There are a few things I have always carried to the wood I can't seem to do without and other items I'd just as soon leave behind.
I'll start with my basic pocket knife. It is a Case trapper with two blades and it has been with me or one like it as long as I can remember. Of all the knives I've owned or tried, this is the only one I can't do without, as it will perform any of my hunting chores.
It's not fancy, however, it is elegant and will hold an edge long enough to skin two deer without sharpening. It is the "Gentlemen's Pocket Knife."
I guess the best thing about a Case is it works great, but they come anyway you want one, from the "Old Yeller Handled Pocket Knife," to elaborately decorated models for the horizontal bow hunter.
The Horton Crossbow, one of my newest pieces of equipment, has passed the acid test. It will shoot accurately as the person behind it. The crossbow is durable and will last you a long time, not to mention, it just plain looks good. I would recommend this crossbow, above all others, for the new horizontal bow hunter.
Hornady "Lever Evolution" ammunition with flex tip bullets is another. I have shot this ammunition in several lever action and single shot firearms and killed two deer with it (45-70, 325 grain) from what I see in the field, it works well in all the firearms, while my buddies at www.marlinowners.com will tell you even more about the performance of this ammunition.
What id does is make use of a flexible tip that allows sharp pointed bullets to be used in tubular magazine rifles safely. This leads to more accuracy and longer range.
Everybody is always looking for a bargain, while others are looking for the best performance. You get both with Harrington and Richardson firearms. I think every kid that ever started hunting has had an H&R Topper shotgun, just a little over $100 for the best training gun a kid could use.
This big kid (me) has the H&R 1871 Buffalo Classic in 45-70. This looks just like all the other H&R models, break down single shot guns that come in any rifle or shotgun combination. Some have interchangeable barrels. But one thing is for sure, they work.
I have used Marlin firearms for over 50 years. I just made a present to my adopted nephew Kade Jones, a 444 Marlin custom rifle that is extremely accurate. He has been eyeing that rifle for years, so on his 18th birthday, I gave it to him.
I suppose now I will have to replace it with a Marlin 45-70 since I already have the single shot H&R.
I have loved to hunt for years with the 30-06 as a deer rifle, and still do. I have used magnum rifles before as they have their place in some situations. But you always have the kick to contend with.
Not so with the Browning X-bolt rifles and the Winchester short magnum line of cartridges, you get more power, less kick.
Somehow, they defy the law of physics because I can see a hit at 200 yards through the scope of my 325 WSM, and I can't do that with other magnum rifles as I get kicked off target.
It seems to me the 325 and the 30-06 kick about the same, therefore, I use the 325 WSM most of the time.
Finding you way can be a problem, but if you have a GPS, it will get you there and back, even in the dark, providing you know how to use it. One of the strange things about my GPS is the game and fish prime time indicator.
I have had mine for about five years, and with deer, turkey and even fish, it tells you the best times to go hunting and fishing.
I have checked this over and over again and it seems to be right about 90 percent of the time. So when you get your new GPS, check and see if it has this feature.
Drop compensating scopes work. They come in several models with several features. To illustrate what they will do is simple. You sight in for a certain range, say about 100 yards, and the extra dots or crosshairs underneath the main center act as hold over sights for longer ranges.
A laser range finder helps in determining the exact range, then you just put the appropriate dot on the target and shoot. This was especially evident with the crossbow scope by Horton.
You sight in for 20 yards and it automatically compensates for range all the way out to 60 yards.
It's wise to include a laser range finder if you are a long range rifleman or a bow hunter using such equipment.
Finally, a good length of small gauge rope with snap attachments is might handy. I use mine for hauling up my gun or bow in the stand and dragging a deer out from time to time.
Pass it on.

John Simeone is an outdoors writer for Louisiana Road Trips Magazine, along with being a member of the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association. He can be reached by e-mail at fptopgun@bellsouth.net.