When it comes to deer hunting season, it’s crucial to have everything you need on hand. If you forget something, it could easily affect how successful your trip is. Just like any other hunt though, it can be a little overwhelming to try and remember everything you need to bring with you when you’re getting ready to leave. You can use this quick guide to make sure you grab all of the basics.
The Right Clothes
Having the right clothes for the job is essential for both comfort and safety. You’re going to want to be warm enough, so it’s a good idea to grab a high quality camouflage jacket and pants. Rain gear is also important to keep on hand in case you run into inclement weather. The Downpour Pant and Downpour Jacket are both excellent choices and currently 35% off.
One of the essential pieces of clothing to keep in your pack is your Ballistic Vest from Sitka Gear. In almost every state, a hunter’s orange vest is strongly recommended if not legally required. The International Hunter Education Association covers the laws for every state when it comes to hunter orange requirements. It’s important to check in on your state’s laws, too, because some states require a certain amount of hunter orange to wear. Aside from safety, these vests can also help you dodge fines. In Arkansas, hunters not wearing their blaze orange garment risk a penalty of up to $1000, as well as the safety risks that come with the lack of visibility that would cause.
If you’re using a tree stand, you’re also going to want to use a safety harness with your wearable gear. These are crucial in making sure that you remain safe in and out of your stand. Your best choice is to invest in a full-body harness because they’ll keep you upright if you fall, and they’re less likely to knock the wind out of you if you do. Sitka has designed quite a few different jackets and vests with safety harness pass-through ports for layering flexibility while you're connected.
To hike in your layers, gear, and tree stand, you'll want the Sitka Gear Tool Bucket. This pack is designed with a Treestand Carrying System allowing you to haul in all your needed gear while freeing your hands. With 1900 cubic inches of storage, you'll have room for everything you need for a dark-to-dark day in the stand.
Firearms, Bows, and Optics
When you’re headed out for whitetail hunting, you’re going to need to bring a bow or rifle that’s up to the task. Blaser R8 rifles are a particularly good choice because they’re lightweight, easy to use, and modular for all kinds of hunting.
Alongside your firearm, you’re going to want to make sure and have all the accessories for it that you might need. For instance, optics for your rifle will help you see whitetail clearly when you try to make a successful shot. You'll need a high quality rifle scope and binoculars to rely on. Additionally, having a sling for your firearm or bow is important for easy access.
Whenever you go on an outdoor adventure; keeping a solid knife handy is a good idea. They’re a versatile tool that can help you out of many tight situations. When it comes to hunting, one of the most basic needs of a knife is field dressing. If you can’t field dress a deer, then you’re going to have a hard time bringing your prize back to your campsite or truck.
It’s also a good idea to pack a knife sharpener with you when you hit the field. This way, you won’t get stuck if you’re ready to use your knife and realize it’s a bit dull. These sharpeners can be handheld too, so you don’t have to worry about them taking up too much space.
Food and Water
A lot of hunting includes long days prepared and ready in your tree stand. This means you’re probably going to get a little hungry and thirsty while you’re out. It’s a good idea to bring some snacks and a water bottle when you go. As far as the water bottle goes, it’s better to use a reusable one because a crinkling plastic water bottle doesn’t work well for trying to stay undetected. Several packs from Sitka Gear and Stone Glacier are hydration sleeve compatible for extra convenience.
For snacks, it’s good to go for something that will give you energy rather than snack on sweets or salty snacks all day. Try reaching for snacks like Heather's Choice Packaroons to keep you alert and ready throughout the day.
Since you’re probably going to create a bit of waste when you’re snacking, it’s a good idea to bring a gallon bag with you to keep your trash in. This is a good way to make sure that you leave your area the way you found it.
First Aid Supplies
When you're out hunting, you want to be prepared for anything. That means if you're going to stay on top of any medical emergencies, you need to keep a first aid kit handy. This should be well-stocked as well. You don't want to be caught in an emergency only to see that you don't have the supplies that you need.
To make sure that you have the supplies to deal with everything from a scrape to helping handle more severe problems, it's best to check your supply list before every hunting trip. If you aren't sure what should go into your first aid kit, The Red Cross has a handy checklist.
Additionally, you'll want to make sure that you know how to use everything in the kit as well. Otherwise, those supplies aren't going to be very useful.
Going out, camping, and hunting is a great way to get in touch with nature, but a lack of hygiene supplies will make that trip miserable pretty quickly. This includes items like toilet paper as well as wipes, soap, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.
When you’re packing hygiene products, remember that it’s best to opt for unscented products. The last thing you want is to be covered in man-made perfume while you’re trying to track whitetail. It can help to pack some scent killer in your hygiene bundle as well or consider the various accessories from Scent Crusher. This will help mask your human scent that may alert wildlife to your presence. Go a step further and consider using merino base layers or polygeine products to keep bacteria and smells at bay.
Hunting season promises a lot of memories and experiences that will stick with you for a lifetime. To make sure that these experiences go as smoothly as possible and to ensure you have plenty of venison for the dinner table, you’re going to need to pack pieces of gear like these so that you’re prepared for anything.
Written by: Josh Montgomery