Have you taken a road trip lately? Or spent a few minutes looking through your social media feed? Chances are you’ve spotted a proud hunter showing off their kill. ‘Tis the season. And we’re willing to bet that if you’re not yet a hunter yourself, you’re not the only one out there that’s curious about what it takes to get into the sport that’s been around as long as the human race has.
We’re here for it.
Hunting has a completely unique way of introducing you to a world you thought you already knew. Even if you’ve spent hours hiking through the nearby woods, following trickling streams, and watching the green foliage turn to bronze and gold in the fall, hunting will help you forge a deeper connection to the world around you and teach you to look at everything a little differently.
But before you wake up before the sun, drive out to your secret spot, and wait for your buck, there’s one (loaded) question we’ll help you answer:
What gear do I need for hunting?
Depending on where you are in the world and what you’re hunting, you’ll need a slightly different setup. For our purposes, though, we’ll assume you’re going after elk or deer (true, slightly different seasons, slightly different tactics, but we’ll generalize a touch) and it’s going to be cold.
1. Fat Tire Electric Mountain Bike
Based on who you ask, this could be the most contentious addition to our list. Longtime hunters are likely most accustomed to thinking about a four wheeler or side by side as the go-to off road vehicle of choice for hunting. Sure, some could call us biased. But we beg to differ.
We know for a fact that fat tire electric mountain bikes designed for hunting are changing the way hunters scout, camp, access new terrain, and pack out their kills. E-bikes are more adept in the backwoods—imagine riding a four wheeler along a twisting, wooded river? They’re also quieter and have a reduced scent profile compared to the loud, throttle-controlled, exhaust-dumping gas-powered vehicles. Game can hear (and smell!) these vehicles from far, far away.
Additionally, these motorized vehicles are legally much more restricted than electric bikes. And, with new laws and legislation continually passed, there’s never been a better time to access public lands on your e-bike! Are you convinced yet.
2. E-Bike Cargo Trailer
Some might resist the idea of hunting with an electric mountain bike because the perception is that it will be harder to pack out a kill. But, with a full suite of hunting-specific cargo trailers, your e-bike can haul a freezer full of game out of the woods and straight to your truck.
The Two Wheel QuietKat Cargo Trailer was designed to be stable and burly under heavy load. When paired with a high-powered e-bike like the QuietKat 2020 Quantum E-Bike, you’ll put any four-wheeler to shame.
3. Hunting Pack
With the sheer variety of packs on the market, many find themselves wondering, “What should I look for in a hunting pack?”
Hunting packs need to be equipped to handle a very specific list of items as well as ready to pack out a heavy load after a kill. In the end, it’s a true matter of preference, but some qualities to look for are a lightweight build, tough weatherproofing, an ergonomic fit including padded shoulder and waist straps, and a smart network of webbing straps.
4. Trail Cams
Trail cams can be instrumental in your scouting missions. When you’re out in the woods looking for game trails and potential harvestable game, you’re likely making noise and leaving a scent profile (even if you’re being stealthy and have taken the proper steps to disguise your smell). Trail cams can give you a real look at herd patterns, help you better understand the composition of local herds, and give you a leg up when you’re out in the field.
5. Tree Stand
Any time-tested hunter will agree that a tree stand—while not 100% necessary—gives you a distinct advantage. With an elevated point of view, you not only have better visibility of nearby game, but you also oftentimes can get a cleaner shot.
Before you buy or make one on your own, though, be sure to do some research to make sure you’re creating a stand that’s right for you.
6. Weatherproof Hunting Gear/Clothing
Clothes and hunting is a combination that is as old as the sport itself. There are seemingly an infinite number of hunting apparel companies out there, each assuring you that what they’ve created is superior.
The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re shopping for your deer hunting or bow hunting setup is to make sure you’re well equipped with a healthy mix of blaze orange and camo. And, if you only have the budget for one major purchase, make sure you invest in a good pair of hunting boots.
7. Field Dressing Tools/Supplies
Making sure you’re not only well equipped to shoot your elk or deer, but also field dress and pack it out is of the utmost importance. Make sure you’re well versed in the tips and techniques for your type of game and you have a full fleet of tools for the job. The CRKT® Homefront™ Hunter is one of our favorites.
8. First Aid Kit/Emergency Kit
When you’re out hunting, you’ll find yourself miles and hours from anywhere—that’s part of the fun! But it’s also imperative that you’re making sure your knowledge of first aid and survivalist tactics is brushed up. Here are a few important items we keep in our first aid/emergency kit:
- Toilet paper
- Fishing gear
- Water bladder
- Fire starter
- Electrical tape
- Space blanket
- Satellite phone
- General first aid items
Everyone’s kit is a little different. Ask around and find out what hunters near you are carrying.
This is the fun part! Choosing the right bow for bow hunting or rifle is a very personal choice and one that can prompt extreme levels of research simply because the market is so saturated. This is one of the most fun topics of conversation among hunters, and a discussion most hunters are extremely eager to have!
10. A Damn Good Meal
Sometimes in the flurry of planning, packing, gear repair, and research, this extremely important hunting essential can fall by the wayside. But after a sunup-to-sundown day of hunting, there’s truly nothing better than building a fire and enjoying a hot, simple meal. Of course, chili is the most classic choice, but go ahead, think outside of the box!