A Checklist for Deer Hunting Equipment

When you're getting ready to hunt deer for the first time, you need to make sure you have everything you need to be successful. If you haven't gone deer hunting before, it can seem overwhelming to make sure you have all the essential deer hunting equipment that you need to be successful. 

Luckily, with this deer hunting gear list, you'll be fully prepared for your first hunting season.

Vital Deer Hunting Equipment - Our List

Your Hunting License 

It is one of the first things you should get your hands on. Not having one isn't only a safety issue but you can face serious legal repercussions if you're caught without hunting with one.

The specific requirements for obtaining a hunting license vary from state to state. So, you're going to need to check the laws of your state to find out exactly what you need.

Luckily, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has a handy guide for every state. Once you have your hunting license, make sure to keep it on you while you hunt in case of you're asked for proof of it.

What to Wear

When it comes to deer hunting, you need to dress for success with the right deer hunting clothes. Generally, you're going to want to dress warm since whitetail hunting season is in the fall.

It usually includes thick camo pants, a shirt, and a camo jacket. You'll also want a sturdy pair of boots that will keep your feet warm and dry without causing them to get sore or blister.

One crucial item to wear is your blaze orange safety vest. It is needed because it highlights your presence to other hunters which reduces hunting accidents. Depending on your state, it may be required by law rather than recommended as well.

The International Hunter Education Association highlights the laws of each state when it comes to hunter orange gear.

Your Weapon of Choice

Of course, no list of deer hunting supplies would be complete without discussing your weapon. That being said, the laws as to what guns you're allowed to hunt with vary from state to state. Shotguns and rifles are some of the most popular choices when it comes to hunting deer.

While they're usually thought of as firearms for a bigger task such as hunting feral pigs, some hunters find that AR-15s are good for whitetail hunting as well.

Again, it's important to stress that which guns are legal to hunt with depends greatly on what your state regulates. It's best to check your local laws before choosing a gun for the season.

It's also a good idea to add optics for your gun to your deer hunting to your list of deer hunting accessories. It will help you see your game more clearly and make more accurate and cleaner shots.

If you're not interested in using a firearm for hunting, a hunting bow is a great choice as well. You'll want to choose your bow carefully, though, taking factors such as ocular dominance, axle-to-axle length, draw length, and draw weight into consideration. 

There are plenty of types and styles of hunting bows to choose from, so don't be afraid to look around a bit before settling on what you're comfortable with using.

A Knife

There are plenty of reasons that a knife belongs on a list of must-have deer hunting gear. As far as hunting deer specifically, a knife is a necessary piece of deer hunting gear for field dressing your catch. Without it, you're not going to be able to get the job done.

To make sure you're covered in case your knife gets dull, it's a good idea to sharpen it before you leave and carry a small sharpener with you.

Water and Food

Even if you're only out hunting for the day, you're bound to get thirsty and peckish as you camp out in your tree stand. So, you're going to want to bring water and snacks.

As for water, it's a good idea to bring a reusable bottle rather than a plastic one. It helps you avoid scaring off deer with a loud crinkling plastic bottle every time you want to take a drink.

When it comes to snacks, you want something easy to eat but will keep you going. It means that snacks like candy bars probably aren't your best bet. Instead, opt for more energizing snacks like beef jerky or trail mix.

Safety Harness

Speaking of tree stands, if you're using one, then you're going to need a safety harness. This help to make sure that you don't have a nasty fall when you're getting in and out of your stand.

You have a few different options when it comes to harnesses, but it's best to invest in a full harness. It will ensure that if you fall, you don't get caught in an odd position or have the wind knocked out of you.

Scent Killer

You can technically get away without using a scent killer, but it will make your job a lot easier. The point of scent killer, as the name suggests, is to mask human scent. Since deer are animals that rely heavily on their sense of smell, if they smell you, they aren't going to come near you.

Also, you can avoid having an overpowering human scent by avoiding artificial scents. For instance, scented soaps, colognes, perfumes, and similar products should be avoided before heading out into the field.

Some hunters also find keeping their field clothes in a bag of debris from where you're hunting so they take on a more natural scent that won't stand out.

First-Aid Kit

Everyone wants to be optimistic about their hunting trip, but it's crucial to be prepared just in case. Because of this, you must pack a well-stocked first-aid kit when you're getting ready for a hunting trip.

If you aren't sure what should go in your first-aid kit, The Red Cross has a checklist that will make sure you have everything you need. You should also make sure that you know how to use everything in your first-aid kit before you head out.

When it comes to hunting deer, you need the right gear to make sure you're successful. The good news is that with this checklist, you'll be prepared to tackle anything that comes your way while you hunt. These pieces of gear paired

  • Updated October 3, 2019
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