Deer Hunting Gear Checklist

Pack Full of Deer Hunting GearWhen you’re starting out hunting deer, sometimes it can be a challenge to know what gear you really need. And once you’ve been hunting for a while and have the gear you need, it can be a real headache getting all your gear together for a trip and making sure you’re not forgetting something crucial.

That’s where this checklist comes in. We’ll cover the deer hunting gear that’s generally considered required to get the job done, and we’ll throw in some ideas for optional gear that can make for a more comfortable and fun hunting experience.

Plus, check out the Big Game Hunter’s Ten Essentials, which lays out the ten things you shouldn’t leave home without if you want to make sure you come back alive.

You can print this list out and use it when you’re shopping for gear or when you’re packing for a trip. It's not intended to be all-encompassing, and as you become more experienced, you may end up disagreeing on what gear is “required” and what gear is “optional”. That’s great – just pencil in the changes. Every hunter has to decide for his or herself what gear is essential. This is just a tool to get you started.

(NOTE: This list is focused on the stuff you need to have with you for a day-long hunting excursion. What to bring on a backcountry backpacking or packstringing trip is a whole different topic…)

"Required" Gear

  • Hunting License + Deer Tag

  • Weapon (Rifle, Shotgun, Bow, Handgun, Muzzleloader, or Crossbow)

  • Ammunition, Arrows, or Bolts

  • Binoculars

  • Clothing

  • Hunter Orange

  • Boots

  • Hat(s)

  • Gloves

  • Backpack/Fanny Pack/Vest

  • Map + Compass

  • Headlamp (with extra batteries)

  • Knife + Sharpener

  • Water Bottle(s) or Hydration Bladder

  • Wind Checker

  • Orange Flagging Tape

  • Food + Water

  • Toilet Paper

  • Sunscreen

  • Sunglasses

"Optional" Gear

  • GPS – excellent supplement to your map and compass

  • Shooting Sticks – a big help when you don’t have a shooting rest close by

  • Laser Rangefinder – no more guessing ranges

  • Camera – you’ll probably want to capture those moments of triumph

Tactic-Specific Gear

Ambush Tactics

  • Treestand

  • Safety Harness

  • Ground Blind

  • Rubber Boots

  • Rubber Gloves

  • Scent Reduction Products

  • Disposable Hand Warmers

Attraction Tactics

  • Calls

  • Rattling Antlers

  • Decoy(s)

  • Attractant Scents

Search Tactics

  • Spotting Scope

  • High-Powered Binoculars

  • Tripod

  • Camo Face Paint

  • Camo Handkerchief

  • Small Notebook


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