5 Pieces of Equipment Every Professional Hunter Should Own02/11/2021
Although the exact equipment you need depends on the species you’ll hunt, local weather and environmental conditions, the weapons you prefer and your location, there are many staple items every professional hunter should always have at hand. Here are the top five essentials you should always have with you on every hunt.
1. Hunting Knife
A quality hunting knife can be one of the most versatile tools at your disposal. Yet, with so many different types, models and price ranges available, choosing the right knife for you can be as challenging as choosing the right guns, bows or ammunition. While you may occasionally use it to cut wood for making campfire kindling or open canned food, the primary purpose of a hunting knife is to cut and field dress hunting game.
Choose a full-tang fixed-blade knife instead of a folding model. Although fixed blades are less portable, they are also much simpler and more robust, possessing fewer mechanical points of failure. Match the knife’s length to the size of the animal you intend to hunt; the longer the blade, the better suited it is for cutting and skinning larger animals. Last, pay attention to your blade’s steel type. High-quality steel alloys, such as vanadium steel (e.g., S30V), stainless steel (154CM, 440C) or carbon steel (1095), are highly desirable for their durability and sharpness.
Deer are crepuscular animals, so they are the most active at dawn and dusk. Under periods of intense hunting pressure, they may even temporarily become nocturnal. Due to the deer’s feeding and mating behaviors, you are most likely to see and shoot a deer under low-light conditions. A quality flashlight is the best way to avoid tracking and dressing the deer in the dark. Choose a model capable of producing 300 to 900 lumens: bright enough to let you see the deer clearly without turning into a searchlight, potentially spooking animals and disturbing other hunters.
3. Hunting Blind
Hunting blinds offer undeniable advantages to the deer hunter, including concealment, an improved vantage point and shelter in inclement weather for longer hunting sessions. Assuming you have brushed it in and allowed the local wildlife to get used to its presence,a quality ground blind keeps you hidden better than any other hunting method. You can even select a hunting blind type that fits your preferences and hunting style.
If you like to move frequently and need something light and portable, the Hunting Camouflage Net is perfect. When it’s time to change your location, you can fold it up and carry the curtain in your backpack, which is perfect for staying on the move. You may prefer to use a more classic design to scout out the perfect hunting spot, such as a Portable Camouflage Tarp. This hunting blind allows you to see without being seen in complete comfort.
4. First Aid Kit
If you’re used to being outdoors, you know how easy it is to get minor cuts, scrapes or the occasional sprained ankle. A professional hunter should always keep a first aid kit appropriate for the location. Carrying first aid isn’t just about preparedness; it may mean the difference between life and death, either for you or a fellow hunter. An essential hunting first aid kit should contain the following:
- Powder-free, medical-grade nitrile gloves
- Adhesive bandages
- Butterfly bandages
- Painkillers (ibuprofen)
- Gauze: pads and rolls
- Antibiotic cream
- Antibacterial ointment
- Antiseptic wipes
- Blister treatment cream
- SAM splint
Add items to adapt your first aid kit to local conditions and environments. For example, if you hunt in Alaska during the cold seasons, you may want to supplement this list with items such as a personal locator beacon, hand warmers and frostbite treatment essentials.
5. Hunting Rope
All professional deer hunters know how critical a good hunting rope is to a successful day in the field. You can use this versatile tool for a multitude of purposes, including:
- Tying and dragging a downed deer to a field dressing location
- Hanging the deer up to make it easier to field dress
- Using it as a towing rope (ideal if you use an ATV or an offroad truck)
- Lifting equipment into an elevated place
- As a survival tool, for example, making a makeshift splint
When shopping for hunting rope, there is a huge variety of fibers and materials available. Prioritize outdoor ropes made of high-strength synthetic fibers, such as nylon (e.g., paracord), polyester or Kevlar. These materials have the durability required to drag animals and support heavy weights without snapping or abrading.