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Wednesday, September 2, 2009 • Posted September 2, 2009

Pretty much all the time I get emails from companies or representatives telling me about new outdoor products they want to sell. I appreciate this but, quite frankly, a lot of the products are either junk or are too expensive for me to buy, so the emails don’t do me much good. Here’s a hint to manufacturers who want their products advertised – don’t send me an email. Send me a note saying I can examine the product for two weeks in Alaska or Australia or someplace, and drop in a couple of round trip plane tickets. I don’t know why I have to tell these people how to do their jobs.

Recently, however, I got an email from my friends at Howard Communications, Mike Capps and Kevin Howard, about a new product that, at first, seems pretty funny. It’s called the Kruncher. It’s a little do-hickey that looks sort of like two small jar lids, with a spring in between. When you squeeze the ends together it makes a sound like a deer chewing on corn. Really.

I know, it sounds pretty silly at first. But when you think about it a while it makes perfect sense. Deer hear a lot better than people, so they should be able to hear the Kruncher for a good ways. And there is probably not a sound in the world that would do more to calm a deer down and make it think everything is fine and dandy than the sound of another deer eating corn. They always stop eating when they’re looking around for danger, so if they’re chewing everything must be OK. Plus, it probably causes them to think they need to come quick, before the free grub disappears.

So the Kruncher is not such a bad idea. The ad says it will also help to settle spooked deer, and will stop them, like blowing a grunt call, but in a more relaxed state. Which all sounds great. I just wish I’d had one of those when I was in Mrs. Underwood’s English class in sixth grade.

Another interesting email ad I got a while back is a little more delicate, because it concerns a very personal subject not normally talked about in polite company, namely – bass boats. The actual product is called the Bassroom. This requires some explanation.

The problem a lot of anglers have, when they want to spend a day fishing on their favorite lake, is that their favorite lake doesn’t have little floating port-a-potties all over it. So when nature calls, the angler needs a place to answer. There are a few alternatives.

One is to run the boat all the way back to the dock or a marina or somewhere that has appropriate facilities. Most bass fishers reject this option, because it takes a lot of time. This would seem to be a nice break to a normal person, but if you don’t understand a bass fisherman wanting to stay on the water for twelve hours straight, you obviously don’t know bass fishermen.

Another option is to head for the nearest shoreline and find a bush. This is usually illegal, and is definitely frowned upon. Besides, on some lakes, all the bushes are in someone’s backyard. So that’s out.

The only thing left is to go on the boat. That will work, but most bass boats are pretty flat, with hardly any gunwale sticking up above the deck. This creates more exposure than is generally desired.

The Bassroom solves the problem. It’s a small, pop-up tent with no floor that can be set up in about a minute. It has a door on both ends, and is narrow enough for just about any bass boat. The bass fisherman can go in there and use a port-a-john in complete privacy. Or he can knock a hole in the bottom of the boat, but that isn’t recommended, since it’s just as illegal as finding a bush on the bank.

Overall, the Bassroom is a great idea, because it keeps things discreet, plus bass anglers like it because they don’t have to go anywhere to use it. So everybody’s happy.

I am also proud to report that Browning took my advice of a few weeks ago, and is offering special deals on trade-ins. If you’ll recall I said gun companies should offer a cash-for-clunkers type program for folks to upgrade their gun cabinets. So far Browning is the only gun manufacturer to take my advice.

Mike and Kevin, at Howard Communications, sent me this information also. For a while, you can trade in any used firearm on a new Browning Citori or BT-99 shotgun and get $150 off. They will also give you $150 toward ammunition when you buy any Citori over/under shotgun.

The best deal, though, is aimed at youth shooting programs. Any 4-H club, Scholastic Clay Target Program group, or AIM youth self defense organization gets up to $200 off when buying a Browning shotgun for program use.

Me, I’m waiting for the outdoor writer deal, where you get $1000 off any $500 shotgun, plus a trip to the Texas panhandle to hunt pheasants.

But I’d settle for a free Kruncher . . .

Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist who is looking forward to not having to chew corn while hunting. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or jeep@verizon.net

For details about the above products and offers visit www.hunterspec.com (Kruncher), www.coveryourbass.com (Bassroom), or www.browning.com (Browning shotguns)

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