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Old August 29, 2012, 02:17 PM   #1
dyl
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1 step up from Walmart gear?

Howdy folks, first time posting on the hunting sub-forum. I'm usually in handgun.

I just completed a hunting skills weekend class (never been hunting) and while the instructors all cautioned against simply going to Walmart and buying cheap hunting clothes/boots, money is tighter this year (just bought a shotgun).

How is Walmart hunting gear?
If not adequate, please share what are some things that are 1 step up from Walmart? I can order online.

Lasting only a few seasons is alright for me, for now.

I'll be ground hunting deer at 100 yards or less. I am concerned with UV and scent. I'll likely be wearing blaze orange vest.
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Old August 29, 2012, 03:14 PM   #2
Backwoodsboy
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Over 15 years of hunting and thats all I have ever done. Go to walmart find what I need and buy it. Many dead deer didnt have a problem with what I was wearing. Watch the wind when you hunt, and dont move to much too quickly and you will be alright. I and many others have killed deer while wearing blue jeans and a carhart jacket.
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Old August 29, 2012, 03:20 PM   #3
jmr40
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Don't skimp on boots. Most other clothing is pretty serviceable. It does not have to be camo. I buy most of my gear at backpacking shops. Unlike hunting gear the styles and colors change from year to year and buying in the off season nets bargains. There are a couple of shops that put all their winter gear up at 50% off starting June 1. What is left is 70% off on July 1. I have several goose down and fleece items in green, brown, black and gray made by North Face, Marmont, and Mountain Hardware that cost me less than camo from Walmart.

Another option is Goodwill and other such places. I bought a wool jacket in dark green a couple of months ago for $4. Just have to look, you never know what you'll find in those places.

At least 90% of the boots marketed toward hunters are junk. Don't be fooled by the camo patterns. I've found the best boots from 2 sources. Good quality hiking boots are much, much, better quality and sell for less money than boots marketed toward hunters.

Another very good source is military boots. Most of them are much better quality than hunting boots and the price for quality is much better.

www.militaryboots.com

This site is more for reference, but you could order from them. I found a pair of Wellco's for my son at a gunshow for $25. Great boots, Gore-tex, waterproof and lightweigt.

I found these for myself at $130.

http://www.militaryboots.com/mens-danner-8-marine-gtx
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Old August 29, 2012, 03:36 PM   #4
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Reread JMR40's post a couple of times!

Good boots is where the most $ & thought goes......the rest is not to hard to get in a "frugal" way.

One point on the Goodwill/Thrift stores......read the labels on the sweaters they have and remember that that sweater will be UNDER your top layer so it does not matter how it looks. What you will find is that you can get WOOL, often times Marino which is soft and itch free, for almost nothing.

Of course it may be pink.........
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Old August 29, 2012, 03:57 PM   #5
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Deer think that every hunter, is a tree !!

There is nothing wrong with Walmart hunting clothes and gear although it would be on the lower end. I suspect that your instructor, might have a hidden agenda. I too echo the sentiments about the boots, especially in the Midwest. I use to be caught up in the latest Camo fasions and the squirrels always looked forward to reviewing the new fall styles. Today, I just fall back on my Rip-Stop Woodland army Camo. ...

There are a number of ways to block or mask your scent. I store my hunting clothes outside and keep them in a plastic bag, with three apples. If and when the apples start to go bad, so be it. I have also used a gound blind and it's surprising how well they work. ....

Be Safe !!!
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Old August 29, 2012, 04:58 PM   #6
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I use a LOT of gear from Wal-Mart. Heck this year I bought myself a new hunting jacket for gun deer season from Wal-Mart.

Sure its lower end stuff but it'll do just fine. As others said though don't skimp on your boots. If you're hunting in cold weather make sure to spend as much money as you can afford to on your boots. Good waterproof and warm boots make a huge difference in your hunt. Its no fun having wet and/or cold feet while deer hunting in 20 degree weather.
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Old August 29, 2012, 05:05 PM   #7
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Do you have a Gander Mountain near you? I picked up some camo on clearance for a killer deal. Money is tight for me too, being a college student, so I like to shop around for the best deal.

I personally don't like Walmart and Walmart products. Just my personal opinion.
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Old August 29, 2012, 05:10 PM   #8
dyl
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Folks, thanks a bunch. You've got me all excited that I might in fact be able to have everything ready in time for the season. I was NOT looking forward to researching every piece of gear...

Any testimonials on good boots? Great boots? So-so boots?

Here's what I've learned:

Camo might not be as important as everyone says.
You want good boots.
Everything else can be good-enough.
Ground blinds help.

Thank you for all the tips, including scent control and military boots. I've always wanted a pair of military boots....
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Old August 29, 2012, 05:13 PM   #9
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Snuzzo, no Gander Mtn but I have a Dick's sporting Goods. I hold a little resentment towards the guys in the sporting department because they talked me out of a Beretta 5901 I was ready to buy. So I went to Walmart down the road and got a Remington 870 for hunting this year. I still wonder what a semi auto shotgun would feel like. I'll forgive them someday
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Old August 29, 2012, 05:14 PM   #10
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Don't ever go to Gander Mountain, always way over priced.

I buy all I need as far as hunting gear from Walmart. Always have always will. There's only two pieces I haven't bought from there, and that's my hunting boots (ordered from Cabelas) since its stays warm here in Arkansas first part of season I wear snake boots, and other piece is my cold weather gear ( I have my old military gear, paid with those with sweat blood and tear). Other than those two things I get everything as far as clothes from Walmart.
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Old August 29, 2012, 05:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dyl View Post
Snuzzo, no Gander Mtn but I have a Dick's sporting Goods.
Dicks sporting goods in normally always over priced as well.
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Old August 29, 2012, 05:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Any testimonials on good boots? Great boots? So-so boots?
Danner's and Cabelas Outfitter series have served me very well over the 10-15 years. If you need waterproof don't scimp, get gortex and continue to keep boots well oiled.
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Old August 29, 2012, 07:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
There is nothing wrong with Walmart hunting clothes and gear although it would be on the lower end. I suspect that your instructor, might have a hidden agenda
I've been a hunter safety instructor since 1986. Let me try to explain this from an instructors perspective and tell how I cover this in my classes. As part of the class we are required to do a section on survival, which was one of the sections I always taught.

If you are on a casual hunt on the family farm and never out of sight of a road, or other structure most anything will do. But if you ever hunt in a wilderness setting your clothing selection can get you killed. Walmart sells nothing I'd use on that type of hunt and it has nothing to do with making a fashion statement. For that matter Bass Pro shops sells nothing I'd hunt with, including boots. Cabelas has a few items.

There is a well known phrase in wilderness settings. "Cotton Kills". Never wear ANYTHING made of cotton in the back country. You might only be uncomfortable in summer, but could die the rest of the year. Wool,or quality synthetics is the only way to go. Good boots that won't let you down are vital. I'm aways looking at a bargain, and have 2-3 pairs of boots that retail at $300+. Fortunately I've always been able to find something heavily discounted and have never paid that much. But I'd not bat an eye to pay that much if I could not find a bargain.

The more rugged and remote the hunt, the more important quality clothes become. I've been on solo backpack hunts in areas so remote that if I had fallen and broke a leg my body would likely never be found. Walmart clothes have their place and do fine for most situations. But as a hunter safety instructor we have to assume that some of our students may someday end up on a remote hunt in the middle of Alaska. It is our job to prepare them as well as we can in a short class.
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Old August 29, 2012, 07:40 PM   #14
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Do not buy cheap boots. That is a fact if you plan on walking any distance or it might be cold.

Otherwise, Wally World clothing / camo will hold up just fine to get you started.
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Old August 29, 2012, 07:44 PM   #15
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It is what it is and not what it's not

Quote:
I just completed a hunting skills weekend class (never been hunting) and while the instructors all cautioned against simply going to Walmart and buying cheap hunting clothes/boots, money is tighter this year (just bought a shotgun).
Lets get back to what the OP stated. I wanted to ask him, just what kind of class this was. I too am a hunter safety instructor and have taught since 1990. We teach the basics and mostly related to safety. I know that various states conduct "advanced" hunter skills . I believe one, in Oregon, is called the Master's Hunters training and that is a whole different skill level. ...

During our basic course, we do not promote brands or stores. We do teach Situational Awareness and address each challenge as it arises. We teach in the midwest states. Y'all teach in VA and other places that are worlds apart from Alaska. In the 22 years that I have taught, I have never had to teach nor would I teach, what is needed to hunt in Africa, Alaska or even Southern California. We don't pick on, nor promote Gander Mountain, Cabelas or Walmart. ....

Be Safe !!!
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Old August 29, 2012, 07:47 PM   #16
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But Wal-mart camo makes my butt look too big!
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Old August 29, 2012, 07:57 PM   #17
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If you figure your hunting mostly to be when it's dry weather, I suggest either the Russell "Birdhunter" or the Red Wing "20 Mile" boots. Lightweight leather, flat soles. Quiet walking. (I don't like "waffle-stompers".)

Any dull, earth-toned clothing from Goodwill will do for "camo". All deer ever see is some shade of gray. I've done just fine for decades with old khaki work pants and a Korean War era GI field jacket. Main thing is for loose fit so winter underwear doesn't make the shirt/pants too snug.
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Old August 29, 2012, 08:30 PM   #18
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IMHO, this is a bit over blown. I started hunting in a decent pair of like $59 hunting boots and my "old" clothes. The only thing which I believe is required to buy, but only if you have nothing close and can afford it, is a pair of hunting boots and several pairs of socks. A pair of hunting boots and comfortable socks are fairly important IMO. Basspro and Cabela's sell good boots now for $75 or less, I think. . .
I would hunt in these boots without thinking twice about it.

The rest of the clothes allow you advantages that basic clothes will not. i.e. warm clothes allow you to be out longer in cold weather, rain gear allows more time in wet weather. Wool keeps you warm when wet. Fleece is warm and sheds water well. hi tech underwear keeps you from getting wet when perspiring. Wet, wind, sweat and odor are your enemies. Wet and wind can be handled by good hunting gear. Odor is more complex. A good spray and washing your clothes in a no scent wash will allow you to start out odor free. Aluminum, carbon and other fancy materials can help you not produce odor.

Frankly, Arm & Hammer scentless deoderant is cheap and helps alot. Heck I use this year round so I don't fight my cologne smell! Dressing not to sweat can help alot.

UV is unproven as far as I know, but I also believe it can be washed out. Not worth a big spend to me.

Again, I and many others have killed very big deer in the wrong gear due to age, poverty or just not caring. Walmart is not a terrible place to get base gear. Buy a tote, put your gear in it with cover scent wafers. Makes it smell dirt fresh when you pull it out at the hunting site.

Also, when hunting, have hunting clothes and after hunting clothes. It keeps your real hunting clothes a little more stink free.

This is also related to distance. If you want to be 5 yards from the deer you kill, you will have to be 100's of times better than at 25 yards and that is hudreds of times better than at 75 - 100 yards.

I've taken most of my game at 100 - 200 yards, so maybe what I lack in gear, I make up for in shotmaking!
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Old August 29, 2012, 08:36 PM   #19
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Danner desert Acadia boots

A tad pricey $230, but when you're standing on them it's as if you are floating.
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Old August 29, 2012, 08:46 PM   #20
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Academy has an excelent selection at a reasonable price at or just above Walmart's. Academy will usually have some items that Walmart doesn't carry. I bought a knock off camel pack in camo with the extra storage compartment from Academy for $25. I haven't even seen them at Walmart in camo. Another thing I found was a web belt shell/game bag combo for $10. I believe both are Academy's "Game Winner" brand.
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Old August 29, 2012, 09:15 PM   #21
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When I was younger, I did most of my hunting in my old Army gear, and before that, it was jeans, a sweatshirt, and a blaze orange zip-up Hoodie..... maybe an orange stocking over the orange feed store gimme cap if it was cold... come to think of it, I killed more pheasants wearing canvas Chucky-T's that I ever did wearing boots.......

Now that I am older, warmer gear is more important- and keeping dry is the better part of staying warm....... Gore-tex, or similar, is a must in bad weather.

As for spendy boots- I have had more miles on Rockies than anything else..... I've never spent more than 150 dollars on a pair of boots.... and the best pair were some 50 dollar on sale Rockies..... I wore those things for years, until I started using them as work boots and wore a hole in them..... by the time I needed a replacement, they had stopped making that style.

You mentioned buying a shotgun- what exactly are you planning to hunt? Oh-deer .... I forgot folks back east use "shotguns" for deer.....
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Old August 29, 2012, 09:21 PM   #22
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The wally world stuff will be fine. Dont get all wrapped up in the latest camo fashion stuff. I do wear camo, but I have also killed more deer in bluejeans and a what ever shirt. A lot of the stuff is like fishing lures. Designed to catch the "sportsman" and not the prey.
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Old August 29, 2012, 09:24 PM   #23
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Quote:
Designed to catch the "sportsman" and not the prey.
+1.
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Old August 30, 2012, 09:57 AM   #24
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this wont help you for the upcoming season, but as soon as hunting season is over dicks sells all their stuff for 50 to 80% off....one year i ran to 3 different dicks in 3 different towns and bought up a bunch of stuff, turkey vests, thermal underwear, camo, etc
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Old August 30, 2012, 10:20 AM   #25
dyl
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Thanks again hunters, I'm definitely going to try some of those suggestions.

To clarify - the instructors at the VA hunter's skills weekend class had a lot more tact and professionalism than I made them out to sound. They gave their disclaimers and didn't slam a particular brand or store - their main message on that issue was to not thoughtlessly purchase poor gear and let the almighty dollar be the bottom line when it comes to functional clothes. Most of us had not hunted / not hunted long and a good percentage of us were looking to hunt on public lands since we have no family connections. Yes, you nailed it - there was a survival course offered, and map/compass classes, etc... Also these instructors (who were very knowledgeable) were dedicated and knew they were going to hunt for many more years to come. Hence they didn't mind looking for gear that would last a decade or more. I just didn't feel like writing a disclaimer about their disclaimer so I paraphrased.

Oh, I just thought of something.
What material is recommended as the final outer layer? Don't be afraid to offer any specific suggestions - I always appreciate a starting point.
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