What’s In Your Deer Hunting Pack?
For generations, hunters have been heading to the woods with nothing but the bare essentials, meaning camo and a weapon. Sometimes not even camo. Fred Bear did it and did it well in plaid.
This article is for the “creatures of comfort,” or whatever we want to call ourselves. The following are the various tools and items that many of us won’t head to the woods without.
Man, I get tired of looking at my phone. Even if you’d rather scroll through Instagram or read off your screen while you hunt, chances are, you could find yourself in a place without service. Many reading this will think, “Hope so.” We’re the same in that regard.
Studies actually show that technology can knock your IQ down about 10 points or more. Think about your daily life. How often do you speak to someone who’s looking at their phone and receive a mumble or no answer in return? Same is true in the deer stand. You’re going to be less aware of your surroundings.
Fortunately, even a great book doesn’t work that way. Read a paragraph, look around, listen. Repeat. You’re simply not drawn to paper as you are a phone, like a bug to a light. Same concept.
Must have snacks. And water. Nothing makes sitting still harder than hunger, especially on a cold day. What grub you pack can range from simple items like jerky and peanuts to meatloaf sandwiches with hot mustard and a pickle on the side. Really depends on the extent of the sit. During the rut, it’s better to pack a little heavy on the food so you can stay in the stand longer.
“No battery” flashlights are pretty handy. But so are the battery operated. Regardless of your preference, a little light to guide you when you’re walking in the dark is essential.
Improve poor shooting lanes. The worst is settling into a stand and having a four-inch limb jab you in the back. A saw can even be a remedy for the bow holder you forgot in the truck.
It’s wise to carry two. They roll or bunch up easily and weigh next to nothing. Out of all these items, the pull-up rope is one of the easiest to leave at another stand. But having that extra in your pack will eliminate all the awkward ways you’d shimmy up a tree in a climber with your bow.
Nothing ruins a hunt like the wrong wind. Thing is, most times you won’t even know it’s been ruined. Deer rely on their sense of smell above all because they have noses many folds better than the best bird dog’s. You could purchase a pre-mixed spray or make one yourself.
Just about any squirt bottle works well as the apparatus. For an ingredient, chalk is a great option because it’s scentless. And you can’t go wrong with something natural like milkweed. Just pick a handful or two and keep it in a Ziploc bag to use when needed.
Dragging a deer up steep hills is for the young. At least field dressing helps reduce some of the weight. A knife serves a plethora of reasons from quiet whittling to more practical things like cleaning your fingernails after using it to gut a deer.
Ever reached to pick up your bow as a good buck or healthy doe nears your stand only to realize your release is gone? Sometimes straps slip and buckles break. Doesn’t (and shouldn’t) happen very often, but having that extra release reminds me of a great saying: “Better to be looking at it than looking for it.”
We skipped toilet paper, that’s a personal preference, as are many things on the list. So, let us know, what did we miss?