Let’s talk about the essentials that every hunter needs to bring with them when deer hunting.
What Do I Need For Deer Hunting:
There is no end of things that would be nice to have while deer hunting. Let’s go over a 11-point checklist:
The following are the three things that you absolutely need:
1. A gun
2. 10 bullets
3. Your hunting license
As long as you have those three things, you can shoot a deer.
But of course, there is more than that in my hunting bag. I have my essentials, but then I also adjust accordingly based on where I am hunting and for how long.
So here are other essential items I would take with me in any given hunting situation:
4. A sharp small knife. To field dress any animal you harvest, you are going to need a sharp small knife to cut it open and remove its organs. Everyone likes to have a big hunting knife with them, but I have had more use out of a paring knife than big old buck knife.
5. Bone saw. The saw I use is a general purpose blade from a hardware store, but you are going to need to saw through the pelvic bone to cut out the lower intestines. A saw is much better than using a hatchet.
6. A harness. Where I hunt driving is not an option, so I would never have the opportunity to drive to my deer. Even if you could drive in your hunting area, you never where a deer is going to drop. Even with a 2 inch hole in its chest a deer can run 500 meters before dropping. The harness will allow you to drag your deer to your truck however far away it is.
7. Binoculars. I usually have these around my neck and will often be scanning hillsides or open areas in the distance. You would be surprised what you find that you may not have otherwise seen with the naked eye.
8. Flashlight or headlamp. Chances are you are going to shoot your deer near dark and by the time you recover your deer and field dress it, it may be pitch dark. I will also use a flashlight (on low) to get into my hunting position early in the morning before sunset.
There’s also a list of things that I often carry when hunting in remote areas:
8. I carry a Garmin GPS. First, prevents me from getting lost and help in an emergency situation where I could relay my UTM coordinates to anyone looking for me. Second I find a Garmin extremely useful for hunting. Let me give you some examples. One, you shoot a deer at dusk and it runs into the forest. Now, do you really want to plunge into the forest at dark without having a clue where you are going? No, you’d get lost. But with a GPS you can look for that deer with a flashlight and find your way back out of that forest. Another example would be if you shot a deer and only wounded it, you could follow the blood trail and plot each drop of blood, so if you lost the trail, you could always come back to the last spot you saw blood. I also plot interesting things I see while scouting in the summer. For example, I’ll plot a spot where I saw three cow moose, so I can come back and look in that area three months later before hunting season.
9. I carry some survival gear. For me, that only includes a length of rope, a plastic water bottle, iodine pills, fire starter sticks and a lighter. This allows me to fashion a lien-tu, have potable water and get a fire started, which is probably enough to survive a few days in an emergency situation. If you’re hunting 10 km from home on the local farmer’s corn crop obviously that wouldn’t be needed.
10. Bear spray. I hunt in the foothills, and grizzly bears are always a threat. I carry bear spray on my belt. Studies show that bear spray is more effective in defending a bear attack than a rifle.
And then, I look to bring one more thing…
11. A bird book. This is just for fun, but if I am going to spend 10 hours in the bush, I’d like to learn a thing or two.