Dan whooped the tar out of that guy at the boat ramp during duck season last year. They'd been arguing over a spot, and that guy had it coming, at least according to Dan. It made for a legendary story. Plus, it was a reminder that there are still manly men in this country who can settle a dispute without lawsuits or weapons. The loser just gets in his truck and goes home. That's refreshing.
Dan hunts that spot now. The other guy? He healed up fine. And he's tough. Just not as tough as Dan. That's why he has to hunt somewhere else now.
4. Cameramen's Irregular Bowels
Cally Morris, host of the 15-Yard Files, gets peeved at his cameramen's irregular bowel movements. Yep, you read that right.
It annoys me when a cameraman has no set time for his bowel movements, Morris said. Who doesn't go the same time every day -- as soon as his feet hit the floor in the morning? It seems like all camera guys have to go two hours after daylight, and they whine until I tell them they can crawl down from their stand to go. Once a cameraman actually went right under my stand, claiming he couldn't hold it anymore. The morning's hunt was ruined. So maybe I did make him hold it for four hours. Still no excuse.
5. Super Cold Weather
Bone Collector Travis T-Bone Turner really dislikes extreme cold.
Cold weather restricts an archer's mobility, T-Bone said. Plus, I just don't like being cold. In fact, a lot of my hunting buddies poke fun at me because I get so cold, which is kind of abnormal for a big guy. But, hey, fat has feeling too, and when a big guy's core gets cold, he gets really cold.
6. Poison Ivy
Realtree's Tony Hansen hunts in an area bristling with poison ivy, poison oak and other hazardous plant life. I hate all of them. Thing is, the only areas of my body that seem to be impacted by poison ivy are those of a 'sensitive' nature. Around my eyes. The undersides of my wrist. And . . . well, you get the idea. I can hang stands on trees covered with poison ivy all day, and without the slightest itch to my hands. Yet, when I have to stop and 'water the lilies,' I'm reminded of where I'm most susceptible to a rash. You'd think I'd remember, but this seems to occur at least once a year."
7. Blood-Sucking Chiggers
Tiffany Lakosky hates chiggers. I get them all over me when we're planting food plots, she said. They itch for weeks. Everyone makes fun of me, but I've started attaching my dog's natural chigger-repelling collar to my shoe when I hunt. I know it looks silly, but I definitely get fewer chigger bites when I do that.
Great Gear to Make it All Better
Fortunately, some of the most useful gadgets in hunting gear history have been designed in the name of increased comfort afield. Here are three of my favorites.
Plush Cushion: The Scout is filled with Hunt Comfort's SuperLight gel and is trimmed down to an ergonomic shape, making it ideal for stalk hunting or running and gunning. $59.99
Heated Jacket: The Milwaukee® M12™ Cordless Realtree Xtra® Camo 3-in-1 Heated Jacket provides up to six hours of continuous heat per battery charge to keep you in the woods longer. $299
Mosquito Repellent: The ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent Appliance repels mosquitoes, black flies and other biting insects. $31.99
8. Social Media Haters
Both Tiffany and Lee dislike how social media seems to bring out the worst in hunters. Referring to the negative comments the couple receive from other hunters about photos of big bucks they post on Facebook, Tiffany said, It seems like hunters just can't be happy for other hunters anymore. In fact, the couple didn't even bother to post photos on social media of the last two deer they shot, because they didn't want to hear all of the negative, accusatory comments.
Lee said, You know, we get tons of positive comments about the deer we shoot, but the few negative ones really stick in our heads. I guess that's just the way it works.
9. Broken Toes
Although the mean-spirited social media comments hurt emotionally, Lee says one land-management accident sticks out as his most physically painful hunting-related event.
Managing their farm for wildlife requires frequent use of heavy equipment. During planting season last year, Lee asked for Tiffany's help changing the tire on the soil finisher. I just needed her to climb in the New Holland tractor and push a button to lift the axle up a bit so I could put the tire on, Lee said. Well, she wasn't used to operating the new tractor. The axle ended up pressing down on my foot instead of lifting up. The result? Two fractured toes, several stitches and a lot of pain.
In my defense, he didn't give me good instructions, Tiffany said.
Fortunately, Lee didn't let broken toes hold him back. He was up on his feet working the farm and hunting for sheds a couple of days after the accident.
10. Blisters and Mystery Rashes
I love hunting. But I hate the horrible blisters I get on my heels after a day of trekking through the woods. No matter what type of boots I wear, by the day's end, I'm limping around like a hobbled horse. During my last hunt, my heels were so torn up that it took weeks for them to heal.
I also hate the doctor's visits that frequently follow my hunts. One year, I went to the doctor four times for various problems that all occurred while hunting. That year I contracted such a horrible case of poison ivy that my dermatologist actually laughed when she saw my swollen and irritated legs. I was diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever after one turkey hunt. Later that season I ended up with a severe allergic reaction to chiggers, which covered my stomach and back, and I was officially diagnosed with some kind of funk by the doctor who couldn't figure out why half of my forehead became swollen after a morning of turkey hunting.
So there you have it. A list of pet peeves from those who love hunting so much that they've built their lives around it. I'm betting you have a few pet peeves of your own. Go ahead and tell us about them.