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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gear that adds to your stamina

Steve Sorensen
(Originally published in the Warren Times Observer, January 10, 2009.)

I got out the Sit-Drag and
quickly decided it was something I needed for myself.

In this day of lower deer populations, stand hunting remains a very popular method. For many hunters it’s less successful than it once was, yet many continue to station themselves at a single location. Unless you’re in a real hotspot, you may not be seeing many deer from your stand because few hunters are walking around causing the deer to move.

My answer to that dilemma has been to improve my skills as a still-hunter. But all-day still-hunting takes a toll on your legs. Extra effort is required to put your feet down noiselessly, to avoid breaking sticks, to stay balanced, and to be ready to shoot in a fraction of a second. That extra effort, made continuously from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset, will send you home exhausted. The still-hunter must, if he is going to be effective, stop at intervals and rest his legs.

I’ve discovered a new piece of equipment that helps me do that and adds to my stamina. In fact, it’s perfect for still-hunters or stand hunters, or any hunter using a combination of those methods. It’s a new seat that enables you to stop anywhere and give your legs a rest. It’s called the Sit-Drag.

You won’t have to look for a stump that’s the right height. You won’t have to brush the snow from a log. You won’t get a wet seat and you won’t have a heavy, cumbersome stool to carry. And you will be able to sit down anywhere there is a tree.

When I got the Sit-Drag I actually had my dad in mind. I took it with me one day on a hunt in New York State, figuring I’d try it out so I could offer my dad some tips on using it. The snow was up to my waist. With no place to sit and rest, I got out the Sit-Drag and quickly decided it was something I needed for myself.

It is a simple sling-style seat, similar to a child’s swing. A grip-strap goes around any tree up to a foot in diameter (an extension strap is available for larger trees), and the sling-style seat hangs from that strap. It’s quick to set up or take down, so it’s worth using even on a brief stop. It rolls up into a compact package, so it’s much easier to carry than any other kind of seat and it’s hardly noticeable in your pack or hanging from your belt.

The seat takes virtually all the weight off your legs, yet allows you total freedom of movement. You can rotate silently as if in slow motion, see 360-degrees around you, and use the tree as a shooting rest.

If you get tired of sitting, stay in the seat but stand up -- leaning back away from the tree will take most of the weight off your legs. In the first half hour you use it, you’ll discover various positions that will keep you comfortable and ready to shoot when that buck comes along.

It weighs less than 9 ounces, but is rated to support 300 pounds. Instructions are provided that describe how to set it up. I added a heavy duty carabiner clip, which makes it quicker to set up. I also use the clip to fasten the carrying bag to my belt when I’m walking.

Once you get a deer, it doubles as an efficient deer drag. It spreads the pressure out across your torso, keeping your hands and arms free. It also works for bowhunting from the ground, for fishing from the bank, or for roasting marshmallows by the fire -- anywhere there is a tree.

If your legs don’t carry you as far as they once did, or they get restless like mine do when on a stand, the Sit-Drag is perfect for you. You won’t get nearly as tired, and you’ll be more willing to move -- or to stop moving -- as the situation dictates.

It’s an inexpensive piece of gear, and once you try it you won’t go hunting without it. Find out more details and ordering information online at www.SitDrag.com.


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