Six Deer Hunting Gear Essentials
Dr. John Woods 12.20.19
Beyond the deer hunting necessities like a hunting rifle or other firearm, ammunition, deer calls, and whatnot, there are six items that are essentials. These are not accessories to make the hunt more fun, but gotta-have gear that helps a deer hunter produce results. If you have all these essential items, you will be good to go.
There are no particular priorities here; I feel they are equally important. Can you do without them? Sure you can — but why would you? You may be spending big bucks on trail cameras, deer feeders, and other equipment, but these will make you a better and more effective hunter.
Sure, you can hunt in blue jeans or Bermuda shorts if you want to, but these are not optimal. Camo is important to help you hide in the habitat and remain blurry to a deer so long as you don’t get caught moving. But more important is that the camo clothing has a pattern similar to the habitat where you hunt. It is also critical that the clothing is wear hardy, durable, and withstands tough use.
Have rain gear, too.
Similarly, you will not hunt your best with wet and cold feet. Buy good boots designed for hunting, waterproof, and insulated. Match the boots to where you hunt based on the water you might have to wade. If your feet are often cold, insert some chemical foot warmers.
This does not have to be a cross-country hiking pack, but a compact bag to carry numerous items like extra ammo, pocket knife, deer scents, calls, compass, cell phone, meds, first aid, matches, nabs, water bottle and whatever else you choose to carry.
Don’t use your rifle scope to observe deer. Binoculars are designed for inspecting bucks at a distance. Only good observation optics can let you count points, estimate the spread, and other deer details. Buy the best glass you can afford.
A good blade will have endless uses in the field. From dressing a deer, clearing a few branches, cutting rope, shortening a tie down strap or whatever. Have a good solid blade and a pocketknife.
If you ever get caught without a light in the woods after the sun is gone, you won’t do it again. Buy a high quality flashlight to get you to and from a stand or to help find a downed deer after the shot. Stay with standard sized batteries and have some extras in the backpack.
Your list of essential gear items may be different, but after 48 years of deer hunting, I am never without these six pieces of gear.