I am very particular about caps or hats, whichever term you choose.
For one thing, it seems nowadays that a lot of baseball-style hunting caps sit on top of the head rather than reach down far enough in the back to be beneath the occipital bone of the skull.
I found that word (occipital) on the Information Superhighway. I was just going to call it the back of the noggin.
Anyway, the occipital bone acts as a sort of an anchor for a cap, keeping it on the head during a high wind or even during a quick twist of the cranium, such as happens when a grouse flushes to the left or the right.
During cold weather, I like a substantial hat. I have numerous hunting buddies who can hunt during cold weather wearing a standard twill ballcap.
Can’t do it. That would run me back to the truck or the cabin or even home because my head gets cold very easily and that, to me, is not a bearable situation.
Former newsroom colleague/reporter/ friend Alison Bunting used to frequently comment about, and, I believe, covet my various winter hats.
I am a Stormy Kromer fan and have three of those caps, my current favorite being the one in Partridge Plaid. Any camo good enough for a partridge is good enough for me. I think, too, that it provides a bit of a debonair and upscale touch to the hunter, though I don’t have an L. C. Smith side-by-side to crook in my arm to complete that picture.
I had a Columbia wool boonie camo cap that I liked a lot because every time it was squished it would take on a new form and still look good.
When a cap is like an amoeba, it looks good no matter the configuration. It was warm, too. And it had a bill.
I use the past tense because I haven’t been able to find that headgear for about three years. It’s probably not lost, just in a holding pattern somewhere that I haven’t looked.
This happens with many of my hunting items, such as calls and knives.
Eventually, I find them, and it is always in the last place I look. Get it?
In the 1960s, I bought a red, warm hunting cap at G.C. Murphy in downtown Cumberland.
Blaze orange was not invented then, let alone required. It was a bomber-style. You know, individual flaps front-back-left-right. Each of them would snap tight in the up position or unsnap and drop when more protection from the elements was needed.
I wore that cap for years while hunting big game in the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest.
A year ago I bought via the Internet a Gore-Tex, Thinsulate, camouflaged cap with ear flaps. This cap failed the first test in that it didn’t reach beneath the occipital bone unless the ear flaps were deployed. But, when the ear flaps were deployed it made terrible noises when the head was turned and the ears moved against the inside of the flaps.
I know. The animals won’t hear that noise, but it is simply too distracting to the wearer.
In some situations, it’s tough to beat a stocking cap. People in the Cumberland area have always used the term toboggan. The beanie cap and watch cap are of the same style.
I like these caps when I am in a ground blind, but not when I am out in the open. In the open woods, I prefer a cap with a bill because I see better without that glare of light coming straight down onto my eyes.
For years, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s, I wore the Jones-style hunting cap. Those are good caps, providing a short bill in the front and, if needed, a small back flap that can be lowered. I don’t see hunters wearing those much any more.
In the late 1980s I was in Kmart at the Country Club Mall and saw a bin of camouflage baseball-style caps. They were insulated with a layer of foam, which is a very good insulator, though I don’t think it is used much now.
The pattern on the caps was what I always saw referred to as brown camo. The sign at Kmart said they cost $3 apiece, and they weren’t even the Blue Light Special. I bought three; one for me, one for my father and one for his best hunting buddy.
I wore mine into a frazzle and eventually inherited Dad’s, which I still wear. It is among my all-time favorite top-five pieces of headgear. A photograph of it accompanies this column.
The one form of hunting for which I keep detailed records is spring gobbler. I record date, place, shotshell, distance of shot and physical characteristics of the gobbler among other things.
Ten years or so ago, I began chronicling the lucky hat I was wearing on the day of success.
That’s more for fun than utility. In recent years I have been hunting from the PHT (Pappy’s Hunting Tent) when I bagged gobblers. Inside that blind you could probably wear a flashing, neon cap and still kill turkeys.
My hunting for turkey and deer now is 99 percent from a stationary position. However, if you like to slip through the woods as you hunt, I’m sure you have already noticed that your headgear often scrapes against branches.
If you are wearing a wool or fleece cap, that will be a silent experience.
My all-time favorite cap was a Stetson, a very, very worn Stetson, along U.S. Route 12 between Walla Walla and Waitsburg, Wash., in the 1970s.
I didn’t have to wear it a long time to get some creases and holes. They were already there.
Like I said at the time, anybody can find a hat, but how many people can find a hat that fits perfectly?
Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at email@example.com.
I am very particular about caps or hats, whichever term you choose.
Yates fires 804
Derek Yates led all scoring for the week ending March 28 with an 804 series featuring a 290 game at Rainbow Lanes.
Bobby Benton actually came in second and third for the week with a 748 on the House pattern at White Oaks and 742 on the USBC Open pattern in the Sport league. Steve Ravenscroft had a nice 740 at Rainbow and Darren Durbin and Teddy Inman rounded out the scoring with 737s apiece at White Oaks.
The huge woods fire in nearby Pennsylvania shows just how much devastation can take place when a blaze breaks out during early spring. In this case, 900 acres of forest — much of it public game land — became engulfed in flames.
There are an estimated 47,000 deceased veterans whose remains are unidentified and unclaimed throughout the U.S. A group of senators and congressmen hope to do something to
bring these men and women some dignity after death.
For the world’s more than 2 billion Christians, Easter is the day that defines their faith.
The exact date of Christ’s resurrection is unknown, and even the precise locations of his crucifixion and burial are uncertain. This hasn’t stopped some people from saying they know the answer to these questions and others from trying to find out for themselves, or simply arguing about it.
Odds are good that you didn’t know this
Odds or Probabilities fascinate many people. There is a special website called www.BookOfOdds.com and an accompanying location on Facebook at /BookofOdds .This website lists 400,000 odds. Three of the people who are involved in this media display have coauthored a book, “The Book of Odds” that presents some of key odds, drawing from polls and statistics published in journals. The authors are A. Shapiro, L.F. Campbell and R. Wright. This paperback was published this year by Harper Collins with ISBN 978-0-06-206085-3.
Trivial questions you don’t have to answer
Every so often in this life, my mind, all on its own, generates questions that have no real answers. So I have decided to pass them on to you. I’m tired of them. If you come up with any answers, let me know. Remember when TV jealously guarded the time zone before 9 p.m. for wholesome shows that children could watch. My gosh, how many years ago was that? It seems like another world nowadays, when you can see murders, torture and rape, or those implied, every hour on the hour, somewhere on your public screen. It might be comforting then, to remember that most children nowadays are glued to their little machines with whole different worlds on them, that they can access all day long. Except that in these different worlds they also can view murders, torture and rape on demand.
Think it’s not a small world? You’re wrong
Yes, you read that right in the paper a couple of weeks ago. I covered a wedding as a newspaper reporter. I’ve retired from doing regular stories because my primary duties lie elsewhere, and I don’t have the time or mental energy for it. But I agreed to do it for a couple of reasons, one of which goes back more than 40 years. The former proprietor of The Famous North End Tavern told me about a wedding that was to take place at the Lions Center for Rehabilitation and Extended Care, where his wife works.
No Bambi for you, Mrs. Doe
Some people want so badly for deer birth control to work that they actually think it will, even on wild populations.
I wish I had a couple bridges to sell.
A week ago on the Outdoors page we ran the deer there do what deer everywhere do. They eat the easiest food available such as gardens and ornamental plantings. They walk in front of moving cars. They give ticks and parasites a place to live.
We’re certain that Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, echoes what many Americans feel about the complexity of filing income tax returns.
When he filed his return, Rumsfeld sent the following letter to the Internal Revenue Service:
Public libraries remain one of the best uses of taxpayer dollars. They are open to all. Young or old, poor or wealthy, residents can use computers and read current magazines and newspapers. Compact discs featuring a wide variety of music and
movies on DVD may be checked out in addition to novels and other books.
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