Why you should use a deer hunting checklist:
A few years ago I screwed up.
Half way into a 6 hour drive, it hit me…
I forgot my hunting license!
That mistake cost me 5 hours and got me to our cabin in the dark.
Ever since that trip, I use a checklist every time I go hunting.
Deer Hunting Essentials
Have a hunting trip coming up? Deer season is here.
Don’t make the same mistake I did and forget any of your hunting gear. You may not realize which essential piece of gear you forgot until you reach your destination.
With so much gear to remember, it is almost impossible not to forget something unless you use a checklist.
I have created the printable pdf checklist below to help you prepare for your next hunt and make sure you don’t make the mistake of forgetting something.
There are multiple checklists so you can select the ones which apply to you the best. If you would like a customized version feel free to email us and we would be happy to make one for you.
Deer Hunting Checklist
Complete Checklist of Deer Hunting Essentials
The first checklist is what I consider the must-have essentials to hunt deer. Some might argue a few items are unnecessary or that something is missing but so far this list has served me well. Obviously some items will depend on the climate in which you are hunting.
You might find it helpful to store a lot of this gear in a plastic container in your garage and label it as your deer hunting kit.
Links to gear guides are included in case you would like some help selecting specific pieces of gear.
- Good Mountain Hunting Boots
- Hunting Socks
- Base Layers
- Mid Layers
- Rain Gear (if needed)
- Hunting Gloves
- Blaze Orange (if required)
Deer Hunting Gear List
- Weapon (gun/bow)
- Scope Cover
- Gun Case
- Bow Hanger
- Range Finder
- Spotting Scope
- First Aid
- Zip Ties
- Hunting Knife (Buck 192 Vanguard is my favorite)
- License – Don’t forget this!
- Toilet Paper
- Cell Phone
- Shooting Sticks
- Scent Block
- Bug Spray
- Tree Stand
Processing/Field Dressing Checklist
This list is going to be highly dependent upon your specific hunting situation. The processing gear needed on a back-country backpacking hunt is going to be different than what you need on a guided trip on a ranch etc.
- Bone Saw
- Meat bags/game bags
- White vinegar
- Extra knives/blades/sharpener
- Ice chest/ice
- Duct Tape
Multi-Night Hunting trip
- Sleeping bag
- Spare clothing
- Cooking Gear/Utensils
- Fire Starting Kit
- Check oil
- Tire pressure
- Check Coolant
Who Should Use a Hunting Checklist?
In my opinion, every hunter should use some sort of hunting checklist. Deer season only lasts for a couple of months, you do not want to screw up and forget something and have to wait until next year.
At the bare minimum, you should have a list that covers your deer hunting essentials. That way, even if you do forget something, it likely won’t result in a ruined trip.
What is the hunter’s most important piece of gear?
Toilet paper! Just kidding. Well, only kind of…
Survival is always priority one. I will say water, navigation skills (know how to work your GPS!), and good footwear.
How do I keep my hunting pack from getting too heavy?
Only bring what you absolutely need!
It is very common, especially for new hunters, to fill their pack with the latest and greatest hunting gear. Experience has taught me what I need and what I don’t.
What you need depends on your situation. On day trips I might bring as little as a lightweight Camelpak with my license, tags, a snack, and a knife
What food/snacks are the best to bring hunting?
I like cliff bars, power bars, trail mix, jerky, salami and PB2 packets. What you want is something that is calorie dense and doesn’t add a lot of weight to your pack.
Do you have a backpack hunting checklist?
Like stated above, this is situation specific. Here is a list to get you started:
- Hunting Knife
- Paracord (I like to integrate it into some other piece of gear like this sling)
- Toilet Paper
Hopefully the hunting checklists in this article will help you be more prepared for this deer season. They are a simple and easy way to make sure you don’t forget anything.
Take a few moments and print out the checklist. Keep it handy when you are packing for your next trip.