In 2016, 40% of the US population over the age of 16 participated in at least one type of wildlife-related activity such as fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching.
Hunting can be an awesome pastime that can help you improve your physical health, develop mental strength, decrease your stress, boost your well-being, and more. It’s an ancient practice that connects you to the earth, the past, and the natural world.
If you’re just starting out, however, there’s some must have hunting gear you’ll want to grab before you hit the woods.
Let’s take a look at the best hunting gear you’ll need this season.
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One thing you might not think about when you are considering essential hunting gear for beginners is rain gear. An otherwise perfect day of hunting can get ruined quickly by an unexpected shower.
Wet clothing steals heat from your body more quickly than you might think, even when the temperature is warm. By having quality rain gear nearby, you can help to prevent the onset of hypothermia.
Animals are constantly on high alert and have much keener eyesight than we do. They are always looking out for danger and will often be able to spot you and flee way before you realize they were even there. For this reason, you need quality camouflage gear to help prevent being detected by the game.
Camoflague works because it helps to break up the outline of the human body. This makes you blend into your surroundings more.
Depending on the region you hunt in, the right camo pattern can vary. Choosing your gear also depends on the animals you’re pursuing. For example, late-season rifle hunters in the Rockies will definitely want a different type of camo than goose hunters in marshes.
This is something you’ll find on backcountry rifle hunting gear lists and duck hunting lists alike. Every hunter needs to have a good knife with them no matter what.
What makes a knife “perfect” might depend on a number of different factors. You’ll get to choose between fixed blade knives and folding knives and a number of other options.
Trail Marking Tape
It can be a good idea to mark both the entry and exit routes to your hunting spot, particularly as a beginner. A simple roll of orange trail tape can make it easy for you to stay on the right path, with its bright orange color standing out in high contrast with the colors of nature.
When you use this tape it can also help you find your way in the dark, as it reflects light from your headlamp or flashlight.
Headlamp or Flashlight
Game animals are most active near the sunset and the sunrise. For this reason, hunters are commonly moving around the woods when the sun is not in full force.
It’s always a good idea to have a flashlight or a headlamp when you’re out hunting. This can help you move around safely when there isn’t much natural light. Even if you aren’t planning on being out in the dark, it’s a good safety precaution to keep a light of some kind with you.
First Aid Kit
It doesn’t matter how careful you are, accidents can always happen. Keeping a basic first aid kit with you can help you take care of bee stings, bruises, blisters, and scrapes you pick up along the way. It’s also a good idea to have supplies for more traumatic injuries such as an Israeli bandage, a tourniquet, and QuikClot gauze.
Night Vision Scope
As mentioned above, some of the best hunting is typically near sunrise and sunset. For this reason, you’ll want to consider getting the best night vision scope for your purposes so you can confidently pull the trigger when the time is right.
Scent Control Spray
If you’re a deer hunter, you’ll want to get some scent control spray. Deer have very powerful senses of smell, meaning they can catch wind of you before you’re even on their trail.
There are some ways you can make makeshift deer drags, but the whole process can be simplified with a game cart or a deer drag. If you’re planning on bagging a 150-pound buck, you’ll probably thank yourself for making the investment.
For deer hunting, a grunt tube can make your job a lot easier. They are simple to use even for new hunters and are particularly useful during the rut.
Water and Snacks
It might seem silly to see this on a gear list, but it’s so important that you stay fed and watered out there that it’s worth mentioning. Make sure you bring a reusable water bottle rather than disposable bottles. This is because the disposable bottles are too noisy and will scare away the game.
Is duck hunting your thing? If so, you can greatly improve your odds of catching ducks with about a half a dozen decoys.
This Must Have Hunting Gear Will Ensure You’re Prepared For Whatever Happens
When you pick up a new hobby, it’s easy to start searching for things like “must have hunting gadgets” and looking at all of the high-tech, expensive options waiting for you to spend your hard-earned money on. While there are certainly reasons to deck yourself out with gear, you’ll want to start with the basics before dropping a whole paycheck on the situation.
Hunting is an awesome way to be connected to the food you eat and to the cycle of nature as a whole. Make sure you’re prepared before you head off the beaten path, and have fun!
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