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Ten items a Hunter needs

By Russ Van Orman

Ten things a hunter should bring afield

This is a continuation of the New to Hunting series.

I have been asked by hunting enthusiasts and first time hunters; what is the most valuable thing I can bring on my hunt?

Each time my reply is the same “Safety First” and “enjoy your time afield” in other words bring a good attitude and be safe.

For all new hunters, should take a firearms safety course related to hunting. Try and take it well in advance of your hunt. Check at your local gun club or sporting goods store that carries hunting equipment for times and dates. The ultimate goal on any hunt is to harvest game. However, not every time you go afield will you. In other words, just because you do not “shoot something” does not mean it was a terrible hunt. Even through the lean times, enjoy the camaraderie of hunting buddies along with nature’s beauty.

The third item is your knowledge of the game that you are hunting. Whether it is big game or small game, having knowledge of the game that you are pursuing is essential.

Many books have been written, about hunting and hunting techniques for just about every game animal in the world. Check out your local library on line. If you have questions about the game you are hunting; Deep Countree’s Field Advisor(s) would love to answer your questions.

Those are three of the most important intangibles you can bring with you to the woods.

Let’s now move onto the tangible stuff:

Be familiar with your rifle, bow, shotgun. Know what ammo it uses and how the weapon operates. What caliber it is and its range along with its limitations. Bring the correct ammo.

A first aid kit; you would be surprised how many hunters neglect to carry one or at the very least have one in their car. A simple Band-Aid and antibiotic cream; will go a long way in preventing infection if you should nick yourself while field dressing your animal.

Water and snacks; even if you are just going back to a tree stand a water bottle or hydration pack with water in can help prevent cramps and Some of the items you needdehydration. Eating a snack such as nuts or a PB&J every two to three hours will help keep your blood sugar level; so you can be more alert and be able to concentrate at the task at hand.

A good knife; this does not mean a “Jim Bowie” (you’re not knife fighting); a 3” to 5” (5” being the maximum) blade is sufficient. One that will stay sharp through multiple uses with a non-slip handle is the best. Benchmade knives are made in the US and will last a lifetime. I highly recommended one. If you are just going to field dress your game, then drag or carry it out, one knife should work just fine. Out West when I hunt; I carry two one for field dressing and the other for skinning and boning out.

Extra Socks; An extra pair socks and liners can save the day if your feet get wet.

A survival kit; with at least a space age blanket, waterproof matches or a windproof lighter, fire starter, rope, and extra batteries for your flashlight or headlamp, scent free wipes and a compass (know how to use it). Depending on where I am hunting; I add to this.

Toilet paper; you might think it is fun to be survivalist but leaves just do not work. I store my TP in a plastic bag until used; this keeps it dry.

Make sure to bring your gear in a fanny pack or backpack,  made of quite scent lock and waterproof material. Then put it somewhere so you will not forget it.

Happy Hunting!!!