So we’ve read everything we can on hunting tactics, types of hunting, where to hunt, what season to hunt, what to look for in a good partner, and everything else that comes with hunting. So are you prepared to get out there? Let’s be sure you have everything you need on the hunting gear list! Hunting gear is super important and can go a long way in making our experience so much more enjoy. Even if you are an experienced hunter, you may want to double check your pack for some of these items. There are tons of things to take into consideration for any particular hunt. From accessories, to something as important as your gun, you and I have a long list of things to prepare for, so let’s dive in.
Hunting gear list:
Boots: There is a reason that hunting boots are the first thing on the list. It doesn’t matter if you are duck hunting or tracking down elk. Your choice for boots can literally (mentally and physically) make or break your hunt. For this important topic we created a full buyers guide for The Best Hunting Boots
Decoys: Decoys are important. Very important. Whether you are hunting for waterfowl, or turkey hunting. Not utilizing decoys for your hunt can be one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a newbie. If you want to fill your bag more often, you need to have decoys and use them to their fullest potential.
Click here to see our recommendation on:
Locator Calls: This is another essential! Not only should you own a call for whatever game you are hunting, but you should be practicing your call to perfection. This can be the difference between filling your bag or tag, and going home empty handed. We’ll point out a few good calls to get you started:
Check out this full Turkey Call Kit on Amazon
Great Duck Call from Duck Commander
Binoculars: Classic standard tool for any explorer, let alone hunter. Yes, I said explorer, because that is what we are essentially isn’t it? We explore little known spots in nature and hunt their game. A binocular will come in handy for spotting that deer a football field away, or if you are on very high ground and want to scope out the terrain from afar. Vortex is a very trusted brand and probably seen as one of the more popular choices, thanks to their UNCONDITIONAL LIFETIME WARRANTY. Here is their most recent Diamondback 10×42 Roof Prism (perfect set for deer and elk hunts)
Head lamp: This may seem like one of things that goes without saying….but it must be said. In fact I specifically mention head lamp and not flashlight. This might be obvious while I’m saying it not, but its not something you may think of as your packing your bag. Head lamps are far better because you have both your hands freed up to carry your gun, or if your down an Elk just before sunset and have you dress it long into the night. Trust me, it happens. Id also recommend a head lamp that has a Red/Green light (animals are not spooked but this type of light) and is waterproof. This is the most recommended head lamp.
Pocketknife: Your pocketknife is going to be your go to tool for a lot of things. It should be sharp at all times and handily available.
Gutting knives: You’ll want to find good knives for gutting your kill. A combo set with a gut hook, and a fillet knife are your best bet. This combo from Outdoor Edge is a full Game Processing Kit and will be able to handle animals as big as elk and as small as quail.
Backpack: Much like boots, a good backpack can be the difference in being able to hike for miles on end or just a mile and end. When looking for a good for a good pack for hunting you want to find something that is light, has good padding for comfort and a waist strap as well. This Badlands Backpack is ideal, or something similar.
Water bladder (with water inside): Arguably the most important thing to bring on your hunts. This is something you should invest your money in when you first decide to hunt. In fact it might be the first thing you should buy. Get a good bladder that holds a lot of water, and make sure it is full to the brim before you head out, because you’ll need it.
Bug Repellent: This one often gets overlooked and forgotten about. You’ll only forget bug repellent one time to realize how important it can actually be, especially when you’re getting swarmed out there in damp weather. Trust me!
Camouflage head net: This on can be important on a turkey hunt, or a bow hunt when the game your hunting will be especially close to you. Your face can stand out to these keen animals.
Camouflage Gloves: Get some comfortable camo gloves which are comfortable and will still allow your hands to be functional. Don’t forget to practice shooting ahead of time with the pair of gloves you plan to hunt with. Finger-less hunting gloves are a great option too.
Sharpening stone: You’ll be using your knives a lot, especially when you are gutting a deer. What happens when we use knives out in the wild? You got it, they dull quicker than we expect sometimes. You already went out and got a good set of knives, but that does you no good when they get dull half way through skinning an elk, trust me it happens- Get a good sharpening stone and pack it every time you hunt! There are some surprisingly good deals on Amazon for sharpening stones. We think this is the best sharpening stone.
Extra socks: Along the same lines as hunting boots. If your feet are not dry and comfortable, you will inevitably be heading back to cam earlier than you had originally planned for.
Nylon cord or Rope: There are many type of ropes and rope strength out there, but as long as you have a sturdy one for hunting purposes, it will do. You may not anticipate needing rope, however situations always come up when you’ll wish you had packed some. And because there is really no substitute for rope in the wilderness, and it doesn’t weigh a lot or take up a lot of room, its a great thing to pack. A rope is also useful in case you have to camp over night away from camp to help you while building a quick shelter.
Surveyors tape: This is a very valuable tool to help you track your downed animal. Place some tape where you find a blood trail to be sure you don’t lose sight of it. This can make the difference in leaving with that buck you just killed or never finding it only to go home empty handed. There is nothing worse than losing an animal you know that you took down. This can also be a marker for you if you have to go deep into the woods, just tie some around every 3rd or 4th tree as you’re walking in and you can safely find your way back to the trail.
Survival Kit: Your survival kit should include the basic modern day last resort tools. Matches, first aid kit, blister kit, disinfectant, ibuprofen or Tylenol and a compass. This is sort of a half emergency, half last resort kit.
License and Regulatory Documents: No need to expand much on this one. Make sure you are correctly licensed to hunt in your state. Could be bad if you get caught up hunting without a license, no matter how seasoned of a hunter you may be.
Pen: Do not forget about a pen to fill out that important license you brought with you. In just about every state, having your tag filled out on the spot is as important as having a license at all.
Map: Even if you’re not using it at the moment, always keep that map of your area on your person. A GPS is the most ideal. You can find a lot of good GPS’s for a reasonable price these days like this Garmin GPSMAP. Whether you have a GPS or not though, it is still a great idea to carry a physical map with you.
Ammo: Always carry more than you think you will need. You never know how many misses you’ll have. We all know our hunts don’t go perfectly sometimes, so store plenty of ammo.
Gun or Bow: Make sure you put a lot of thought into this one. We want to get off quality shots, which means we should be spending quality money on this one. It should go without saying but sometimes we get so focused on trying to remember the little things that we could forget the money maker!
Bone Saw: Depending on the game you are hunting it can be very helpful to have a bone saw in your bag. This can be used for cutting the rib cage of an animal or cutting through thick joints to quarter an animal out. It can also come in handy for cutting wood, and you know there is going to be plenty of wood out there. Especially if it is quite chilly out and you’re packing for an overnight stay, you’ll want to get a fire going. There’s nothing like a good saw to provide us with some heavy duty fuel to keep us warm on those day or week long hunts.
Wire cutter: Have you ever been on a hunt and come across an old, abandoned wire fence? Could you do anything about it? Well here is where a wire cutter can be your best friend. Sometimes we want to get through these annoying obstacles like wire fences, and the best thing to do about it is bring along one of these. Make sure the fence isn’t electric or private property.
Pruner: Just like those annoying wire fences, you’ll definitely come across some thorn bushes, or other thick brush you want to clear out to have the perfect “blind” while your on a bow or turkey hunt.
Rain Gear: Of course we have to prepare for all types of weather, so make sure your rain gear is in check. Especially in the cold, if it is a little rainy out, that wetness will affect everything about your hunt. Make sure you prepare your rain gear.
Toilet Paper: This one is self-explanatory. Tissues and other human necessities can’t be forgotten!
Wow, now that’s a lot of gear! And I bet you could add some more items yourself. Most of these things are needed for your hunt, and the others are recommended. But whatever you do, make sure you have some sort of check list before heading out on your hunts. If you have to, print this page out and add whatever you think is necessary out there in the wild.
You’re also probably thinking, “How can I fit all this stuff on my person, and wouldn’t it slow me down?” Two things for you. One, as you learn more and more about how to hunt, you’ll learn how to be more efficient with the space on your person and in your catchall bag. Second, we recommend hitting the gym a little bit, because it will strengthen your body and give you great endurance to carry anything when you head out for your hunts.
Don’t skimp on some of these items when it comes to the price either! A few extra bucks can go a long way. Just remember to have fun out there with your gear.
So what did we forget that is on your personal hunting gear list? Don’t hesitate to contribute below.