Summer shooting, mosquitos, flys and no-see-um’s
Summer shooting, mosquitos, flys and no-see-um’s.
We have all been there, nice night to shoot but getting eaten alive by the bugs! Nothing is worse than staying indoors rather than shooting your favorite cast bullets. I know for years it was suffer thru the bites or smear on the repellant which is nasty and almost as bad as the bug bites.
A few years ago we started seeing Thermacell units popping up in the local stores sporting goods sections. We kind of turned our nose up at them as another gimmick set to relieve you of around $50.00. One September afternoon after getting chewed up sitting in a tree stand we figured what the heck is there to loose. After all the guy at the store said he has gotten some good feedback and the stand that was full the day before was now half empty. At least we wouldn’t be the only dummies getting clipped if it didn’t work! My hunting partner and I each got a unit. Turns out to be the best investment of the season.
Our archery stands are all on creek beds with standing water. This is mosquito paradise and to add to the misery there are biting flies and no-see-um’s in the tall grass and weeds. We were both anxious to give these babies their trial run! On the walk in we were getting eaten alive. I quickly climbed into my stand and got the Thermocell turned on. I recall from the directions they said give it about 15 minutes to work. I was busy swatting away and noticed after about 5 minutes they didn’t like me so much and after 10 minutes you could see a black cloud of bugs several feet away but they were not landing on me. The darn thing worked! Amazing! Even more amazing was the fact I had a deer no more than 15 yards from the stand and she didn’t detect it. Later in the season we had deer at the base of a 15-foot stand and they didn’t detect it either.
At Central Plains Enterprises,llc we not only cast bullets but hunt and shoot as well. As I have stated before it we run across a product that you should know about I will put up a review. Thermocell is one of these products. This is the time of year to make sure your cast bullet loads are just where you want them because hunting season is just around the corner.
I have the Thermocell and the holster, plus refills. The refills fit neatly into the side pockets of the holster and the Thermocell unit itself fits snuggly in the middle of it. This unit works on butane, the butane heats a stainless steel pad which transfers heat to the repellant pad. The heat activates the pad to release whatever it contains to repel the insects. You can figure on one pad lasting about 3 to 4 hours and a butane cartridge lasting 3 to 4 pads. They have this figured out and a refill kit has everything calculated so you get just what you want and need.
The unit is easy to operate, install the butane cartridge but removing the bottom and screwing it in, install a pad, turn the switch to on and push the button to light the butane. The apparatus to light the butane is similar to what you find on outdoor grills. Give it a few clicks and you are in business. There is an inspection window on top of the unit that allows you to confirm it is lit. There is also a window to let you see how much fuel is left in the cartridge. The repellant pad starts out blue and turns white as it expires. One fact to note is the unit needs to be lying down to operate properly. The entire thing works as advertised. If you are tired of getting bit to pieces and giving a pint of blood to the mosquitoes give one of these a try.
The only thing I think they missed on was the holster. They need to look at some tactical rigs and do a redesign. They have a belt loop and a large strap but I don’t like this on my already crowded belt and the strap will not hold the unit in place if attached around the leg. It needs a strap to loop around a belt to hold it up when you wrap the other one around your leg. Kind of like the same principle of suspenders!
Thermocell has a website with a good FAQ section. I noticed that units like mine will not work over 4,500 feet in elevation. However the good news is they have a lantern unit that will work in higher elevations. So if you are tired of the greasy repellants that make you half dizzy after putting them on give this a try. If you are out shooting our cast bullets at the range you will notice there are no bugs but you probably will attract other shooters tired of swatting them. Good luck and be safe.