Everyone has to start somewhere. Our own Omar Lopez has caught the hunting bug hard, and put this list together based on everything he's learned this past year as he's embarked on his hunting journey.
You don't know what you don't know—here's answers to some of the most commonly asked questions hunters have when they're getting started.
What gear is used for hunting?
The gear you need depends on the type of hunt you're going on. That said, whether you're backpack hunting in the backcountry or going on day hunts close to home, western big game hunting generally requires boots, packs, optics, layering systems, communication devices, accessories, and of course, a weapon.
What is a hunter's most important item?
A plan. Having a good plan, knowledge of the area they're hunting and knowing how to navigate a hunt safely is critical.
Besides that, most hunters will say binoculars! Letting your "eyes do the walking" is a great way to find game without needing to walk unnecessary miles.
What are the top hunting brands?
Some of our top hunting brands are Mystery Ranch, Sitka Gear, Stone Glacier, Vortex Optics, Swarovski Optik, GOHUNT, Hanwag, Kenetrek and more. However, there are hundreds of great hunting brands in the GOHUNT gear shop and all of them have been tested by our team of diehard hunters.
What essentials should I have in my kit?
Some key essentials include trekking poles, game bags, knife, headlamp, and other small accessories required for a hunt.
What's the most important thing to consider in a hunting pack?
Hunting backpacks have features designed for hunters. Specifically, hunting-specific backpacks have a load shelf designed for carrying heavy weight when you've harvested an animal.
What should I pack in a day pack for hunting?
In your daypack you should pack food, extra layers including an insulation piece, plenty of water, rain gear, a knife, game bags, headlamp, first aid kit, your tags, and more. Depending on the specific area you plan to hunt, you may need more gear than this!
What clothing should I have for a hunt?
Like general outdoor clothing, hunting clothing is often purpose built for specific seasons. Having the right pants, base layers, insulation, rain gear and accessories is critical.
What is the best cold weather gear for hunting?
Having good base layers and insulation is critical for cold season hunting. Baselayers are generally available in two materials: Synthetic and Merino Wool.
What layers do you need for hunting?
For cold weather hunting, most layering systems involve a baselayer, mid layer, outer layer and sometimes rain gear.
For baselayers, it's critical that you have high quality, breathable materials lilke merino wool or polyester. Cotton does not make a good base layer as it doesn't insulated when wet and it's slow drying.
Most mid layers consist of either polyester fleece or an insulation piece like down or synthetic. For open country or long glassing sessions your down insulation could be your outer layer. If you're walking through timber, generally you'll want an outer jacket with a more durable face fabric such as a softshell jacket like the Sitka Jetstream.
What is most important in a pair of hunting boots?
Having boots that fit well, don't cause blisters and are designed for the terrain and season you're hunting is critical. That means something lighter during early archery seasons and generally something insulated for late season hunts.
What's the minimum amount of optics equipment I need for a hunt?
Within optics there are binoculars, rangefinders, spotting scopes and accessories like tripods and adapters. At a minimum, every hunter should have binoculars and a rangefinder.
Do I need a GPS communication device?
A GPS communication device isn't required, but it's very helpful for staying in touch with loved ones when in the backcountry or any remote place.
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