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LIGHTS FOR HUNTING
Big Game Hunting topics that dont fit other categories
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watchmaker
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:19 pm    Post subject: LIGHTS FOR HUNTING Reply with quote

LIGHTS FOR HUNTING



This post will try to show how different lights used for hunting compare with each other, and will clarify the difference between the lumen ratings used in Luxeon (LED) lights and incandescent lights.
In short, I will show (through pictures) how Luxeons lack definition when used at increased distances.

I have maintained for a long time that LED Luxeons don’t have the range over the incandescent to really be helpful for general hunting. They are excellent lights to use inside the house; their beams are very clean, white and with substantial flood, and in the average house, that is all you need. However, when taken outside to the backyard, woods, or large structure and the distance to the target is 25 yards or more, they lack definition (as they lack the red spectrum of light), and their poor penetration of fog or rain makes them inefficient to clearly identify what you are seeing at that distance.
Moreover, when the subject being illuminated is an animal with a light-drinking fur (depth of texture), the blending effect of the LED’s (against the background) will cause the observer to lose perspective.


LOW LIGHT FOR WALKING IN THE WOODS


Hunters that have used the Fenix LOP (1 AAA) consider this light ideal (except for the lack of a clip). Another favorite is the ARC AAA. These lights can be held in the mouth without any discomfort.

Fenix has put out a bigger light (1 AA) with two stages output, and the lower output will be also ideal for projecting a soft LED beam that will aid in walking the woods in the pre-dawn blackness when going toward your stand, (perhaps following a trail of cat-eyes) at this time, it is necessary not to pollute the area with more light than what is absolutely needed.
Some hunters that know the terrain well, prefer to use a red filter over the light, as is well known that deer and others animals cannot see red light.


THE BELT LIGHT

Those same hunters want to have a good light on their belt. Some prefer the two cell 123’s lights like the Surefire 6P, G2, or C-2 for their better flood beam over the more tightly focused Streamlight Scorpion, TL-2 and Night Fighter II.
They look for a run time of one hour and an output of 65 lumens.
Some opt for more intense lights like the Surefire 9P or the C-3 with their 105 lumens and one hour run time.
The Streamlight TL-3 is a little too tightly focused for a belt light but it will do fine at the longer distances were the bigger lights shine.
In LED form (Luxeon V), the Surefire L-4 is a good contender due to the excellent flood light that it puts out at medium range, however it lacks the throw needed for more distance illumination.

The main thing is that the hunters want to avoid losing precious seconds by panning a light when in the woods. That is why the Surefires are preferred over the tightly focused others brands, because they have special reflectors that diffuse the light into a bigger flood pattern.


THE CAR LIGHT

Some hunters wear a light holder in their belt (a plastic and leather ring). On exiting their cars, they slip in the ring one of the powerful rechargeable lights, most commonly the Magcharger (200 lumens) or the Ultra Stinger (295 lumens) and some even a Borealis 1050 lumens mega light.

Those are ideal lights for search for wounded game, search and rescue of lost partner, signaling at long distances and using them as spotlights after the hunt. Being rechargeable, they are always used with a maximum run time (taken out of the charger at start of the day, a thing that you can not do with 123 batteries unless you are willing to dump half-used batteries at the start of every day of hunting.

Their large diameter (2 inches) reflectors put more light at a longer distance than any of the belt lights. Even though some of the belt lights approach 200 lumens, they do it with reduced run time and much reduced throw, due to their small diameter reflectors.
A Magcharger will put a spot of light at 150 yards, as will the Ultra Stinger and a Borealis has the capability of illuminating the whole road for 250 yards.


Lets start with the popular Surefire G-2 (or 6 P) at 65 lumens, the target is the 8 by 12 tool shed at 30 yards.
We are going to pit the Surefire G-2 65 lumens $35.00 against the Surefire Digital Lumamax L-4 (also 65 lumens and with a price tag of $160.00).

Surefire G-2 65 lumens



Surefire L-4 Luxeon V, LED, 65 lumens



And now we are going to pit the Surefire 6 P with the P-61 120 lumen lamp (20 minutes run time) against the best Luxeon LED thrower that I have (similar to the cree LED).
This is a Mc Gizmo PR T head with a TWOJ bin Luxeon doing 120 plus lumens.

Surefire Centurion C-2 (same as the 6P) with the P-61 lamp, 120 lumens.



And the PR T with TWOJ bin Luxeon, (LED) @ 120 lumens



And now we are going to show a belt light of 200 lumens (The Surefire Centurion III with the P-91 lamp, 200 lumens, 20 minutes run) and three cars' lights of 200 lumens plus and beyond.

Surefire Centurion C-III, 200 lumens P-91 lamp.



And here the Magcharger also 200 lumens, with its bigger reflector and tighter focus will throw the light at 150 yards, while the Centurion III range will stop at 45 or 50 yards.

Magcharger 200 lumens (40,000 candlepowers)





And here is the Ultra Stinger, the most powerful of the rechargeable from Streamlight with 295 lumens and 75,000 candlepower.



And now the BOREALIS, the light that has the format of a 3 D (12 1/2 inches long) outputting 1050 lumens for 50 minutes.
This is similar to a two million candlepower spotlight





As I have over 200 lights that I have used at one time or another in my hunting expeditions, I am well familiarized with distinct situations that call for different lights and method of using them.
I have encountered a new one lately, that calls for following a wounded wild boar at night with a powerful pistol like the S&W 500 or a 454 Casull and also a powerful light in the order of a Surefire M-6 (500 lumens) or a Borealis 1050 lumens.
For myself, I cannot think of another pursuit that could be more dangerous to life and limb, although I have a lot of respect for the young athletes that have tried it, I consider it too “Extreme” for my good health.

Hope I can do some more talking to the members about my second hobby after knife collecting, which is of course hunting at night and light usage.

Respectfully
WATCHMAKER
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watchmaker
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:21 pm    Post subject: Re: LIGHTS FOR HUNTING Reply with quote

MORE LIGHTS FOR HUNTING




As a continuation of the first post and for whatever value it has, I am going to do some more shoot outs of a mix of popular Luxeon lights and incandescent ones.

The first order of things is to change the target area, to make it a little more interesting to my viewers.
Consequently I replaced the tool shed target with a deer and bear mount.
The deer head mounted on the tree is exactly 26 yards from my second story window from where the lights are shinning.
The bear head in the fence is only six more feet further away from the tree.

In the summer I have plenty of bushy cover in the area, but this time I had to be creative and cut and nailed to the tree and fence, some branches from a pine tree, not to hide the animals from view, just to provide a natural blending effect, like they were coming from a natural habitat.

The camera was placed twelve foot away from the tree (and eighteen feet from the bear) in a solid tripod, and the night camera mode used (this mode shows in pictures the same light values that I am seeing with my own eyes).

The close proximity of the camera is for the viewer to see the target with clarity; if I were to place the camera 26 yards away the target will be awfully small.

Here it is the target area and how it looks in daylight.



And here are the contenders, but before I describe them, let me voice my opinion that some manufacturers of Luxeon lights label the output in lumens in quite a wild way.




From left to right: # 1 Fenix L1P at about 40 lumens, # 2 Nuwaii Q III at 75 lumens (yes, sure!) # 3 Surefire L-4 Digital Lumamax at 65 lumens (this is a Luxeon V which is quite a flood light but with little throw).

# 4 Streamlight Task-Light 2 L (two Lithium 3 volts batteries, high and low output,
Cost is about $77.00) This is billed at a High Flux Luxeon III. With 75 lumens, which I think is about right.

# 5 is the Streamlight Pro Polymer 4 AA with a Luxeon I, billed as 40 lumens (3,500 candlepower according to the advertising) which I think is quite wrong, as it appears to me to have about 70 lumens or more, this light has a bigger and deeper reflector than the others lights and the beam is concentrated more than the others. This is a great light for the price of about $40.00

# 6, this is a PR T Luxeon III head done for me by master modder McGizmo, it is set on a Surefire E2e body and I am using two rechargeable 123’s with a voltage of 4.2 volts in it.
This light is my best Luxeon III light and up to two years ago it was pretty HOT STUFF, today the cree LED’s are approaching it in intensity, although it has not been overpower by any other Luxeon, yet.
My friends told me I have two of the Integrated Sphere Spectotometers just above my nose, those spheres are telling me that this light makes 120 to 130 “real” lumens.

# 7, this is A Surefire Centurion II in black with the P-60 lamp (65 lumens) this represents all the others Surefires lights that use this lamp, G-2, 6P. Z-2. etc.

# 8, this is another Surefire Centurion II, but in Hard anodized, it wears the HOLA lamp. The P-61 with the output of 120 lumens for 20 minutes.

# 9 this is a Surefire Centurion III (3 cells) this is usually sold with the P-90 lamp that makes 105 lumens for one hour, but in this case is set up with the P-91 lamp for 200 lumens for 20 minutes, as you will see in the picture later, the floodlight effect is great at 26 yards. All those P’s lamps start to lose range at about 45 to 50 yards, this is because the reflectors are fabricated to produce a good flood so police officers can clear houses with them.
I took this particular light out of my Remington 742 rifle, where it sits in the special quick detach mount in a Picattiny rail.

# 10, this is the BEAR CUB, this light weights 13 oz and measures 9 inches long, it works with two Lithium Ion computer batteries, and produces 220 plus lumens for 90 minutes. Thanks to the big and deep 2 inch mirror-like reflector, this light concentrates the beam like a laser and has a throw of 120 to 150 yards.
So the 26 yards distance is like child play for the Bear Cub and the light is so intense at the target that they had to close their eyes!

# 11, (last on the left lying in horizontal position next to the Bear Cub) this light is a KL-1 head Luxeon I of three years ago, it is set up in a Surefire Outdoorsman body and the lumens output is no more than 20, consequently I decided to strike it out from the competition, there is no room in my stable for weaklings and I will present it to my nephew on his birthday quite soon.

And now let’s go to the pictures:

Fenix L1P (40 lumens) Luxeon I



Nuwaii Q III (advertised at 75 lumens in a website, which I don’t believe) Luxeon III.




Surefire L-4 Digital Lumamax (65 lumens) this is very flood light and the lumens spread in a very wide area, so it cannot be expected to have a good throw at 26 yards. (Luxeon V ~which are 4 of the one watt together)




Streamlight Task Light 2 L about 75 lumens on high, works on two 123’s batteries and has two levels of illumination. High Flux Luxeon III. About $77.00



Streamlight Poly Pro 4 AA Luxeon. This light has a deep and bigger reflector, the Luxeon is I, according to the manufacturer, is listed at 40 lumens, but to my eyes is doing about 75 lumens.
For the price of $40.00 this is a great light, and very battery friendly as it uses regulars AA.
I feed this light, rechargeable Nimhs AA of high current (Powerex 2700 mah) that hovers around 1.4 volts for weeks consequently it costs me nothing to operate it.





Mc Gizmo PR T head on Surefire body, Luxeon III, TWOJ bin,
My best Luxeon light putting out 120 to 130 lumens. This is a collector’s item and was state of the art, less than two years ago.
I have found nothing new that can approach its power, except the new cree 7090 that is getting close.



Surefire Centurion II in black with the P-60 lamp (65 lumens for one hour)





Surefire Centurion II in Hard anodized with the P-61 lamp (120 lumens for 20 minutes)



Surefire Centurion III in hard anodized, with the P-91 lamp (200 lumens for 20 minutes) as you can see it is a great flood at 26 yards.





BEAR CUB running for 90 minutes on two computer Lithium Ion batteries, driving a Xenon Magnum Star bulb for 5 cells pretty hard at 8.4 volts at 220 lumens (which make it a very white light) with a reach of 120 to 150 yards, even surpassing the Ultra Stinger.



Best regards

watchmaker
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Vince
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:41 am    Post subject: Re: LIGHTS FOR HUNTING Reply with quote

Um, wow.

Far too much info for me. Goes way over my head and feeble mind. I've heard of the measurement of light "lumen", but it means nothing to me. I'm an old bugger and "think" in watts or candlepower.

To me, a light is useful if it serves the purpose for which I purchased it. If it doesn't meet my needs, its gone. This applies equally to small single LED headlamps, a fluoro tent light or my 6 inch H3 130 watt quartz halogen spotlight (which runs off the car battery) for night hunting rabbits, foxes and feral cats.

However, everyone to his own. Collecting and researching the capabilities of torches/lamps/lights is no different to doing the same with rifles/pistols/shotguns or ammunition.

Cheers, Vince

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watchmaker
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:02 am    Post subject: Re: LIGHTS FOR HUNTING Reply with quote

Hi Vince,
Candlepower is the measurement of the hot spot (at the center of the beam) and favor lights with big reflectors (like a spotlight) as the bigger the reflector the more concentrate and the longest the throw.

Lumens are the measure of total light as taken in an Integrated Sphere Spectotometer (A lab instrument that measure the total light emitted by the source).
It is more relevant and well adapted to flashlights as it measures the side spill or flood.

Watts doesn't means much these days, when a super flashlight such as the BOREALIS 1050 lumens (35 watts super-bulb) have the same intensity as a 120 watts bulb from a two million candlepower spotlight.

TWO MILLION CANDLEPOWER SPOTLIGHT



Borealis, 1050 lumens (12 1/2 " long 28 oz)



Pictures from a test I did with one, two and 5 million candlepower spotlights and the Borealis.



A guy in New Zealand shoots rabbits every day (big rabbit explosion there) with a Borealis held under the rifle, he told me that free him from carrying headlamp and battery belt.

Cheers
Watchmaker
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:04 am    Post subject: Re: LIGHTS FOR HUNTING Reply with quote

One more for the data base of beam shots:


As the Surefire E2e is a very common light in the bow hunting and gun hunting scene, here it is.


The little MN03 lamp (60 lumens for 75 minutes) in the E2e is a big performer, I like myself this little light a lot, and I think it qualifies as a tactical light to be used at close to medium range if the need arose.
The MN02 lamp can be substituted for more run time, as it is 25 lumens for 2 1/2 hours, I actually prefer this lamp for walking in the trails and other general chores, but I will use the 60 lumens lamp for blood trailing a deer or bear.

Red, blue and infrared filters are available from Surefire and vendors such as Cabela's. The red is used to walk in the trails or follow the cat-eye tacks when you go toward the stand in the pre-dawn darkness and don’t want to pollute the woods with light, and the blue to bring up the blood drops in the leaves.

The E2e is 4 1/2 inches long and weighs at 3 .1 oz., is available in hard anodized type III and will not scratch easily, but it can be rough on your pocket liner. Other finishes are available sometimes. A tear drop bezel model is done in nickel plated and the wine light in regular anodized with a wine burgundy color.

Here is a picture of a few of the versions of the E2e.





And here is the beam shot at the same distance as the others above (26 yards) and the camera placed at the same distance (12 feet to the Deer head and 18 to the Bear head).




I can tell you that the light is fairly waterproof. I don’t have a pool to try it at a few feet, but it survived quite well in my 3 ½ gallon beer glass for several hours.



Kind regards,

Watchmaker
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:01 am    Post subject: Re: LIGHTS FOR HUNTING Reply with quote

Welcome to the forums, and thanks for the review. Howdy

I like smaller lightweight flashlights, so my go-to flashlight right now is a Pelican 1900 its only 7 Lumens, most people I know say its too weak for a hunting flashlight though so I've thought about a Surefire, got it in the 1950 kit with the 90* bend, makes a great all around flashlight/bore light. And for 25$ who can complain. Smile

Dimitri

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:23 pm    Post subject: Re: LIGHTS FOR HUNTING Reply with quote

Thanks for the clarification watchmaker. The BOREALIS 1050 lumens sounds like a real nice light. What sort of batteries does it use and what is the continuous usage time?

The portable light we are using at the moment is a 2,000,000 CP spotlight connected to a 17aH sealed rechargeable abttery carried in a shoulder bag. This battery gives us about 2 hours of light, or more if we use it sparingly. The max range I would expect to need a spotlight when hunting is about 75m - 100m and this light meets this need.

[quote/="watchmaker"] but it survived quite well in my 3 ½ gallon beer glass for several hours.[quote/]

3 ½ gallon beer glass. wtf Shocked Shocked Very Happy I'm impressed watchmaker....that is a real drinkers beer glass. You aren't an aussie by any chance are you? Laughing Laughing Laughing

Cheers, Vince

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watchmaker
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:23 am    Post subject: Re: LIGHTS FOR HUNTING Reply with quote

Hi Vince,
No Aussie but like my beer, I had promised my wife to cut beer to a glass a day, I had to get creative!

The batteries for the BOREALIS ( a flashlight made in the host of a maglite 3 D, 12 1/2 inches long 28 oz) are nine high current high capacity NIMH batteries, here is the picture of the unique Rolls Royce battery carrier and the RC FAST charger (90 minutes charge)



The run time is 50 minutes of 1050 lumens light, the batteries are so powerful that it is no sag and the brightness is the same from start to end.
As you can see in this picture the system is 12 volts plus (same as your big battery)



The rest of the parts of the Borealis are super-bulb (3 1/2 amps) heavy walled solid aluminum reflector, special high temperature switch, and Pyrex lens.


Respectfully
watchmaker
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:35 am    Post subject: Re: LIGHTS FOR HUNTING Reply with quote

Here is another one for the dats-base, it is used often in hunting and also by police officers as a tactical light


THE STREAMLIGHT SCORPION

I like the little Scorpion a lot, it is powerful (at 6,500 candle powers) light (at 4.4 oz) not too long at 4.9 inches and with a great feel in the hand thanks to the rubber boot that covers the body.
This rubber boot can be especially beneficial in the winter when others lights left in the trunk are too cold to hold without gloves.





The switch is momentary and click on, exactly as I want my switches; it is located in the back of the light and protected by the rubber boot.
The momentary works well, the click is in my case too difficult to operate with my big thumb and I have to click it with my index finger.
But it rarely that I use the click as this light can be used as a “tactical” light and the momentary mode is preferred when using it with a gun. (You don’t want to drop the light “on” and that it will illuminate you or your partner, that is the reason to use the momentary).

The light uses two 123’s batteries and run a xenon bulb for one hour, this xenon bulb is quite small, (a spare is located in the bulb holder inside the head) I will hate to have to change it in less than normal conditions, for starters you have to pry a cover from the bulb holder to access the spare, you will have a few small parts in your hands and you will need calm conditions and plenty of light to do the job properly.

For those situations I really prefer the big bulbs with reflector included of the Surefires’ or even the smaller but easy to handle bulb of the E2e’s.

Why I consider this so important? Well, the bulb is rated for 5 hours of life, which is extremely short.

I say I like this light, but it is really not rational because we have much better designs, for a tactical light. The little Scorpion will roll out on a table that is not perfectly flat, for lack of an anti-roll bezel. Surefires are much better in this department.

The beam can be adjusted by rotating the head (the filament of the bulb will go lower or higher inside the reflector), in reality I have the light set to maximum throw that will not show any artifacts and I don’t twist the head at all because the quality of the beam will be spoiled by artifacts and black spots.
This light is good for throw considering the small reflector and the quality of the beam when set at near maximum throw is good, a nice round circle, (due to the short filament).

The lens is polycarbonate, I would like to see it changed to Pyrex, but that is my personal feelings that this light should deserve a better lens.
I bought mine two years ago from Cabela’s and it cost me $38.00; I think that the price is right for a quality made American product.
The bulbs run about $6.00 each and I also consider them in price, they are so bright because they are overdriven (hence their short life of 5 hours).

I have seen a holster for the light made out of Cordura Nylon, but I haven’t tried it and I don’t know if is any issues in removing the light quickly, the rubber boot cause me trouble when removing the light from tight pockets (read Jean’s) but is okay when the pocket is from s dress pants.
I also have seen filters made for this light in red, blue and yellow for those that would like to penetrate the deer’s woods with a minimum of light pollution.

As always the beam shot are coming from 26 yards away and my camera tripod is in the same position, 12 feet from the deer and 18 from the bear.
I have also included as way of comparison the beam shot with the P-60 lamp out of a Surefire Centurion C-2 (read it also Surefire 6P, Z-2, G-2 D-2 etc).

SCORPION’S BEAM



P-60 LAMP FROM a Surefire Centurion II



You will notice that the beam of the Scorpion is more concentrated than the P-60 lamp, making the target clearer at this distance, for tactical situations at short range the P-60 lamp is better for the extra flood, it will be easier to clear a room with a Surefire without the need to pan the light to cover it all.

Cheers,
watchmaker
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:43 pm    Post subject: Re: LIGHTS FOR HUNTING Reply with quote

ever thought of hunting in the daylight? Just an idea....

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:55 pm    Post subject: Re: LIGHTS FOR HUNTING Reply with quote

It's illegal to hunt at night here. Like tracker we do our hunting during the day.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:27 pm    Post subject: Re: LIGHTS FOR HUNTING Reply with quote

[quote} It's illegal to hunt at night here. Like tracker we do our hunting during the day.{quote}

It is too bad that you miss hunting at night, here in all represive New York State we can still hunt coyotes at night with a call and lights, I oftem have run coons in the Southern states, and hunted bobcats in Texas.
Also quite legal to hunt wild hogs in Texas and other states at night.

I have friends that hold nuisances permits to get rid of the Island many deer that destroy crops, they do it at night with a bow and light.

I have looked for wounded black bear at night with a light and a long knife in Northem Maine and in New York, and I imagine I can retrieve game with a light (provided I don't carry a gun) in most of the states and provinces.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:44 am    Post subject: Re: LIGHTS FOR HUNTING Reply with quote

watchmaker wrote:

I have looked for wounded black bear at night with a light and a long knife in Northem Maine and in New York, Watchmaker

Man, they were either wounded really, really badly or you didn't find them! Or else you're walking bowlegged cuz of the size of....never mind. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:27 pm    Post subject: Re: LIGHTS FOR HUNTING Reply with quote

Welcome Watchmaker.
Just a "simple thought"
Don't think too deeply around here. Our brains are way too black and white for deep thinking.
I carry a $34.00 Sure Fire flash light.
Why??? Because I can see with it. I put it in my mouth and then I can use both of my hands. Last year, my son dropped one into 25ft of water while ice fishing. It stayed lit until the batteries ran out.
We do "real world" tests around here. Don't just talk about it, just go out, test it, then find out what works and what doesn't work.
I still wear wool in the winter. Why??? Because it keeps me warm. I don't know why, and don't care, I'm just warm and dry with wool.
When I was a kid, we used to shoot deer with our truck headlights for help.
We had no idea why, it just worked and fresh venison in Aug. tastes good.

PLEASE--Keep it simple, don't worry about hunting after dark, and stay away from Woody Allen Movies.

Eric Very Happy wtf

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:16 am    Post subject: Re: LIGHTS FOR HUNTING Reply with quote

Smile welcome watchmaker, I use to use a streamlite ultra stinger and a stinger w/piggyback charger at work. I actually like the reg. stinger work work cause it's easier to handle. that why now I only use a stinger at work, took the ultra home. Dave Very Happy

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