Gear Up for Your Next Hunting Trip

man with binoculars

If you’re looking to take off on a hunting trip, you’ll need to bring along plenty of gear to make it a successful one. You may have your camo gear and hunting rifle ready to go, but what happens if you land your first kill? If you plan on taking your kill home for dinner, you’ll need plenty of room in your off-road truck or Jeep and some equipment to get the job done. Some items may be more obvious than others, but, if you come unprepared, you might have to pack up early or leave your kill for the wolves to enjoy. 

Here’s everything you’ll need for your first hunting trip, so you can make the most of your time in the wild. 

Comply with All Hunting Regulations

Before you start getting all your hunting gear together, make sure you research the area’s hunting regulations. You’ll need a hunting license to head out on the trail. But some areas also enforce certain visibility requirements, such as wearing a certain amount of orange and reflective colors, so you don’t accidentally get shot or shoot another one of your fellow hunters. You’ll also need to be aware of certain hunting zones where it’s legal to hunt. If you get too close to residential areas, roads, and wildlife protection areas, you could wind up with a hefty fine. 

These regulations are designed to keep you and your fellow hunters safe on the trail, so make sure you’ve done your homework before heading out. 

04.10.2017. Leningrad region. Russia. Jeep Wrangler Rubicon off-road . Wrangler Rubicon is a compact SUV manufactured by Chrysler

Before the Hunt

As you get ready to head out on the trail, make sure you have everything you need to get to the site safely. You’ll need a hunting license, driver’s license, and, usually, a hunting safety card. This proves that you know what you’re doing in the field and that you’ve taken a hunting safety course. Certain states require you to have a hunting safety card. Even if your state doesn’t, it’s a good idea to sign up for a safety course before you head out on the trail. 

When it comes to transportation, consider where you plan on driving on your hunting trip. If you want to take your truck or Jeep off-road, it’s best to get a set of all-terrain or mud-terrain tires. They provide more traction and stability to help you get through all kinds of tough driving conditions, including mossy bogs, muddy trenches, and uneven rocks, so you’ll never get stranded in the middle of nowhere. 

You’ll need to invest in a lift kit if you want to add mud-terrain or all-terrain tires to your Jeep or truck. You should also inspect your vehicle or bring it in for a tune-up before heading out on your first hunting trip. You’ll never need to deal with any mechanical issues when you’re hundreds of miles from home or the nearest mechanic. You’ll be on top of your game! 

Hunting Clothing and Going Scent-Free

When you start hunting, you’ll need to make sure you’re wearing the right clothing. You’ll need boots, long socks, a jacket, an inner layer or long underwear to keep you warm, a puncture-resistant outer layer, an orange vest or hat, rain gear, and gloves. 

It’s best to wear scent-reduced clothing on the trail so you don’t attract too much attention to yourself. Strong odors could thwart your hunting efforts, helping your prey sense you and give you a wide berth. To make sure you’re not scaring away animals, it’s best to avoid any unnatural odors. Rinse out your washing machine to get rid of unnatural detergents. Wash your clothes with baking soda and put them out on a line to let them dry naturally. Keep your clothes, including your boots, in a plastic bag or bin, so they don’t end up smelling like Febreze or some other scented products. 

Wash your body with scent-free soap and dry yourself off with a towel that was laundered with your hunting gear, so you don’t smell like laundry detergent. Use scent-free antiperspirant, mouthwash, and toothpaste, and bring some chlorophyll pills or chlorophyll gum along for the ride, so your breath doesn’t give you away on the trail. 

Hunting Equipment

In addition to wearing the proper clothing, you also need to make sure you have everything you need to get through the day. You could be out on the trail for hours on end, unable to make a sound, so keep everything nearby in case of an emergency. 

Use this gear list to get started:

  • Binoculars
  • Rifle or bow with scope
  • Extra ammo
  • Backpack for all your gear
  • Scent attractant
  • Two-way radio 
  • Dry towel
  • Batteries
  • Lighter and matches
  • Trail-marking gear such as twine, tape, or tacks
  • Game caller
  • Seat or cushion to help you stay comfortable
  • GPS
  • Plenty of food and water
  • Toilet paper and sanitary wipes
  • Knife and knife sharpener
hunting items. hunting concept. hunting background.

After the Hunt

If you happen to land your first kill, congratulations! Now you need to get your bounty home in one piece. Keep this equipment on hand to stay safe when dealing with your kill:

  • Gutter gloves
  • Butt-out tool
  • Deer drag
  • Pelvic saw
  • Permanent marker
  • Processing knives
  • Cooler

It’s best to break down your kill before transporting it back home. This will lighten the load, so you’re only taking the meatiest parts with you. Bring along plenty of ice to keep your meat cool, especially if you have a long commute home. Leave room in the back of your off-road Jeep or truck for your added bounty. Make sure all your weapons are clean before you head out, so the meat stays clean too. 

40% of the U.S. population 16 years and older participates in various wildlife activities like hunting and fishing, so you’ll be in good company. Make sure you’ve made all the necessary preparations before heading out on the trail, so you never have to come home early due to a lack of supplies. Follow all hunting rules and regulations, stay safe, and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Good luck and happy hunting!

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