Preparing for the hunt each hunting season requires more than deciding where and what to hunt. Taking the appropriate gear will help to have success in your hunt.
Knowing what to pack is second nature to experienced hunters, and it's always a good idea to seek their advice before a hunt. For a less-experienced hunter who doesn't have anyone to ask — or who prefers to figure it out himself — consider these suggestions before heading out to hunt. They could save you some aggravation and frustration.
HAVE A PLAN
Let's start by assuming you will be successful on your hunt. Do you plan to field dress your harvest in the field or wait until you get home? If you are field dressing your deer where you hunt, you will need proper knives and tools to make it easy and quick.
You also need to figure out how to get your deer out from the field — whether by truck, ATV, horseback, or some other means.
Most importantly, make sure you have the proper hunting tags required by your state and that you take them with you.
How cold or hot will it be while you hunt? Weather conditions can change throughout the day, so make sure to check before you leave and keep an eye on fronts moving in.
Some hunters dress lightly to get to their stand, to avoid overheating, and then add layers as they see fit.
For cold fall and winter days, having a good base layer will help with warmth and comfort. You don't want to be hot while hunting and you definitely don't want to be cold.
If you hunt in the open, wearing camouflage can help you blend into your surroundings.
There will be times when you arrive at your stand and realize you forgot your gloves, neck warmer, or stocking cap. Packing a spare of each of these may be a useful thing to do.
When considering what gear to take, don't overload yourself with items you'll never use. For an inexperienced hunter, the big question is, "What do I put in my bag?"
First, how long is your hunt going to last? If you are going to be out all day, you will want water and food for the long haul. Selecting food with a lot of protein and carbohydrates will help curb your hunger while you are hunting.
Secondly, pack a small medical kit that can help during emergencies and can even help save your life.
Thirdly, rain can pop up at any time. Make sure to pack a poncho, which will keep you dry while hunting and keep you outdoors during wet weather.
Finally, other gear you may want to pack are rope, knives, a spare release for your compound bow, extra ammunition or broad-heads, hand warmers, binoculars, and rattling devices or antlers. Some hunters may want deer scent spray and deer calls at their fingertips, as well.
Lay out your gear before you decide on a bag. You may want one you can carry or one you wear on your back.
When venturing outdoors, a hunter should be prepared for anything. Bringing a phone could help save your life. Many phones have Internet capabilities that allow you to monitor weather and wind directions, which can help aid in your success.
Preparing for your hunt will help you be more successful and will help you enjoy your time outdoors.
Ryan Taylor is an avid hunter and writer for DeerHuntersClub.com.