Preparing for a hunt can be just as demanding as the hunt itself. Every bit of gear needs to check out to ensure you aren’t suddenly left without an essential piece of equipment right when you need it. Before going on any hunt, make sure you have the following 10 must-have hunting supplies on hand and ready to go:
A weapon of choice is the most important thing on any hunting supplies list. Without it, there would be no hunt, so making sure it’s up to the task is crucial to ensuring success.
Weeks, or even months, before your scheduled hunt, make sure your weapon is maintained and you have all the supplies you need to keep it ready for a takedown throughout the hunt. Stock up on ammunition, check that your arrowheads haven’t rusted, replace any frayed bowstrings and perform other maintenance you might need to do so your weapon will work as intended once hunting season rolls around.
2. Pocket Knife
Knives provide a lot of utility on any hunt. They can be used to dig out small holes for setting stakes, for cutting down branches for creating shelter or a blind and for skinning a harvested animal.
While many hunters might bring two or more knives that are suited to specific tasks, if you don’t want to carry too much weight, a sturdy pocket knife is usually all you need.
3. Camouflaged Clothing
Remaining unseen by prey improves your chance of scoring a kill by allowing you to sneak in closer for a more accurate shot. Camouflaged clothing can help you stay hidden in the environment to keep prey from spooking and fleeing out of range. If you decide to hide in a tree stand, camouflage reduces the chance your quarry might bust you as it browses on the forest floor by blending your silhouette against the backdrop of the tree foliage above you.
Naturally, when choosing what to wear for your hunt, make sure it’s also capable of keeping you comfortable despite the weather. Choose warmer clothing for late fall hunts and thinner, more breathable fabrics when hunting in the height of summer.
4. Scent-Free Boots
Animals have many ways of keeping themselves from becoming dinner or a trophy. One of these ways is to rely heavily on scent to detect the presence of danger.
While staying downwind of your target can keep them from wafting your scent drifting in the air, the tracks you lay on the ground can also retain smells that signal your presence. To keep animals from detecting you’ve been slinking around in their neck of the woods, wear boots designed not to leave warning signs in your wake.
5. Scent Killer
Scent killer is a must-have on any hunting supplies list, and it is something that many novice hunters neglect to pick up. Before you head out into the wild, wash your hunting clothes and other fabric gear in scent-killer detergent to eliminate any lingering scents that might expose you to your target during the hunt.
Use a scent-killer spray on items you cannot wash with detergent, including your weapon, decoys, knives, survival kit and other hunting gear. After spraying, stuff anything you want to keep scent-free for as long as possible, such as a deer decoy, into scent-control bags.
Decoys are useful for enticing animals to move closer to you so that you can get a clean shot at them. Keep them handy to increase your chance of a successful hunt.
Different decoys might work better than others in certain conditions or during specific times of the season. For example, estrus deer decoys are only effective during the peak of the rut or if a second rut occurs.
Calls can either be used on their own or to add realism to a decoy. Like decoys, they lure your target toward you /our-obsession/blogs/deer/understanding-deer-vocalizations-for-deer-calling so you can line up a more accurate shot to ensure a swift and efficient takedown. Also, like decoys, certain calls are more appropriate at different times of the year, so make sure you pack the right one for your hunt.
8. Trail Cameras
Trail cameras allow you to collect data about your target species without putting too much pressure on them with constant incursions into their habitat. Set trail cameras up along paths to monitor their movement and learn their activity patterns. Put them up around food sources to see if the animal you’re hunting frequents these locations. With enough knowledge about the animal you plan to harvest, you can prepare and set up an ambush designed for maximum effectiveness.
9. Blinds and Stands
Ground blinds and tree stands allow you to stay hidden from your prey even as they wander into range within your arc of fire. While you could set up a blind or stand the old-fashioned way by building one out of the available material at your hunting spot or property, manufactured camouflaged blinds and stands can help you set one up quickly and with minimal hassle.
10. Rain Gear
Some of the best hunting opportunities make themselves available in inclement weather. Pouring rain can help you mask yourself from your target species by washing away scents and drowning out the sound of your movement. The falling rain can also obscure vision, allowing you to sneak in closer before you make the shot.
To continue hunting during the rain, a good set of rain gear should be on your list of hunting supplies. When shopping for rain gear, look for apparel designed specifically for hunting. Some hunting rain gear use materials and construction that dampens the sound of rain landing on them to keep animals from getting spooked by the constant thump-thump of rain against fabric.
Stock Up for Hunting Season
Prepare for a hunting season by stocking up on essential hunting supplies. Start early to ensure you can get everything ready by opening day. Your chance of returning from the hunt successful increases if you have everything you need for hunting season in your bag and ready to go.