Essentials for a Hunting Day
Hunting is fun.
Think about it. There’s a joy that comes with being outdoors, enjoying nature, perhaps companionship, and hunting down deer.
Still, everything could go wrong if you’re not well prepared.
So, before you go out for a hunting adventure, you’ll want to assemble what you need for the trip.
Still, that doesn’t mean tucking 20 pounds into your hunting pack.
We’re talking about must-haves for an exciting hunting experience. The necessities that you can’t leave home without.
While seasoned hunters may know what they need, their beginner counterparts struggle to decide which hunting essentials to bring along.
By the tail end of this post, however, you should have a problem figuring out what should go into your hunting pack.
Let’s get cracking.
What Items Do You Need During a Hunting Day?
We will break down the essentials into three categories; before, during, and after the hunt. That way, it is easier to determine what you need at every stage of your hunting trip.
Before the Hunt
1. Hunting License
Carry your hunting license tucked in a plastic bag to safeguard it from weather elements. You don’t want to cross paths with a game warden with an illegible, waterlogged license.
You can get a hunting license from your wildlife agency.
Side Note: Licensing terms and conditions vary from state to state. While you can apply for a hunting license in any state, you may have to take a hunter safety education course.
2. Deer Tag(s)
A deer tag allows you to kill a male deer with a particular number of points on its antlers. The tag comes with specifications outlining the permitted hunting style. For instance, the tag might compel you to use a bow, meaning you can use a rifle for deer hunting.
The primary purpose of deer tags is to help sustain the ecosystems and environment by safeguarding vulnerable species and preventing overpopulation.
3. Scent Remover
Your hunting gear must be scent-free. Why? Most animals, including deer, are super-sensitive. They can detect the lingering scent on your body or hunting gear from a distance.
Besides, moving from point A to B around the hunting ground will make you sweat. So, before you head to the woods, make sure you have a bottle of scent killer to mask odors and increase your hunting success.
4. Hunting Day Pack
You need a well-made pack to ferry your hunting gear safely. You’ll want to pick a day pack made with camouflage material to conceal your presence in the woods.
Choose a reasonably large pack to enable you to carry extra weight conveniently. Besides, with enough space, you can pack items in a way that allows you to take everything you need. Check if the unit has extra compartments for a water bottle or handgun. The roomier the hunting pack, the better.
During the Hunt
Hunting ammo comes in various types, each with a different terminal ballistic performance. The choice of one ammo type over the other depends on whether you want to hunt small, medium, or large game.
Whenever possible, pick lead-free ammo since they’re safer for the environment and humans. Remember to carry extra ammo; you never know when you’ll need to shoot a few more rounds.
6. Rifle Scope
A spotting scope is crucial for successful hunting. You’ll struggle to hit your target at an extended distance without one.
You’re better off with a rifle scope that offers enough magnification for long-range shooting. A good scope should be weatherproof and robust to handle the rigor of deer hunting. A good scope should have anti cant (tilt) control for precision shooting. Also the ability to illuminate the reticle for dwindling daylight is invaluable.
7. First Aid Kit
So never know when accidents can happen, so a medical kit is a must-have during a hunting trip. The kit doesn’t have to carry a lot of stuff. You can throw in a couple of band-aids, hand sanitizer, antibacterial cream, anti-itch cream, and a paracord. Remember, you want to carry enough weight to allow you to move around comfortably.
It would help if you carry a lighter on every hunting trip. You can use it to start a fire at the camp or burn a paracord’s end for a tighter knot.
Further, you may need to scare animals away at night at the camp. Whatever the reason, a fire starter can come in handy when you least expect it in the woods.
9. Cutting Knife
A high-quality knife can be a helpful addition to your hunting backpack. Ensure the knife’s blade is sharp and sturdy. Whether you need the knife for cutting rope or skinning a deer, ensure it has an ergonomic handle for a firm grip.
Handcrafted knives are long-lasting, easy to use, and clean. You only need to ensure that you pack your knife safely and only remove it whenever required.
10. Survival Shelter
Whether on an elk or deer hunting mission, you can stay in the woods longer than anticipated. A survival shelter can come in handy when you must spend an extra night inside the hunting ground.
As a rule of thumb, pick a shelter that can withstand extreme weather conditions while protecting you from the elements. At the same time, make sure your survival shelter is durable and lightweight.
11. Rubber Gloves
It would help to wear gloves when field-dressing any animal. That way, you can protect yourself from bacteria or parasites on the animal.
Consider carrying leather gloves as well to prevent blisters on your hands. The best gloves for hunting should be waterproof and durable. On top of that, they should fit snugly over your hands.
12. Toilet Paper
Carry a roll of environmentally friendly toilet paper. Also, bring a pack of baby wipes when you need to go to the bathroom, dry your hands before eating or get the sweat off your face after a tiring hunting day.
Baby wipes can also be helpful if you need to wipe off blood after field-dressing an animal in the woods.
13. Survival Kit
In addition to your deer hunting gear, you also need a day pack carrying emergency supplies. While the content may vary depending on your preference and conditions, many hunters pack the following items in their survival kits:
- Water supply
- Extra batteries
- Paper map
- A good headlamp
- Pocket knife
- Bino harness
- A GPS unit
- Bear spray
You may also want to throw in duct tape and dried fruit in your survival kit if you have backpack space left.
14. Good Rain Gear
It can get chilly in the woods, so you need to pack rain gear that keeps the water away. You’re better off with gear that perfectly balances breathability and water resistance.
You want gear with a three-layer construction, including a moisture-wicking backer and a waterproof face.
On top of that, ensure your gear is lightweight to avoid carrying a heavy load in the woods. Of course, it should be tough enough to handle the demands of deer hunting on a rainy day.
Depending on the time of the year, you may consider checking the weather forecast to help determine if you need to pack rain gear. A rain cover and an extra orange vest can be an excellent addition to your gear.
15. Cell Phone
Many hunters like to carry a cell phone during their deer hunting trips. While you may not need to make calls during day hunts, a cell phone can be a helpful device whenever you need to connect with the outside world.
You only need to ensure that the hunting grounds are within the cell service reach. Otherwise, the phone would be useless if there's no network coverage.
16. Shooting Sticks
Whether bird or deer hunting, a solid rest will always help you take a perfect shot. And in a hunt situation where you’ll be forced to take long-distance shots, it would help you carry shooting sticks.
When picking your sticks, ensure they’re adjustable and offer a range of movements. Also, ensure that the stocks are lightweight and constructed using heavy-duty material for durability. And if you’re a beginner, you can use the stick to practice shooting to help hone your accuracy.
After the Hunt
17. Game Bags
Sure, you can use trash bags after a successful hunt to pack out the game. However, trash bags only work for smaller animals.
Besides, trash bags are likely to tear when filled with large pieces of meat. If you're packing a large game, it would be best to use game bags. And the beauty of it is that game bags are reusable, enabling you to save money.
The Bottom Line
A good hunter carries the tools and items to make their hunting trip successful.
From the rifle to the hunting gear and everything in between, these are the most important pieces to bring along the next time you go out to hunt. Happy hunting!