When Mark Davis isn’t packing his Pelican cooler to chasing giant grouper or other salty critters as host of the award-winning Big Water Adventures outdoors show, he enjoys his downtime with family and hunting mature white-tailed deer.
By Alan Clemons, Managing Editor
Davis has hunted throughout the country. He grew up in Indiana and now resides in South Carolina. He’s hunted bucks in Texas, the Midwest and throughout the Southeast. He’s also encountered a thing or two over the years that, like every hunter, makes him scratch his head and wonder how to avoid a problem or do something better.
Most hunters have tangled — sometimes literally — with barbed wire fences. We’ve snagged quail vests, deer hunting pants, coveralls, bibs, safety harnesses and other clothing, poked a leg or scratched an arm, and probably uttered a blue word or three. Davis recently emailed to say he figured out a few years ago how to avoid this problem and it’s a pretty good tip.
“When I go everywhere from Texas to the Midwest, inevitably I run into barbed wire fences,” he said. “Unless there is an end post, I can’t climb over it because I’m too heavy and the last thing you want is one of those strands to break while you’re straddling it.
“With two guys it’s easy because you step on one wire and pull up on the one above to let your buddy through, and he does the same for you. But when you’re by yourself, you’re screwed.”
Some fences are four-strand and may be easy to get through if the strands are loose. But if they’re tight, or if it’s a five-strand fence, then things can get dicey. Going over could mean you pop a strand and hurt yourself. Crawling under may not be an option depending on the height of the bottom strand.
“A simple thing can solve the problem,” Davis said. “I take a bundle of 4-inch (plastic) zip ties and a fingernail clipper. Zip tie the two top (fence strands) together and then do the two bottom ones to create an opening, and you’re good to go. When you get through the fence, the fingernail clipper can easily clip the zip ties and you don’t hurt the fence.”
Hey, pretty smart! Just remember to pack enough zip ties if you’ll have to go through other fences or go back through one to get to your camp or vehicle. And with the fingernail clippers, you can trim those nasty hangnails your wife complains about when you’re scratching her back watching the Hallmark Channel with her at night.
The zip ties also could be used if you’re field dressing a deer in the woods and need to tie up any bags of meat in the pack. Davis always has a bundle of ties along with his Buck Knives Paklite Caper knife.
“I use the Paklite Caper for almost everything,” he said. “It’s so easy to use. It’s only a $32 knife but it’s my absolute favorite and I’ve used a lot of knives over the years on boats and in the woods. I skinned three nilgai bulls and four whitetails with one Paklite in one week without sharpening it. They’re made in the USA, have a ‘Forever Warranty’ and I love that you can just pop them in the dishwasher.”
One of the all-time classic hunting knives is the Buck 110 folding hunting knife, a single locking blade with brass and wood handle. It’s sturdy, holds an edge, sharpens well and will get the job done. Combine it with the Paklite Caper and you’ll have a winning combo.