When hunting season rolls around each year, people take to the outdoors, armed not only with their own weaponry, but with plenty of experience, superstitions, and do-it-yourself accessories to help them get their game. Because much of hunting is about using tact and guile to outsmart prey, homemade hunting goods are often the standard rather than the exception, from blinds to practice targets to decoys. Water-resistant, durable, and strong, closed-cell foam is one of the best materials for crafting your own hunting accessories, and Foam Factory, Inc. has supplies to help you on your next big hunt.
One of the first additions to a hunter’s bag of tricks is a hunting blind. These are huts, ranging from basic to ornate, that conceal a hunter’s movement and noise and allow them to more easily hide from an animal than if they were in the open. Some blinds are no more than tent-like structures or a small stand mounted in a tree. Others are permanent, cabin-quality structures. No matter how they are built though, their purpose remains the same and foam can help outfit a blind to give you the best chance at a successful hunt.
Whether you’ve built your own blind or purchased one from a store, movement will generally be concealed, but noise may be another story. If you’ve built a more permanent blind with solid flooring, heavy hunting boots will make plenty of noise as you move and situate yourself. Nylon fabric blinds can cause a crumpling-bag sound underfoot, and floorless blinds leave you trampling sticks and brush. Some people put down carpeting in their blinds to muffle sound, but when exposed to moisture, these can rot and quickly become foul. A solution to this is non-absorbent, closed-cell foam floor mats.
A sheet of durable, moisture-resistant gym rubber or neoprene floor padding placed in a blind can quiet footsteps and movement while still providing a stable surface. Foam Factory can cut either material down to 1/8″ to provide noise-deadening rubber floor mats.
Perhaps the most important equipment to a hunter is his or her firearm or bow, given that without one, “hunting” turns into “sitting outside way too early in the morning.” People spend thousands of dollars on their hunting equipment, knowing that it can outlast the owner if taken care of properly. Routine maintenance and general care goes a long way in keeping a gun or bow around long enough for it to become an heirloom, but the transport of these items is just as important. Using foam inserts for a snug fit in a weapon case is vital to ensuring that an item doesn’t move around and damage itself or other components. Because of foam’s compressibility, shock-absorption, and softness, it functions as the perfect material for keeping hunting weapons in place. Foam Factory stocks charcoal and Anti-Static foam, perfect materials for outfitting your case.
Bases from 1/2″ to 3″ provide a solid cushion for your item to lie upon in its casing. For customizing the foam to the unique sizes and case layouts that exist, Pick and Pluck foam is the perfect core layer in any protective carrying case. These sheets of foam come with pre-cut serrations that allow the user to easily slice away foam to fit the profile of the item that needs to be stored. Making cuts slightly smaller than the item ensures that it will be held snugly within the form. Pick and Pluck sheets all feature a 1/2″ by 1/2″ grid to remove foam pieces, and range from 1/2″ to 3″ in thickness. For deeper materials, multiple layers can be used with the foam plucked away in different areas for 3-D security. Lastly, convoluted/eggcrate sheets are available for case foam lids to keep things safely in place as the case is carried. These eggcrate sheets can be ordered in 1-1/2″ or 2-1/2″ peak varieties. These types come in three sizes; 12″ by 13″, 18″ by 20″, and 24″ by 26″, with custom sizes able to be ordered. Anti-Static foam is another useful gun foam for moving products with sensitive components, as it dissipates any charges generated during transportation.
For waterfowl hunters, one technique that has proven its effectiveness over the years is the use of decoys. These floating replicas lure birds into an area so you can get off a shot. Decoys can be store-bought, but people have been hand-crafting their own DIY decoys for even longer, and the ability to tailor your decoy to your region and game provides versatility stores cannot always match. It is often cheaper as well, and the sense of pride in constructing your own is a benefit unto itself. Decoys are made from many materials, most commonly wood. However, polystyrene is one popular material for DIY decoys that works for decoy-makers new and old.
Polystyrene is an extremely buoyant material and can easily float even with an added keel or movement apparatus, making it great for decoy carving. By purchasing blocks of polystyrene or laminating sheets together, a raw shape is quickly made that can be trimmed and shaped exactly the way you want. Using handheld hot-wire cutters or sharp detailing knives, custom designs can be carved out of the foam, which after applying coating, can then be painted for additional customization possibilities. Foam Factory sells four-packs of their 28″ by 48″ sheets of foam in thicknesses of 1″ to 4″, and can also cut custom sizes. They also stock adhesives specially formulated for bonding polystyrene.
Enjoying the great outdoors, spending time with old friends or conversely, getting some time alone are just a few of the reasons people love hunting. With Foam Factory products, you can make your hunts more enjoyable and hopefully more successful!