Be Prepared – Packing for Elk and Deer Hunts
Whenever you venture into the wilderness – even if it’s no wilder than your state park – you need to make sure you’re well prepared for any eventuality. If you’re going on a guided hunt, your outfitter will probably give you a list of suggested items to pack. But still, it pays to plan ahead. First, think about where you’re going and what you’re going to be doing – a guided fall deer hunt in Michigan will have a different set of requirements than winter elk hunting in Sheridan, Wyoming. Similarly, you’ll need different supplies for an Ozark elk hunting trip than for one on a California deer hunting ranch.
The first step to smart packing for a hunting trip is basic research. If you’re traveling to somewhere that you’ve never been before, hop on the Internet and find out as much as you can. If you’ve never been to Manitoba during elk hunting season, learn as much as you can before you start packing. Look into what sort of conditions you’ll be encountering, what the weather will be like, what the wildlife is like. You can check city, state and county websites, and send away for brochures on the area where you’ll be. Don’t take for granted that the weather will be good, or that it’ll be like it is in your own backyard. If there’s even the smallest chance of rain or snow, take that into consideration when packing – it’s better to be overprepared than underprepared.
You will, of course, be packing your hunting gear. Your hunting rifle, of course, in a sling carrier to save you bag. Ammo – more than you need, but don’t go crazy. 50 rounds for your main rifle is a good number. A sidearm, if you’re so inclined. And a cleaning kit. If your rifle has a scope, make sure you have lens brushes. Depending on where you’ll sleep, you may need a sleeping bag. Whatever the weather or season, pack a “”space blanket,”” a thin sheet of plastic material coated with a metallic substance that reflects about 80 percent of your body heat back to you when you’re wrapped in it. These come folded up small enough that they can fit in your pocket, and could save your life if you get lost on the trail while hunting elk and deer.
Pack clothes that will keep you warm and dry while hunting, and make sure you have a first aid kit stocked will all the basics. Also pack enough food to keep you going for the long days hunting outdoors – energy bars are good, as they take up little space but pack a lot of nutrition. Once you know where you’re going and what the weather will be like, packing for an elk or deer hunt is merely a matter of common sense and smart planning.