For a person who’s not afraid of the dark, I still would not personally choose to be stuck out in the blackness of a country night after a day of hunting.
But it could happen. And it did.
While deer hunting on a friend’s property one autumn day, I climbed down from my treestand thirty minutes past sundown to head back to camp. I only needed to walk a short distance to get to the trail that would lead me back to the shack.
However, with all the freshly fallen leaves scattered about the forest floor, the trail was completely and hopelessly covered. I was sure the route back was "this" way. So I began my trek "that" way. With each and every step, the world around me became darker. I told myself there was no reason to turn my headlamp on because I was sure I’d be back at camp in no time. So I ambled through the woods only to discover a wooden bridge under my feet, which I knew I hadn’t crossed on my way to the stand! I stopped in my tracks, turned around, and immediately thought, "Don’t panic." So I did what I probably should have done in the first place. I turned my headlamp on and aimed it straight ahead. Luckily for me, there were FireTacks Trail Markers strategically placed all throughout the woods, lighting my way towards the correct trail that would lead me back to camp.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your own property that you’ve hunted for years and think you know like the back of your hand, because all it takes is that one time when you get disoriented in the pitch blackness of the night and you feel so completely alone and helpless, even more so if you’re hunting solo, with no body else close by to show you the way out.
In times like that, you had better wish you were prepared. This property I was hunting on this day was Boy Scout prepared! (Actually that’s a good sign of a great hunter too!)
Every 20 yards or so was a FireTack at eye level in the trees along side the trails, directing the way to travel. The correct way to go.
Not only does WildTech Corp. make FireTacks, but they also make FireTape Trail Ribbons, which light up just as brightly as the FireTacks do.
While hunting antelope in Wyoming, I needed to mark my way in to the next mornings hunt location. There were no trees in sight, only sagebrush scattered here and there. I wrapped FireTape around small limbs of sage starting from where I parked my truck, all the way to the waterhole where my ground blind was set up. I even wrapped one FireTape around the stake-down string of my ground blind so I could easily locate that blind in the pre-dawn hours of morning. This proved to be a very good idea. Here’s what happened…
The next morning found me shining my headlamp on the brightly colored FireTape that seemed to float low in the blackness of the morning. I was so glad I had brought these along with me to Wyoming to use. When I came to the last FireTape on my trail, I scanned the area in front of me for where my ground blind should have been. It was nowhere to be found, until I directed my light to the waterhole. There, in the center of the waterhole, the glowing FireTape was spotted. A strong wind had come up in the night and blew my blind down, collapsing it and sending it into the water. I was actually more relieved than upset… relieved that I was able to locate it before daylight, so I didn’t have to hide amongst the sage and wait till sun-up to search for it and set it back up. This way, I was able to spot it immediately, all because of the use of a FireTape marker!
Now I always carry a package of FireTape when I’m hunting because you never know when they might come in handy.
Another use for the FireTape: My hunting partner uses her FireTape when blood trailing her deer. This way she can track the path the deer takes as it finds its final resting spot, and, just as importantly, to find her way back out.
I’ve used them when scouting new areas, as they are easily visible from great distances and I can keep track of where I just came from. They’re your way in and your way out.
What makes FireTacks and FireTape so special?
Besides the fact that the founder and president of the company is fellow WomenHunter® Linda Burch? Here’s the lowdown:
FireTacks are multi-directional, reusable and made from high quality plastic with coated pins, to resist rust. The 3M commercial grade prismatic reflective material is "Retro-Reflective" and both the material and the reflectivity will last for up to ten years. Fire Tacks have been tested in the photometric Lab at 3M Company in Minnesota, and are proven to be up to 10 times as bright as any other trail markers. Fire Tacks are over 500 times as bright in wet weather like rain, fog, and morning dew conditions. Ordinary trail tacks virtually disappear in these same conditions! Fire Tacks can be placed much further apart then ordinary tacks because of their incredible reflective qualities at great distances, at night or in low light conditions.
They come in Blaze (orange), Stealth (brown) and Ice (white) colors and 3-D (pyramid), 4-D (cube) and hex flat (Hot Dot) shapes
Each pack includes 25 Fire Tacks Trail Markers.
FireTape is made from a virtually indestructible two-ply prismatic high florescent. Strips have hook/loop (Velcro) on each end, sewn (not glued) on for strength. Strips can be "chained" together for larger trees or posts. Fire Tape is removable, reusable and washable, season after season. Fire Tape is visible during daylight as well as brilliantly reflective at night or in low light. You need fewer Fire Tape strips per distance then common trial tape because of their great visibility. Each pack include 10 Blaze orange Fire Tape Trail Markers.
Other notable products from WildTech Corp:
Gear Markers: These work great for adding some reflectibility to your treestand, tree steps and other gear. So they can easily be located at night or in low light conditions. They are adhesive backed so can be applied to plastic, metal or wood and they’ll last for years. They also come in Blaze and Stealth.
FireTacks StarTrails Reflector Clips: Super Bright reflective clips for hunting trails, blood trailing, night safety, for kid's bikes, joggers, you name it. Brilliant prismatic impressions are molded inside the clip. Spring action is steel coated iron for rust free performance, yet high-tension memory. Reusable and lasts for years. 18 Clips per pack. Available in one color per pak in Clear, Red, Green or Orange, or in Combo Pak with Clear, Red & Orange.