6 Things You Need for Your Next Hunting Trip

Elle Hughes | Pexels.com

Chasing whitetails, tracking wild turkeys, baiting coyotes, and everything in between — all hunting excursions are about having the right tools for the job at hand.

Whether you’re headed out for your first-ever hunt or you’re looking to refresh your checklist and gear, we’re breaking down six must-have supplies for the coming season. Let’s get ready for a successful season by exploring some of the tools that can help hunters fill their tags.

1. A Quality Weapon

If you’re a veteran hunter, you might already have a trusty weapon that will continue to serve you this season. But, if you’re a newcomer to hunting, you might not be sure which hunting weapon is right for you. You have many options:

  • Traps – Trapping is a time-honored tradition, and it takes unique skills. You can make your own traps or purchase them from a sporting goods or hunting store.
  • Air gunsAir guns are a highly safe, accurate, affordable, and effective solution — and they’re perfect for some species.
  • Archery tools – Standard bows, compound bows, and crossbows all make excellent hunting options. Plus, if you choose to archery hunt, you might benefit from early-season openers for some species (depending on your state laws).
  • Traditional firearms – Traditional rifles and pistols are slightly higher-octane analogs than air guns, and they’re some of the most common hunting tools used in the field today.

As you browse hunting weapons, focus on durability, lethality, and compatibility with your physical abilities (if you have a smaller stature, a full-sized, high-powered rifle simply might not be a realistic or safe choice for you). 

2. Effective Camo

If you want to successfully harvest your target species, blending into your environment is key — that’s where effective camouflage comes in handy. Hunting camo has improved tremendously just in the last few years. Between photorealistic patterns and habitat-specific patterns, every hunter in any environment can find the gear they need to stay hidden among their local flora. While shopping for camo, consider:

    1. Your local habitat – Landscapes vary across the US; get a camo set that matches the hues in your hunting environment. If your local landscape is more brown than green, for instance, your camo should reflect that.
    2. Your hunting season – If you typically hunt when there’s snow on the ground, a whiter camo might make more sense for your application. If you hunt whitetail while the ground is covered in snow and chase wild turkeys once spring is in full swing, you might need two different sets of hunting wear.

3. Ammo Storage

Keeping your ammunition clean, dry, and protected from the elements is critical — if it gets dirty or rusty, for instance, your ammunition might not cycle properly in your rifle. Misfires can sabotage shots or even put you in harm’s way. For those interested in understanding more about choosing the right ammo, ProArmory’s guide to Buying 9mm Ammo offers valuable insights.

Well-sealed, secure containers like ammo cans are a hunter’s best friend. And, during the off-season, you can use them to store other hunting-related items like handheld rangefinders, carabiners, cords, or other small accessories that can pile up while you’re not hunting. An army surplus store is an excellent place to source ammo storage and other hunting supplies.

4. A Master List

When it comes to packing for a hunting trip, forgetting a key item (like your ammunition, your orange vest, or even your weapon) can be disastrous — especially if you have limited opportunities to hunt. The solution? Consult (or make) a master hunting checklist before hitting the road. Your list should include must-haves, like:

  • Your weapon
  • Ammunition
  • Camo
  • Rain gear
  • First aid supplies
  • Eye and ear protection

But, it should also include accessories and nice-to-have items, like:

  • A range finder
  • Calls
  • Toiletries
  • Snacks

With an in-depth checklist, you can say goodbye to forgetting essentials at home.

5. Weather Resistant Gear

No matter your hunting season, wet weather can strike at any time. Snow, sleet, rain, and hail might put a damper on your hunting days, but they don’t have to completely sabotage your experience — as long as you come prepared. To be completely prepared for the weather, hunters should wear (or carry):

  • A waterproof camo raincoat
  • Waterproof rain pants or gaiters
  • Waterproof boots
  • Quick-dry towels (like shop rags or shammies) for toweling off in the stand
  • Rags, cleaning solutions, and oil for cleaning weapons
  • A waterproof case for your firearm, air rifle, or bow

Keeping yourself and your equipment dry can help you stay dry on the trail.

6. Field Dressing Kit

If you’re hunting on public land or far away from your camp, you might need to dress your kills in the field instead of transporting them back to a cleaning rack. But, you can DIY a field dressing kit quite easily. All you’ll need are:

  • Plastic bags with zips (preferably strong freezer bags)
  • Zip ties or cord (for stringing up your harvest, if needed)
  • Knives (with sheaths and sharpeners for safety)
  • Latex gloves (if you prefer)
  • A headlamp 

While you might be tempted to include as many plastic bags and gloves as you can carry, keep your field dressing kit realistic — if you only have one tag, you likely don’t need 25 baggies. 

Jordan Bergendahl | Pexels.com

Hunting: Improve Your Odds with Quality Gear

No matter where, when, or what you plan to hunt this year, preparedness can make or break your season. Making sure you have the right tools for your hunt (and to protect yourself and ethically harvest your kills) is essential, and the list above represents just a few of the items you’ll need in the field. With the proper gear, you’ll be one step closer to filling those tags.

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