What Should be in Your Hunting Pack?


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How you go about hunting can make or break your success. One of the most important factors is what you pack with you when you enter the wild. Make sure that your gear is sufficient for a successful hunt and that it’s easy to carry.

Hunters need to withstand the wilderness, have the supplies necessary for survival in case of emergency, and have a means of transportation. Here are 13 things you shouldn’t forget when you hit the woods to make your life easier.

Hunting License

Check your state’s wildlife agency’s requirements if you don’t have a hunting license. In some states, a bowhunter education course is required before you can purchase a license. Buying a license helps with wildlife conservation, so future generations could enjoy hunting too. Bring your hunting license along with you, just like you wouldn’t get behind the wheel without a valid driver’s license.

Your state may also require that you carry your ID, hunter’s safety certificate, and hunting license, depending on where you hunt. You are often required to sign big game carcass tags immediately after killing. Zip ties are handy for attaching carcass tags to antlers and legs.

Layers of Clothing

While hunting, wearing layers is the best way to manage your body temperature. If you want to avoid sweating, you should wear minimal layers while walking to your hunting spot. Once you reach your destination, put on your warmer layers.

Baselayer

Clothing for hunting baselayers should fit close to your skin. This layer keeps you dry and warm by wicking moisture away from your skin. The baselayer insulates you from the cold and prevents chills. Wear a lightweight, compact and packable baselayer. Do not wear cotton or wool base layers in the summer months.

Mid-Layer

Combined with the base layer, the mid-layer helps keep you warm while wicking moisture away. Of all the layers, the middle layers should be the most flexible. It’s okay to double up or remove your mid-layer entirely if you’re overheating.

Outerlayer

You can think of your outer layer as your protective shell. These outer layers protect us from wind, rain, snow, and anything else nature can throw at us. In addition, outer layers should be strong enough to withstand rough terrains, such as tree branches and thorny bushes.

When choosing an outer shell, consider its weight and packability; if you’re too hot, you’ll want to be able to put it back in your bag. The outer shells should breathe well-if it’s too warm. You can take it off to prevent sweating. Lightweight rainwear is a vital tool for bowhunting.

Headwear

Suitable headwear protects your head and ears from the elements. It will keep you warm in cold weather and dry in wet weather.

You should also consider your comfort level when choosing headwear; every hat is different, so try as many as possible before purchasing one.

Headlamp

Don’t forget the headlamp. Depending on the area you hunt, you may need to move at night or in low-light conditions, making a headlamp essential for your hunting trip. Use a headlamp with a long-lasting battery.

Binoculars

A binocular will help you see faraway animals or locate your prey within a well-hidden landscape when spotting game. Depending on where you hunt, you need different types of binoculars. For hunting in densely wooded areas, you will need binoculars with less magnification.

If you are hunting in a particular area, you can ask a close-by archery shop about binoculars that would be most suitable.

8x and 10x are the most common magnifications for hunting. While 8x binoculars are most helpful in hunting in the woods, 10x binoculars offer more zooming power, so they are more useful in open environments.

Rangefinder

For an accurate shot, knowing the exact distance to your target is crucial. Consider purchasing an angle-compensating rangefinder if you hunt from a treestand or hilly area. It does trigonometry to calculate angles and provide you with the actual distance between you and your target.

Since most bowhunters don’t shoot extremely long distances, buying the most expensive range finder is unnecessary. You can research here which rangefinder is best for your needs.

Spare Release

I am sure that there are people who have never forgotten their release, but if you hunt as much as I do then you know that sooner or later something like this happens. That’s why your hunting pack should contain a spare release. Your spare release should be the same as your main release.

Water and Snacks

Water is always a necessity, even if you’re going on a short hunt. It will take a lot of effort to bring the deer out of the woods if your hunt is successful. Keeping hydrated will make all the difference. Make sure you have snacks to keep you energized and focused.

5 Favorite and most effective snacks to pack along

Trail Mix.

You don’t have to buy the standard bag at your local grocery store. Making your own is worth the time and effort. Choose a few of your favorite nuts, then balance them out with something sweet. Choose something different than the traditional M&Ms – chocolate chips, chopped candy bars, or mini cookies could be great additions. You can also add dried fruit, granola, or your favorite cereal.

Peanut Butter.

Taking peanut butter on a hunting trip is a no-brainer since it’s fast, filling, and packed with protein. You may want to try the new peanut butter balls, peanut butter snack packs found in the snack aisle, or consider preparing your own peanut butter and fruit/vegetable/cracker snack.

Energy Drink Mix.

You can keep your fluid intake high and your energy levels high by using caffeine-containing drink mixes. Whenever you need a boost, mix 1-2 with a medium or large bottle of water.

Bars.

Bar snacks offer convenience like no other. Before your trip, try several options and then buy a box of your favorite. Keep these bars in your car, pack, tent, and in your first aid kit so you’ll always be prepared for hunger. In addition to protein bars, granola or fruit bars are also delicious and quick choices.

Fruit.

You don’t want to deal with the trash while hiking and trekking across a mountain. Fruits like apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, peaches, pears, and many others are healthy, affordable snacks.

Emergency First Aid and Survival Kit

A first aid kit is essential when it comes to bowhunting. You should have one with you when you go on a hunt – they are designed to be lightweight and compact. If your trip takes longer than expected, or if you happen to get injured during the hunt, a first-aid kit can come in handy. The same is true for a survival kit.

Cell Phone with OnX app or GPS with OnX chip

You never know what’s going to happen. Make sure your phone is charged and with you at all times. If you intend to use your phone for GPS tracking, make sure that you have downloaded the app that supports your phone. Alternatively, bring your GPS.

Map

Always have a good old map with you if you get lost, or your phone/GPS dies. Having the map in your hand grants you the flexibility to take detours or find an alternative route if needed. With modern technology, it’s easy to get online and print detailed maps of the area where you plan to go hunting.

Field Dressing Kit

Always have a field dressing kit in your backpack. You should have sharp knives, rubber gloves, and a bone saw packed and ready to go.

  • Caping Knife
  • Boning Knife
  • Gut Hook Skinner
  • Bone Saw
  • Steel Stick/Brisket Spreader
  • Cleaning Gloves
  • Knife Sharpener

Game Bags

You need to get the deer out of the woods. That’s why you should be prepared with game bags. These bags are usually large enough for each piece of meat. When choosing a game bag, make sure it is lightweight and compact – this will make it easier to carry everything back to your truck at the end of the day.

Summary

We hope this article gave you an idea of how to make your hunting adventure safe and comfortable. We believe in making the most of a hunt through careful planning. You can think about the necessary supplies you need and adjust them according to your specific needs.

You don’t have to use every item on this list, but consider keeping these items handy. They will help you be more prepared for any situation. And, as long as you’re ready for the worst, your bowhunting trip will always be a success.

I am the founder and chief editor here at BowAddicted. I love my kids, archery, and the outdoors! It's been an amazing journey so far with some ups and downs, but it's worth it to spend time outside with friends and family.

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