Tools for the Hunting Season

Hunting season is upon us. If you haven’t dusted off the gear yet it’s now time to do so. Hopefully you’ve been practicing with the stick and string throughout the summer, perhaps shooting your rifle some in the process. From the September opener (for many parts of the country) until deer season closes in January (again, in most states), there are a variety of tools required for both comfort and to maximize your chances of success.

Early season hunting, in the opinion of many, is the toughest of all. Sitting stand when it’s warm requires you to deal with heat and bugs, which leads to sweating and more bugs, whereas both are killed off when cold air arrives. You’re also dealing with more foliage that’ll need clearing in order to create shooting lanes. As there is going to be a lot of overlap, the following are the tools we’d recommend carrying throughout the hunting season.

Thermacell (Early)

If you don’t own one, click HERE immediately. Nothing, not even the heat, is more uncomfortable than mosquitos during the early hunting season. Once they figure out that you’re not an extension of the tree, prepare to be feasted upon. The Thermacell will create a radius of protection that pesky mosquitos will not enter.

Limb Saw (Early and Late)

With the greenery still in tact, you’re going to clear shooting lanes. You’ve likely already done this for the most part while hanging stands, but there’s always that one you missed. These days, limb saws are so light and packable you can leave it in your kit year-round. Even late season there’s still going to be a sapling, evergreen or a stob jamming you in the back that needs cutting.

Optics (E & L)

Think wide field of view. You don’t need a 10x or higher binocular in the early season. All you’ll focus in on are leaves. An 8x or less will give you the ability to scan a larger area where it may be the flick of a tail that reveals a deer. Late season is not much different, especially if you continue hunting in the thick timber. Always go for a wide field of view unless you’re hunting the open country out west.

An 8x binocular is the perfect power for both the early and late season when hunting the dense woods.
An 8x binocular is the perfect power for both the early and late season when hunting the dense woods.

EZ Hanger (E & L)

There are variations of this tool - sometimes you can make one, other times you can use a limb - though we prefer the EZ Hanger by Realtree. This is probably due to the fact that they were one of the first to introduce it. Screw the Hanger into the tree and you have a place to hang a backpack and your bow to keep the stand clutter free.

Sharp Knife (E & L)

Never head into a big game hunt without a sharp knife. Obviously, quickly field dressing an animal in warm weather is paramount, but a good blade will also come handy in other circumstances. We recently heard the tale of a man who’d shot a nice buck. Approaching the deer with his guard down because it’d dropped in its tracks, you may say he was slightly surprised when the buck jumped up and tried to maim him with its hooves. His gun was knocked aside but his knife was handy and he was able to stick the blade right in the buck’s brisket. Being that it wasn’t a Hollywood event, the deer didn’t die right on top of him, but ran off with the knife. While this guy did lose the deer and a favorite knife, the latter essentially saved his life. When you’re on Amazon purchasing that Thermacell, head on over to the “hunting knife” section where you’ll find an array of Kershaws, Outdoor Edges and others.

Large Cooler (E & L)

Sure it’s nice to always have a large cooler in the bed of the your truck for beverages, sandwiches and hopefully meat. But it is more important in the early season when the heat has a greater chance of spoiling a recently killed animal. With one of the new double-walled coolers that hold ice longer, keeping about 20 pounds of ice inside is not that hard. In the late season, of course, you can simply field dress a deer and let it hang. But in the transport process a cooler is sometimes handy especially if traveling a long distance.

Extra Ammo (E & L)

We know that you’re a crack shot with bow and rifle. However, there are always days when the kill doesn’t go exactly as planned. Whether an errant shot that requires putting down a wounded animal or just those instances when you can’t hit the broadside of a barn, there’s a lot of benefit to carrying extra ammo. As a friend once said in response to my questioning his reason for carrying so many shotgun shells to the dove field, “It’s better to be looking at it than looking for it.”

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