Gearing up for your first hunting experience is almost as exciting as the hunt itself. But don’t let the thrill blind you, as being prepared is key to ensuring a successful day. Hitting the woods for the first time can be a daunting experience, especially if you’re yet to put together a checklist of items to bring along.
The good news is that you don’t have to take a second job to afford the basic gear that you’ll need to get started. In this post, we’ll go over what you need to start hunting. But first, let’s take a look at the regulatory requirements.
Before the Hunt
If you haven’t already, be sure to pick up a hunting license from your local wildlife agency. This is also a good place to brush up on your knowledge of local regulations when it comes to bag limits, areas and seasons. It’s a surefire way to ensure the wellbeing of the people and animals around you, as well as keeping yourself out of trouble.
You’ll need to have a Hunter Safety Card, landowner permission and additional identification such as a driver’s license on you. Deer tags may also be necessary depending on what you plan on hunting. Be sure to do your research when it comes to the best spots, times of the year and any potential requirements for hunters in your state.
It’s important to have the right weapon for the type of game you plan to hunt. Take some time to research the appropriate rifle calibers for each animal. Different weapons also require different tools to maintain, such as the respective cleaning kits and optics. If you plan on hunting dangerous game, a handgun may be necessary.
At the very least, you should have an outfit for the day and a spare in case of accidents or rough weather. Since you’ll likely be traversing some tough terrain, it’s important to ensure that your clothing is appropriate. This includes a solid pair of boots that don’t let water in. Thicker socks, gloves and headwear such as a beanie are a wise investment.
Local regulations may require you to wear an orange vest and/or hat. A jacket will keep you warm while offering additional storage and utility. An inner layer of long underwear is important for colder environments, while an outer layer adds puncture resistance.
As for which brand you should go for, you’ll likely come across names that you’ve never seen before. Be sure to shop wisely and go for quality products that will last. This article details best cold weather hunting clothes to help you get started.
Essentials aside, the additional gear you need to take with you is fairly contextual. Binoculars, a knife, backpack, radios, GPS, dry towel, batteries, lighter, cooler and gutter gloves are a good start. Consider what you plan on hunting and where, then draw up a list of tools that you’ll need to make the day.
Investing in the right equipment from the beginning will ensure plenty of great hunts in the future, knowing that you’re geared up for anything that stands in your way. Good luck and happy hunting!