Deer Hunting Essentials

There are a thousand things you could find useful on a deer hunt, but these are the 21 pieces of essential gear that are must haves for every deer hunter.

Backpack

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The Badlands Superday Pack is exactly what you need to get your gear in and out of the woods. Most importantly, this pack has a lifetime warranty for free repairs, no matter the cause of damage.

Knife

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I have been using this Buck Zipper Fixed Blade knife since I was a teenager and I still choose it over anything else. The blade is burly enough to cut through bone, and the gut hook makes field dressing a breeze. 

You can watch me field dress a deer in five minutes with this knife on YouTube.

Waterproof Boots

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Your overall comfort is affected most by your feet. These Columbia Bugaboots will do the job very well. High ankle support provides stability on rough ground and stays dry crossing creeks and swamps.

Wool Socks

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Avoid cotton socks like the plague. In warm weather, Darn Tough Socks are well worth the money for their durability and comfort. In cold weather, switch to something like the tall Arctic Winter Boot Sock from Carhartt.

Treestand

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Every Eastern deer hunter needs a tree stand. The Aluminum Summit Viper Climbing Stand is my weapon of choice for whitetails for it's light weight and ability to climb high. But if I could have only one stand, it would be a hang on stand. It's inexpensive and can fit on many more trees than the climber, which can make all the difference in the world on a hunt.

Safety Harness

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More hunters are seriously injured falling from trees than any other cause. Invest in a bullet proof full body harness like Muddy Safeguard , which comes with the lineman rope you'll need to safely install any climbing sticks or hang on stand.

Range Finder

In bowhunting long distance rifle hunting it is critical that you know the precise distance you are shooting. Invest in a good range finder like the Vortex Impact and you won't regret it,

Binoculars

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Good binoculars are expensive, but they're worth every penny. I use an older model of these Pocket Size Binoculars from Swarovski on every hunt because of their light weight and incredible clarity.

Climbing Sticks

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Climbing sticks are an essential part of your hang on set up. These aluminum ones made by Hawke are super light and the best priced aluminum sticks out there.

Facemask

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When a deer looks right at you, you'll be glad you were wearing this facemask. The 3D effect breaks up the outline of your head, making it much harder for anything to positively ID what you are.

Gloves

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You need 100% coverage to stay hidden when deer are close. These half fingerless gloves are intended for turkey hunting, but I absolutely love them for deer hunting because the exposed fingers allow me to use my phone, tie knots, and shoot without being affected by fabric.

Headlamp

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Whether hiking and hanging a stand predawn or following a blood trail after sunset, you absolutely must have a good flashlight, and you'd be a fool not to choose a headlamp so you can work hands free. This is the only headlamp I use anymore. It toggles between several different modes, ranging from ridiculously powerful high beam to low red light that preserves your night vision. It's also affordable and rechargeable.

Grunt Call

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When rut activity starts to pick up, calling is a deadly tactic for bucks. This Flextone Buck Collector Plus can make all the sounds a deer does, from buck grunts to doe and fawn bleats, to the all powerful snort-wheeze. Pair with rattling antlers for maximum success.

Rattling Antlers

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The Black Rack system has been fooling bucks for years. Learn to use it well in combination with a grunt call and you'll see much more action in the woods.

Synthetic Deer Urine

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The best way to fool a deer's nose is to use cover scent. I spray this synthetic deer scent on my boots, pants, and gear to cover our trail on the way in, and to saturate the air around the stand. I use synthetic because real urine has the potential to spread Chronic Wasting Disease.

Wind Check

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Wind rarely does what it's supposed to. You'll be more successful if you can tell exactly what it's doing using a wind checker like this

You can also use duck down or milkweed if you have some handy.

Haul line

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Always use a haul line to hoist your weapon into the tree stand rather than carrying it up. I use para cord because it's super strong and light.

Blaze Orange Vest/Hat

If you're hunting in gun season, wearing safety orange will be required. Wear a full vest and hat, regardless of the rules to ensure you stay visible to other hunters. It won't bother the deer one bit and might save your life.

Water Bottle

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Stay hydrated, and don't waste plastic! Buy yourself a reusable water bottle like this Nalgene.

Snacks

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Bring whatever you like,  but I am a big fan of RxBars. They get me through the day when I can't get a proper meal.

Clothing

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Being properly dressed is critical for success and comfort while deer hunting, but it's too big a topic to cover in this list, so stay tuned for the clothing list page!

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© 2020 Learn to Hunt NYC

Jersey City, NJ        929-445-3325       learntohuntnyc@gmail.com

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