Deer hunting is one of America’s favorite outdoor pastimes. But if you’re new to the sport, then you may find that you’re frequently unprepared on hunts. How can you be more comfortable and accurate on a consistent basis? The key is to bring the right gear with you.
Five Items You Need to Pack
As you stroll through the aisles of your local hunting supply store or browse the internet for new products, it’s easy to find yourself saying, “I don’t really need that.” Well, while you may not need it when you’re in the comfort of your own home, the last thing you want it is to be in the middle of a hunt, only to figure out you’re missing a valuable tool.
Keeping that in mind, let’s review some of the top items that every experienced deer hunter carries with them to ensure a successful hunt.
When asked about the best hunting gear investment he’s ever made, renowned deer hunter Mike Hanback told Target Tamers that good optics come in number one on the list for multiple reasons.
“Good optics. Without a doubt, the best investment I have made to improve my hunting,” he explains. “Clear, crisp, quality binoculars let you glass for hours and find more deer without eye fatigue or getting a headache.”
Reliable Flashlight and Headlamp
Whether it’s walking to your stand in the early morning or leaving your stand at dusk, you’re usually navigating through the woods under the guise of darkness. As such, you need a couple sources of light.
While you can get away with having just a flashlight, it’s a good idea to carry a flashlight and a headlamp. The headlamp can be used to light your way, while the flashlight can be used to look up ahead. It’s also smart to have two sources in case one fails.
If you’ve ever made the mistake of leaving your hunting boots at home, then you know just how important they are. Having a pair of comfortable boots allows you to trek through any terrain without worrying about getting your feet wet or creating blisters.
Boots that land well above the ankle are ideal, as they also provide protection against snakes and insects and animals that you may inadvertently come into contact with during your hunt.
It’s amazing how everything can begin to look similar once you get deep into the woods. Which way did you come from? Where were you headed? It’s always a smart idea to reference a compass when entering the woods – especially an area where you’ve never hunted before – as well as when you arrive at your stand. Hopefully you never have to pull it back out, but it’s good to have these references.
Once again, this is something you hope you don’t have to use, but it’s always wise to have fire starters on hand. A fire starter can be a lifesaver, should you ever find yourself stranded. Not only will it allow you to stay warm, but it also provides light and a cooking source.
As a rule of thumb, make sure you know how to use your fire starter. There are many different kinds and you don’t want to be learning when you really need the warmth. Carry a starter that you’re comfortable with and you’ll have peace of mind.
While the five items above always come in at the top of everyone’s list, there are plenty of other things to consider. From rope and scent spray to knives and calls, there are a slew of deer hunting accessories worth throwing in your bag – just in case. Always pack wisely.