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Hunter’s Handbook is the official student “how-to” information pipeline of the International Hunter Education Association. As the experts in teaching safe, ethical and successful hunting, we are here to provide tips, tools, and great video content as well as offer you a place that you can learn more about your love and favorite past-time—hunting.  Spend some time with us.  New content is added monthly, and we are excited to share our expertise with you.  We wish you a lifetime of safe and memorable experiences in the outdoors.

deer gear checklist

With deer season quickly approaching it’s time to get serious about bagging a big buck. You’ll do your part—scouting, hanging stands, and spending long mornings and cold afternoons in the woods—so make absolutely certain that you’ve got the right gear. Hunter’s Handbook has teamed with Cabela’s to help run down the list of essentials that you need prior to the season opener.

deer gear checklist

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With deer season quickly approaching it’s time to get serious about bagging a big buck. You’ll do your part—scouting, hanging stands, and spending long mornings and cold afternoons in the woods—so make absolutely certain that you’ve got the right gear. Hunter’s Handbook has teamed with Cabela’s to help run down the list of essentials that you need prior to the season opener.

 

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Clothing:

Great clothing is absolutely essential to bagging a deer. You’ll be able to stay out longer and face rough conditions if your apparel is up to the task. You’ll need base layers and light outer layers for early season plus heavier, warmer outerwear when the weather turns cold. You’ll also need some high-quality raingear that will allow you to stay dry in wet weather. You can find a full selection of hunting clothing for all climates and conditions at Cabelas.com.

 

 

Footwear: The right boots are just as important as the right clothing since you’ll need to keep your feet warm and dry. In addition, you’ll need ample ankle support and a tread pattern that matches the terrain and conditions where you’ll be hunting. Cabelas.com has a full selection of boots for different conditions, and they also offer boot dryers—a great addition to any hunting camp. Obenaufs.com has a full selection of protectants for your boots, and a pair of heated insoles from heat.thermacell.com allow you to stay on stand in the coldest conditions. You’ll also find a wide selection of socks on the Cabela’s website or at smartwool.com

Licenses, Tags, and Navigation: Licenses and tags must be obtained before you head afield, and they need to be with you in the field so that you can stay within the bounds of game laws. Speaking of staying legal, check out the software available from Xmaps.com which provides valuable information regarding public and private property boundary lines. A handheld GPS unit from garmin.com is also essential gear for helping you find your way to the stand—and home again. Huntershandbook.com is also a valuable resource for finding the best hunting areas for the upcoming season.

Packs: You’ll need to keep all of your equipment organized and close-at-hand. Find a pack that suits your hunting style; if you’re hunting from a treestand a lightweight pack with easy-access pockets is a must, but if you’re headed deeper into the wilderness this year you’ll need a larger pack that can hold more gear. Cabela’s offers a full line of packs, and you can also check out tenzingoutdoors.com and badlandspacks.com for additional options.

Firearms/Bows: There are a number of great options available from savagearms.com, Mossberg.com, weatherby.com, tcarms.com, taurususa.com and smith-wesson.com. You’ll also find a wide selection of bows at cabelas.com, beararchery.com, and pse-archery.com. Regardless of your weapon of choice pre-season practice is crucial!

Optics/Sights: Having the right optic is critical. Leupold.com, nikonsportoptics.com and zeiss.com offer a full-selection of riflescopes and binoculars to suit any conditions or budget. HIVIZ Shooting Systems (hivizsights.com) also offers a wide array of firearms sights that help you shoot well in all light conditions.

Rangefinders: A high-quality rangefinder will help you make clean, precise shots. Check out the full line of rangefinders at cabelas.com or visit nikonsportoptics.com, leupold.com or sigoptics.com

Ammunition: Having the right ammunition is critical to ensuring clean, ethical kills. Visit federalpremium.com or Hornady.com for a full selection of ammunition products.

Arrows/Broadheads: Archers need to have the best arrow/broadhead combination when hunting for exactly the same reason gun hunters require quality ammo—you need to make your first shot count. Muzzy.com, ragebroadheads.com, pse-archery.com, g5outdoors.com and newarchery.com will help you piece together the right broadhead/arrow combination for your upcoming hunt.

Targets: Make sure you’re ready to make the shot of a lifetime with products from birchwoodcasey.com and cabelas.com. And if you don’t have a personal range at home…

Shooting Ranges: The team at nssf.org has assembled a full list of clubs around the nation where you can practice your shooting skills prior to opening day.

Knives: You’ll need to have a dependable skinning knife so you can make quick work of field dressing chores. Buckknives.com and outdooredge.com offer great blades for every hunt, and you can find sharpening tools at lanskey.com and worksharptools.com. Don’t forget to pack a few pairs of rubber or latex gloves as well.

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Treestand/Blind:

If you want to hunt from above both summitstands.com and lonewolfhuntingproducts.com have you covered. You can also find a selection of ground blinds at cabelas.com

 

Safety Harness: Statistically speaking, falls from treestands are one of the greatest threats hunters face. Don’t leave the ground until you visit huntersafetysystems.com

Lights: Whether you’re heading to or from your stand or following a blood trail in the dark you need a versatile, dependable light. Check out browning.com or streamlight.com to find exactly the type of illumination equipment you need.

Scent Elimination: Deer are immediately on edge when they catch human scent. You can help cover human odors with the various products on www.wildlife.com

Calls: Sometimes the right call makes the difference between filling your tag and going home empty-handed. Check out knightandhale.com or primos.com for a full selection of effective deer calls.

Saws: Limbs can block your shots and foul up your hunt, so make them disappear with items available at buckknives.com and outdooredge.com

ATV: ATVs are an invaluable tool for deer hunters. You can find hunting-specific models at yamahamotorsports.com

Firearm Cleaning Accessories: Guns are not only tools of the hunting trade but they also represent a serious investment. Protect them with items available at birchwoodcasey.com, breakthroughclean.com, otistec.com, and grovtec.com

Insect Repellent: Biting insects can really bug you—and turn a fantastic early-season hunt into a miserable experience. ThermaCELL’s products will help you beat the bugs in the woods. Thermacell.com

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Hunter Education:

Whether you’re new to hunting and want to obtain your first license or are a seasoned vet looking for advice on filling your tag be sure to check out ihea-usa.org and huntershandbook.com

 

Conservation: Need some insight into how hunting helps conserve wildlife? Utilize the great resources available from the Boone & Crockett Club (boone-crockett.org) and Safari Club International (safariclub.org)

Concealment: A deer’s nose isn’t its only defensive weapon. These animals have keen vision, and the products at realtree.com will keep you out of sight.

Firearm Storage: Safety should always be your first priority, and that means keeping your firearms out of the wrong hands. Truckvault.com and shotlock.com can help.

Reloading: Want to develop a precision load for your upcoming hunt? The places to start that journey are Hornady.com, lymanproducts.com, dillionprecision.com and redding-reloading.com. You’ll not only find info and products to make your own reloads but you’ll also get great safety tips as well.

First Aid: A first aid kid can save your life when things turn bad in the field. Cabelas.com offers a long list of great options.

Anything else? You’ll be able to find everything you need for a safe and successful hunt at www.cabelas.com