So, you’re ready to go big game hunting, but you don’t have the gear. You’re not entirely sure you know what you need, but the thought of filling your freezer sounds more and more appealing by the minute.
It takes years to outfit yourself with quality hunting equipment. Focus on your long-term needs. You can build a collection of necessities on a budget if you take the time to talk with other hunters. Read reviews and buy quality gear now so that it will still work years down the road. Determining what works best for you will maximize your spending, so you’re not wasting your time with hunting supplies that won’t last or don’t work.
Let’s focus on a small but essential set of tools that you can use no matter what you hunt, to save money and lighten your load. Of course, you need a rifle or a bow, but we’re going to address the additional gear you might need for big game hunting. These are the things that, at an absolute minimum, you should never leave home without.
When it comes to footwear, there are a lot of options. Depending on the environment and how active you are while hunting will influence your decision. If you’re used to the cold, or you’re an active hunter, you shouldn’t need insulated boots, especially if you have quality socks to keep your feet warm and provide support.
If you’re hunting in the mountains, you need a stiff boot to prevent your ankles from rolling on the rough terrain. Only wear your boots when you’re hunting. If you drive or ride in the car with them on, your feet may sweat, giving you what could be some very cold feet for the rest of your hunt.
Remember, non-insulated boots are lighter than insulated ones, and if you plan to carry a hefty load of equipment, bag your limit, or be on your feet for a long time, non-insulated is the way to go.
Boots can make or break your hunting experience. The more supportive your boots are, the less energy you have to exert to stay comfortable. Get the best boot for the activity level and climate of your big game hunt.
How you carry your gear is an essential component of the hunt. Not only do you have hunting equipment, but you may have camping gear, and you probably hope to come home with a kill. You need to be able to carry water, food, game bags, extra clothing, knives, and maybe some survival gear.
Invest in a good pack that carries the weight on your hips. The padding on the waist and the shoulder harness should be comfortable and supportive. A hunting backpack with an internal frame works well during the day, but you may need something bigger or more versatile later. Find something that can expand to suit your needs on varying hunts.
You may choose to go with a pack that doesn’t have an internal frame because it's lighter than a pack with a frame. Keep in mind though, a more rigid structure allows for more accessible, more segmented packing. It also helps with more even weight distribution, making it easier to carry because the weight doesn’t shift as much when you walk, climb, or lean.
In any situation, dressing in layers allows for variation in temperature and is critical for your comfort. If you’re a seasoned hunter, you know to prepare for anything. If you don’t already know that, then take this advice to heart. Pack layers.
When it comes to hunting clothes, wool provides a functional base layer to keep you warm, but it may be wise to invest in some high-performance fabrics that wick the sweat away during more active hunts. They keep you dry and comfortable in any situation.
These only come in handy for mountain hunting, but are still something to consider. You may decide you don’t need them, but they do save energy and improve balance if you have a heavy load while climbing. They can also assist with slowing down or stopping on a steep downhill slope.
For most hunters, the end goal is to bring home some meat. But you need a way to get home with the meat you kill, and when you’re hunting big game, that’s tough. You need to be able to make manageable pieces out of a large animal, and then carry it with you until you’re done, without it spoiling.
Synthetic game bags dry quickly so moisture doesn’t get trapped inside like it would if you used cotton. Wet meat for a prolonged period could lead to a build up in bacteria, making it unsafe to eat, and leads to faster spoilage.
GPS has come a long way and can provide additional benefits over a map and a compass. If you use a device specifically for hunting, you have access to private land boundaries, which is something you can’t measure with a compass. Some also give you the ability to log and favorite your locations so you can return easily later.
GPS isn’t for everyone. If you’re familiar with the land on which you hunt, you may always get the most out of simple tools. A GPS navigator is pricey, and you have to rely on its battery to last. However, it can really up your hunting...game. Pun intended.
There are a limitless number of hunting accessories and hunting supplies available. We’ve done our best to list the essentials, but depending on your unique experiences, you may find you need more or less of any number of things.
Grab a Gun provides the best selection of hunting accessories and hunting supplies online. When it comes to gun and hunting expertise, Grab a Gun can help you find the perfect piece of hunting equipment for your next excursion.