04 Jan Yeti Loadout 30 as a duck box
First, I think its important to note that the amount of equipment you can take into the blind depends on where you hunt and how you hunt. Where I hunt is in the North Fork of the Onion River just south of Reelfoot Lake in West Tennessee. It is a privately owned 1,000 acre parcel of land that is flooded through the winter. In general the hunting is done from floating blinds accessed by boats through a network of ditches. While there is a decent mix of timber and open areas to hunt – there are no pits and hunting from a boat is not allowed. You are limited in space only by how much you can fit in the boat. The boats are generally 70’s model v-hull design Alumacraft; to give you an idea on space.
Now that you have a little background on the type of hunting I am doing, lets dive into the newest offering from Yeti – the Loadout 30 Gear Box. I will be using this as a duck box for the remainder of the 2019-2020 season. Historically I have used a blind bag made by Avery in the corn brush camp pattern which served me well for about 15 years, but I am now in need of something that will double as an elevated seat in the boat, is easy to get in and out of the blinds, it waterproof, and has a locking lid… This box fits the bill.
While seemingly small in size, this box swallows gear like a country fan does beer at CMA Fest; It just keeps taking it. That is two “quick access” boxes of shells just in the top tray and room for as much as two cases below if I remove the divider and fill the bottom with a layer of shells. Over the years I have managed to narrow down my ammo amount to 4 boxes with two of those as backup if someone happens to run dry while we are out there. On the left side I have all the things I need quick access to (Calls, Gloves, Hearing protection, coffee thermos, choke tubes, a decent range finder, a towel, my windproof Sitka watch cap and some neck gaiters if it gets real while we are out (the boat ride back can be brutal if it drops to single digits while you are out).
My overall issue with the original blind bag I had (Avery’s largest one) was that all my gear was just floating around in one large open space, and once filled there was no room for strapping a rain coat or carrying water in the bag. I am all about having as much in one box as I can get in order to cut back on the space in the boat. This box has definitely provided the space for everything I need. Underneath the tray on the right side of the box is enough room for everything else you could want in a duck blind. I will be putting two boxes of shells, and some water in that space (I am affectionately calling it “The Basement”), along with my sunglasses, hand warmers, extra Havalon and outdoor edge blades, blade remover for the Havalon knife, some outdoor cutlery, a striker to light the propane if matches get wet or lighter is too cold to light, a Swiss army knife with a saw blade, a tourniquet in case shit happens, and the small delicious old fashioned lemon drop candies that take away the cravings for Copenhagen (I quit after 20 years and sometimes I eat candy to pass the time).
The lid has three zipper pockets (one large and two smaller mesh) in what Yeti calls the gear attic. I keep my license in the left front mesh pocket with a modern compass; the right side has two older duck calls that I only use if my reeds are sticking, and my grandfathers WWII compass. The larger pocket has room to spare after I put my waterproof neoprene gloves for handling decoys. On the outside of the lid I have added a nylon strap for clipping a rain jacket on days when rain is likely. I have also added a leather strap to the box for loading it in and out of the boat and blind.
This concludes the details of the box as I have it setup… ask any questions in the comments and I will answer them as time allows. Get back to it Rikki Tick.