- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 29, 2004

With hunting season approaching, the dilemma of entering a woodland hunting spot before the rooster crows looms large. To shine or not to shine a light while traipsing through the underbrush on the way to a tree stand or a concealing turkey blind in total darkness is a decision we must make.

A bright, white beam even from a pen-sized flashlight can spook wildlife in a second. But to walk around in tree-shrouded blackness can result in a face covered by spider webs, unseen branches and nasty scratches.

Now, however, there is something on the market that might convince even my hunting/fishing friend, Bob Rice, to change his mind about never using a light to help him find his way in forested darkness.

These days increasing numbers of hunters are giving green flashlights the “go” sign. The benefits of using a green light when going into or out of the woods are threefold.

One of the world’s most respected turkey hunters, Paul Butski, says the green light alerts other hunters to his presence, allows him to see where he’s going without sacrificing night vision and — most importantly — doesn’t alarm animals.

Butski — champion of the Masters Invitational Open, two-time winner of the Levi Garrett All-American Open, six-time winner of the U.S. Open and three-time winner of the Grand National Championships — is one of the nation’s top turkey callers and hunters. He relies on a small Streamlight Stylus flashlight with a green LED bulb when going to or from his hunting spots in low light. When clipped to his cap, the 6.2-inch, pen-like flashlight provides plenty of illumination and leaves his hands free.

The high-intensity green bulb can be seen for a mile or more by humans but apparently can’t be seen at all by most animals. For Butski, those elements are important.

“When you’re going into the woods early in the morning, it’s dark — people don’t shoot lights,” he says. “I like the green light, [and] I’ve never had any problem with animals spotting it.”

Russ Thornberry, executive editor of the Buckmasters magazines and a veteran deer hunting guide, says he has aimed a green Streamlight Stylus into the eyes of deer without triggering any response.

“That deer never knew I was there,” Thornberry says. “It was the most amazing thing.”

The company that produces the product, Streamlight Inc. of Eagleville, Pa., offers a variety of lights that enjoyed significant sales increases in its sporting goods division last year. Many of those sales were made to hunters who came to rely on the green lights that come in several models, including headlamps.

The Stylus, which provides up to 60 hours of high-intensity light with its three AAAA batteries, is waterproof and made of durable aircraft aluminum to survive rugged outdoors use. Its nonslip grip makes it easy to handle in wet or damp conditions. A pocket clip allows it to be attached to clothing or a cap.

Another Streamlight product, the Trident headlamp, provides up to 120 hours of light from three AAA alkaline batteries and offers hunters a choice of green or white light. It features a white xenon bulb and a single green LED that combines with two white LEDs for three-way lighting. When the single green LED is activated, the Trident provides low-level lighting and preserves night vision.

The dual LED mode activates two white LEDs for medium-range lighting. The single xenon bulb, which can be adjusted for spot-to-flood focus, provides a high-intensity beam and is best suited for illuminating long distances. Its water-resistant thermoplastic casing features an unbreakable polycarbonate lens and rubber-shielded bezel to withstand rugged treatment. Fully adjustable elastic straps provide a comfortable, secure fit.

Streamlight Inc. also is a top manufacturer of high-performance lighting for firefighting, law enforcement, industrial and automotive applications. More information is available on its Web site, www.streamlight.com, or by calling 800/523-7488.

Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report on Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: gmueller@washingtontimes.com

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