If you are new to the world of hunting, regardless of if you want to hunt deer, turkey or duck, there are certain items that you should carry with you at all times. But other than your favored weapon of choice and a load of extra ammo, what other equipment will prove indispensable not only for your enjoyment but also for your safety? After all, efficient packing is a necessity, and carrying too much gear will hamper your success.
The gear you require can be broken down into three separate categories, and everything listed here is a must for any huntsman, no matter your level of experience.
To avoid getting lost, it’s best to possess detailed maps of the area you are visiting, or bring a GPS system with you. Keeping track of where you are going – and where you have been – is, in some cases, a matter of life and death, and it is crucial that you are aware of your surroundings at all times. A compass is another lifesaving device you should never leave at home. When it comes to compasses, don’t purchase a needlessly expensive one, but also try not to fall into the trap of buying a low-end one either.
Another handy piece of gear to help you navigate effectively is a headlamp, seeing as you may be hunting during the early hours of the morning or at times when daylight suddenly vanishes due to haphazard weather conditions. Bear in mind that a handheld flashlight is impractical seeing as you will need your hands for other tasks.
Field Dressing Knife
One of the main purposes of going hunting is to bag a trophy. But what happens when you score your prey? Do you have the appropriate apparatus with you to field dress your prize? Some hunters prefer to bag up the animal and take it to a butcher and ask them to do the job. However, if you want to butcher it yourself, a field dressing knife is compulsory. Choosing a folding knife or a fixed blade knife is all down to personal preference, although fixed blades tend to be much sturdier. As for blade style, drop points and clip points are both great choices.
When it comes to blade length, anything more than four inches is generally considered too long; the most effective blade is between two and a half to three and a half inches long. The blade itself should be made from high-quality steel, so ensure that it has one of the following codes: S30V, 154CM and ATS34. In addition, check that your knife blades are sufficiently sharpened and, if necessary, purchase a sharpening kit.
A smart phone is an extremely vital tool, especially as they typically have apps that can help in regards to changes in weather conditions, as well as useful maps and GPS resources. Furthermore, many smartphones more often than not possess flashlight capabilities. In addition, you should bring with you binoculars, first aid kit, whistle, waterproof matches and/or a fire-starter kit, dry clothing (in particular a spare pair of socks, backup rain gear and a t-shirt), and water purification tablets.
On a final note, please take into consideration that you will need a hunting license, and neglecting to do so will get you into a whole heap of trouble before the fun even begins. If you are unsure of how to make use of any of the above items, it is wise to take a few hands-on outdoor navigation lessons, so that you possess self-confidence when hunting deep in the woods. Good luck!
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Danny Little currently writes hunting articles for Redneck Blinds, a company that provides premium deer blinds, camouflage gear, and other products designed for sturdiness and practicality. In his spare time he enjoys hunting, camping and hiking.