If you do not have the items you need to get through the day, hunting can be tricky! There are the normal things you need to have on hand like rifle magazines, snacks, extra water, or a small first aid kit. But what are some things you may need that you would not normally think to pack? Forgetting the small things is so easy to do, but it can make a significant impact on the experience you have on your trip. Save yourself some grief and be sure to include the following five things in your hunting pack.
Just the thought of lugging around an extra bag or crate of decoys can feel frustrating. However, having a few on hand can increase the amount of game you see in your crosshairs. Either those of deer or of fowl, are made of light materials, but they help your prey feel safer in the area you set the decoy. An important tip to remember is to set the decoy upwind from where you will be. This will help keep your scent from flowing towards the decoy and tipping off the prey of your whereabouts. Decoys look interesting and cause the hunted animals to be curious about who the decoy is (are they from my herd or somewhere else?). If you want to make decoys extra effective, you can purchase decoy smells to add, further luring out the hunted prey. The sense of smell is one that animals rely heavily upon, so adding this layer to your decoys can further increase your daily yield.
You may not think about doing laundry before or after your hunting escapade, but you will if it means further disguising yourself from the animal you are hunting. Wildlife Research Center’s Super Charged Scent Killer Clothing Wash is one of the many options available to kick the nasty scent of “human.” There are body sprays and the like that you can keep in your pack for your trip. However, you will be adding a layer of smell protection when using the detergent, as your clothes will not smell like you, and they will trap in some of the odors that typically emanate from your body. Taking advantage of this will keep animals from suspecting you. Try washing your clothes in a scent killer laundry detergent and you will not be disappointed.
If you are new to the hunting scene, you may have never heard of or thought of setting up cameras around where you will have your hunting stand. At face value, this sounds like a lot of work for an unknown yield. However, they can help you keep an eye on your prey, even from a distance. Trail cameras are made rugged so that you can even consider putting them up for extended periods of time, no matter the weather. This gives you the opportunity to plan your hunting patterns on the grazing patterns of your prey. This allows you to create hunting locations based on the areas the animals frequent most. If you have been struggling with your tracking, if you are wanting to bag a certain amount or a specific animal, trail cameras can help you make better plans and properly execute those plans. Investment of time and money will serve you well. Do not let the novelty and the time commitment discourage you from using this helpful tool!
Surveyor’s tape or another brightly colored tape or tie off will serve you well in the field. When you make a shot, you want to know you can gather your kill without getting lost in the woods. It can be easy to do, thinking you are on the correct trail then lose sight of both your kill and your stand. This can lead to you heading home emptyhanded. Avoid this tragedy by keeping surveyor’s tape in your pack to brightly mark where you have been. As you follow the blood trail or your trajectory path, put some of the tape on a nearby tree or other standing structure. This will guarantee that you can make it back to your starting point. If you lose track of your kill, you can also go back to the last place you were sure you were on the right track and continue the search from there. Having tape on your person can prove helpful in other situations, too, where you need to tape something back together or ensure you do not lose an item. Brightly colored tape can also be used as a signal to other hunters or emergency personnel in emergencies.
This may be a surprising suggestion, but zip-ties can serve many uses in the field. If you need to attach an extra item to your pack or if a zipper happens to break, zip ties can help you fix that! They can also be useful in tagging your kill or binding up their extremities for easier carry. Zip ties can also be used to help you mark your trek if you run out of or have forgotten your surveyor’s tape. Also, they can help you tie back branches that may be problematic when aiming or looking through your scope. Zip ties are cheap and are easy to use. They are even easier to take apart when you are done with them; just cut them!
Some items on this list may not be what you initially think of when you imagine packing for a hunting trip. However, thinking outside of the box with these items can help you better bag your prey, keep on the trail, and go home successfully. Why work harder when you can work smarter with things like decoys, scent killing detergent, trail cameras, surveyor’s tape, and zip ties? Make it easier for yourself and keep these items in your pack and encourage others to do the same. What are some other out of the box items you like to keep on you?