How To

5 Whitetail Pack Essentials

Badlands Pursuit Side View Pockets Open

People tend to carry a lot of stuff with them when hunting. I think most of the mentality is I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. With this quick list of 5 simple items you can have everything you need for your hunt.

  1. Camera: There are a TON of amazing point and shoot cameras out there. I tend to carry my DSLR with me but point and shoots now can take amazing pictures and video. They can also be had for right around $100 and you can use it for more than hunting. Most point and shoots are small and lightweight so they are very easy to pack. Why is the camera first? Because it’s the one thing I use every hunt, throughout the hunt, whether I kill something or not.
  2. Knife: This year I’ve been using the SOG Woodline Fixed Blade and the SOG Revolver Hunter both are awesome knives. The Woodline is incredibly well balanced and does great when gutting and skinning a deer. The revolver is great too. It’s light weight and very versatile with a straight edge, gut hook and saw blade.
  3. Light Source: I carry two for convenience and back up. I carry a Crooked Horn Outfitters Trail Light and a NOXX Adventure II Flashlight. The Trail light is perfect when walking in or out when you need your hands free it clips to your backpack strap and has LED’s that illuminate in either white or green.  It also has a split beam feature to allow you, for example to cast one beam ahead and one beam right in front of your feet. The flashlight is great for following blood trails or additional lighting when you need it. Having two sources is also great just in case one dies on you.
  4. Optics: Depending on my hunt I may either bring just my rangefinder or both my rangefinder and binoculars. If I’m hunting a secluded portion of woods with low visibility I stick to just my Bushnell G-Force since it’s 6x and will allow me to get a better look at most any thing I’ll see. If I’m hunting an area with high visibility I’ll keep my rangefinder handy but I use my Hawke Nature Trek binos for keeping a look out for whitetails! Both of which are compact and easy to carry.
  5. Calls or Scents: I don’t use either of these a ton but I keep one or the other with me most of the season especially during the rut. Lately I’ve been using Big Deer Hunters stick lures and the new Primos Magnum Roar. I’ll also sometimes carry my Knight & Hale Pack Rack to rattle some. Having listed three things here I rarely if ever carry all three at once. Depending on the time day and part of the season I decide which makes it in the pack.

Aside from those items and your weapon you should be good to go. It’s tempting to add a bunch more stuff. The only other thing I carry is some gloves because I’m allergic to deer. As you can see from the picture at the top I put it all in my Badlands Pursuit but with a lot of room to spare in case I need to pack in some layers or rain gear. I also like the pursuit because when I’m climbing into my stand I don’t need a pull rope, I just strap my bow to my pack and start climbing!

This may look like a big push for certain products. While I use what works for me and most likely would work for you, this is meant to make you think about the stuff that currently sits in your pack. My car is a disaster most of hunting season because the hatch stays full of stuff from selecting my gear based on each hunt. Obviously, depending on the length of your hunt you may add food and water or some other items but with these 5 products in your pack you’ll be set and most likely heaving a good bit less weight through the woods. Plus taking less stuff to stand means you have less to potentially drop, lose or leave behind. Most every year someone I know loses something valuable and most times it wasn’t even needed for that hunt.

What are your necessities when whitetail hunting?

Images courtesy In Search of Whitetails

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