Hunting is a lot more intensive than people realize. There are many aspects you have to factor in before you go hunting, and a lot of supplies you have to carry. Usually, good hunting spots are in remote areas. So not only do you have to carry your hunting gear, but you also need to carry survival gear as well.
Hunting is a pretty dangerous sport. Thus it is imperative that you take proper precautions and be prepared for absolutely any untoward event. God forbid, if you get into trouble out in the woods, help is very far away. You will need to do whatever you can till you can manage to contact civilization and ask for emergency services. Thus, before you head out, use our handy checklist to decide when to go and what you need to take.
Handy Hunter’s Checklist
- Weapons: When you think of preparing to go hunting, the first thing on everybody’s mind is weapons. But it isn’t enough to throw your chosen weapon in the back of your truck. You have to ensure you carry enough ammunition to use in your gun. You should also keep backups in case something happens to your primary weapon of choice. If you use compound bows or crossbows, you should carry enough arrows and broadheads to carry you through several days. Remember to take your gun or bow cases, scopes, scope covers, slings, and any other supplies without which your hunting expedition will need to come to a premature end.
- Clothes: You need the right clothes to hunt. At the very least, you need to pack rain gear, three layers of clothing, a jacket, hats, gloves, and orange hazard clothes. The last is to prevent another hunter from shooting you by accident. Even if you are going hunting in the middle of summer, you need to ensure you pack enough to keep you warm after the sun goes down. It can get frigid swiftly, so don’t make the rookie mistake of being caught without warm clothes.
- Sleeping gear: You need to be prepared to stay overnight wherever you are. You will need a sleeping bag, pillows, extra clothes, cooking utensils, a camping stove, a hatchet, and fire starters. You will also need canned food unless you plan to forage from the land. Even if you do, it is a good habit to keep an emergency stash of food. Many hunters like making their own shelters when hunting. However, if you are not comfortable doing so, carry a lightweight yet sturdy tent or a tree stand.
- Safety gear: Safety when hunting is of paramount importance. You need a slew of safety gear to ensure you and your hunting companions are safe. Extensive safety gear is crucial to have on hand, especially if you run into other hunters who might be in need of assistance. Take an emergency medical kit that is a little more prepared than a first-aid kit. You also need insect repellants, bug sprays, scent blockers, and sunscreen. Scent blockers will prevent prey from being alerted to your scent and will prevent predators from tracking you as well.
- Legal documents: Legal documents are the last thing on your mind when you go out hunting. However, having things like identification and your hunter’s license when you head out of the house is imperative. Depending on your state, you might face intense legal consequences if you cannot produce your hunting license when asked. You should also carry valid government-issued identification in case you are asked for it by a trooper or forest official.
- Check the weather: You need to know the local weather forecast to ensure you don’t end up out in the woods on a rainy day. You want bright sunny days for maximum visibility and no chance of inclement weather. Forests can get extremely dangerous in inclement weather. Not only are you stuck out in the wilderness without shelter, but also your chances of getting an injury increase.
- Meat processing: Congratulations on a successful hunting expedition! Now that you are home, you have to process the meat. The processing side of hunting is often overlooked. However, if you want the game you hunted to be edible, this is a crucial step that you cannot afford to skip. To butcher your animal, you will need some sort of butcher training. You will also need a large saw, game bags, gloves for safety, extra sets of knives and blades to replace if they break, and a sharpener to keep them in perfect condition. You will also need a freezer to store your meat after you finish processing.