I think my favorite piece of hunting gear, based on how much i use it, would be my Swarovski Optic 8X42 binoculars. I bought them over twenty years ago and they are probably the best investment in hunting gear I ever made.
I'd have to pick my dog. Dog, you say? I know she isn't "gear" per say but I can replace gear by buying it from the store. I'll have a hard time finding a dog that will provide the memories she has. She's ready to go the minute I pick up the keys in the morning, out the door. She'll go in the nastiest cover to retrieve doves and ducks. She has found more than one deer in some nasty thickets with little blood. Minds better than most children. I'd miss her more than any piece of gear I have.
There can be too much of a good thing with antler rattling.
I like to hit the horns together for a good 30- to 40-second rattling sequence and then hang them up and resist the urge to hit them again.
This works to the hunter's advantage, because if a buck has heard it, he may have been 300 or 400 yards away and he comes in and he's not exactly sure where it came from.
When finally is time to rattle again throw a slight change-up into the routine.
The second time, don't rattle as loud...