Catalogs can be dangerous this time of year

Picking up catalogs filled with hunting equipment is always dangerous, but never as dangerous as it is this time of year.

If there’s ever a time to turn the checkbook and credit cards over to your better half, this is that time. It seems outdoor gear catalogs come in the mail every day, but this time of year, those catalogs don’t just sit on the end table. Now they call your name. They reach out to you with little papery hands, trying to convince you to open them up, pick out a few billon dollars-worth of gear and dial the toll-free number.

The catalog that’s calling to me the loudest right now is the Cabela’s fall master catalog, Edition I. This thing’s a tome. It’s more than 700 pages of stuff I just have to have. Everything a hunter could ever want is sandwiched between the covers. There are camo bug shields and trim packages for my truck, marsh grass blinds for my john boat, blaze orange camo bedsheet sets and down-filled long underwear. There’s some weird stuff in there too, but the bulk of the items are just as useful as the ones I just mentioned.

It’s just amazing we’ve hunted as long as we have without some of the things in this catalog. Like the folding stock for my Ruger 10/22. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been hunting rabbits and thought, “gee, I really wish this stock would fold up so I could stuff this rifle in my day pack.” Or image-stabilizing 8-power binoculars. Just the other day, I was using my run-of-the-mill 8-power binocs. The view was crystal-clear, but I couldn’t help but imagine how much better I could see the buck antelope I was watching if my optics had image stabilization. I wouldn’t even have to brace my thumbs on my cheekbones to keep them steady.

I won’t even begin to tell you how often I’ve wished my field glasses had a built-in digital camera. There’s an 8-power, 3.2 megapixel binocular in the catalog that even offers you the option of instant replay.

Maybe someday I’ll win the lottery. If I do, I’ll order one of everything in the catalog. Maybe I’ll even find some uses for some of the stuff.