Updated on January 12, 2021 by Asher Fergusson
Deer hunting requires a thoughtful preparation, so we have constructed a deer hunting packing list that will have you ready for anything and everything on your next hunting venture. Additionally, we have helpful sections on what to wear when deer hunting, what NOT to bring and answers to FAQs.
What to Pack for Deer Hunting – 17 Essentials
Your gear needs to be transported safely. A reliable hunting day pack simplifies a deer hunting trip. Unlike a regular backpack, it is made with quiet camo-colored fabric. This combination will keep you from disturbing the deer. This backpack is equipped with a gun/bow carry system to support your gear. With its lightweight body, you will be able to trek smoothly through any terrain.
Your eyes are an essential tool while hunting. Binoculars amplify your vision and increase your field of view. This makes them an absolute necessity for all methods of deer hunting. Whether you are close or far from your game, you can have a stronger visual of how to make your next move. Binoculars are a reliable and durable addition to any deer hunting trip.
3. Rifle Scope
A scope is crucial to mount on your rifle. Without it, identifying your target at a distance is extremely difficult. A scope magnifies your view and increases your shooting accuracy. It is weatherproof, sustaining you through the mistiest and foggiest conditions. With adjustable brightness and a red laser, this scope will help you make your best shot.
4. Face Mask
Weather conditions can be variable while hunting. A quality face mask will keep you comfortable no matter the conditions. Wind chills seem to come out of nowhere when on a hunt, especially when hunting from a tree stand. This mask provides warmth and comfort so that you can focus. Its camo color keeps you well disguised from the deer as well.
You must have a safety harness whenever using a treestand while hunting. It is better to be safe than sorry! This lightweight harness is simple to put on and keep on for the duration of your hunting adventure. It also has no annoying droopy straps that could potentially cause unnecessary noise.
6. Travel Towel
A travel towel is an essential item to have on a deer hunting trip. Its quick-drying ability will not weigh you down as you trek through the woods. It is incredibly absorbent, making a super useful sweat towel as well. It is soft and not abrasive on your skin. A travel towel can also help you clean up any unforeseen messes you may encounter.
When out on a hunt, a proper hunting knife is necessary. It helps with both simple and tough jobs. Whether its cutting rope or removing deer hide, a high-quality knife makes a deer hunting trip more seamless. This knife has an excellent rubber grip, keeping your hands secure no matter the conditions.
The woods get extremely dark at night. A LED flashlight assists you in moving around quietly in the dark. Even if you are not in hunting mode, a flashlight is an awesome tool to brighten your vision. It is very helpful for setting up camp. This flashlight is durable and water-resistant, making it a reliable supplement to any deer hunting trip.
9. Trail Camera
A trail camera is your second set of eyes. It helps you to actively identify and track deer. This trail camera offers both HD video and camera. It is compact and simple to set up, making it an easy addition to your hunting pack. Also, it is waterproof and equipped with night vision. This gives you a clear view of deer in all conditions!
10. Scent Killer
Deers are sensitive animals. Certain lingering scents on our bodies can upset deer. Remember, moving around in the woods will make you sweat! But, scentless deodorant is not enough. With this scent killer, you can keep yourself odorless, improving your hunting success.
11. Lens Cleaner
There are plenty of lenses to clean while hunting. Whether it is your rifle, scope, or binoculars, clear lenses are a priority! This lens cleaner is an eco-friendly and plant-based way to keep all your lenses clear on your hunting trip. It is VOC free and biodegradable, making it nontoxic for both you and the environment.
Knowing the exact range between you and your prey increases your hunting accuracy. That is why a rangefinder is extremely handy in perfecting your shot. It is handheld and compact. It is also sensitive to speed, giving you an even more precise scope of your target.
Hydration is absolutely key when deer hunting. You will be exerting tons of energy trekking and waiting for the perfect shot. This reusable water bottle makes restocking water easy. It comes with an effective water filter, letting you safely refill your bottle at any stream or lake. This gives you consistently clean water supply.
There is no doubt there are tons of bugs in the woods. It is best to take precautions and protect yourself from potential bites. As we know, bug bites can be a real nuisance and some could even require medical attention. An odorless bug spray keeps you safe while not disturbing any nearby deer.
15. Portable Charger
The few electronics brought on a hunt are definitely essential. Keeping them charged is simple with a lightweight portable charger. This is very useful because cell service is inconsistent in forested areas. This can cause your battery to die quickly. A portable charger keeps your cell phone at full battery capacity, in case of any emergency.
16. Survival Shelter
Day deer hunting trips can sometimes go longer than expected. A survival shelter is incredibly resourceful when you need to spend the night in the woods. This shelter is both lightweight and durable, making it a simple addition to your hunting pack. It is also weatherproof, keeping you safe through turbulent weather conditions.
17. Field Wipes
It is important to stay fresh while hunting. Depending on the length of your trip, you most likely will not get a chance to have a proper shower! Field wipes are an immediate way to keep clean. These wipes are sensitive to all skin types. And, they are even biodegradable. This way, you can dispose of them in the woods as you go. No need to carry around any trash!
Other deer hunting packing list items not to forget
Survival Thermal Blanket
Field Dressing Kit
Rope with Tree Strap
Game Bags or Heavy Duty Trash Bags
Grunt/ Deer Call
First Aid Kit
Quick-Dry Long Sleeve Shirt
Water-repelling Hunting Jacket
Any necessary medication
What to Wear When Deer Hunting
The terrain matters. This will advise you about potential temperature swings, especially if going on an overnight trip. In case of a wide temperature range, you would definitely want to wear layers. Terrain also influences your footwear. It is best to keep in mind how wet, icy, or dry the terrain will be so that you wear the appropriate shoes and socks.
Women should stay camouflaged and dress according to the weather forecast. With weather conditions varying by place and time of year, it is always useful for women to wear layers. Of course, the types of layers will depend on expected temperatures. Also, certain colors are essential to wear. Deers are sensitive to specific colors. You would not want a color mistake to sabotage your hunt!
There are a couple of essential tips for women when getting ready for a deer hunting trip. You should always wear comfortable underwear and a sports bra. This will provide a base level of comfort for whatever layers come next. For all weather conditions, your layers should stay in a certain color range. Orange and camo colored clothes are the most reliable, but mild pink, purples, and even red-colored clothes are options as well. Also, a pair of sporty sunglasses will keep your eyes protected from harsh sunlight.
Outfits will definitely be weather-oriented. For warm and potentially humid conditions, a quick-drying short-sleeve shirt, hunting vest, and lightweight hunting pants are essential. For cold weather, adding a layer of thermals to this outfit works wonders. Including a hooded sweatshirt and lightweight camo jacket will keep you super warm without feeling weighed down by clothes. Sometimes, you may find yourself hunting in extremely cold and even snowy conditions. This is when you should boost your cold-weather outfit with warm socks, a long-sleeve camo shirt, and a face mask. These will shield you from any crazy wind chills. Paired with insulated hunting boots, you will invariably feel secure and warm.
It is important to not feel weighed down while hunting. Simple layers are a man’s best friend. Depending on where you hunt, there can be some wide temperature shifts during the day. Layers help you feel light and comfortable. Also, these layers must be in a specific color range. Deer are sensitive to certain colors. The most dependable men’s hunting clothing colors are orange and camo.
When confronting warmer weather conditions, you should opt for a quick-drying camo t-shirt, hunting overalls, and hunting cap. A pair of breathable and waterproof hunting boots will make sure your feet feel cozy. For chillier conditions, a long-sleeve shirt and lightweight hunting jacket, along with your hunting overalls, will keep you feeling warm. Sometimes, you may face some really cold weather. To keep yourself warm, water-resistant long johns and a face mask will be vital tools to maintain your body heat.
Fall (September to December)
These tend to be the warmer season for deer-hunting. Yet, this season also shows the widest temperature range! In September, temperatures in deer hunting hotspots can be as high as 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with occasional rain showers. Yet, as you reach December, temperatures can drop to 10 degrees Fahrenheit with some snow. With this in mind, you should always check the forecast.
For most Fall weather conditions, lightweight and quick-drying t-shirts with hunting overalls are absolute staples. A pair of breathable and waterproof hunting boots ideally complete this outfit. Don’t forget to wear sunglasses and a comfy cap to protect your face from sun overexposure. When dealing with colder temperatures, add in base thermal layers, an insulated jacket, and facemask for optimal comfort.
Winter (December to March)
These are the most consistently cold months for deer hunting. Temperatures range depending on where you are hunting and what time of day you are hunting. Expect a range from 3 degrees to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. This range calls for reliable layers! Thermals or long johns are necessary to maintain body warmth. Layer your thermals with a quick-drying long-sleeve camo shirt and hunting overalls. An insulated hunting jacket and facemask will protect you from any crazy wind chill. It is always handy to wear comfortable gloves, too, as your hands will be handling gear all day.
- Morning Hunting: When weather conditions get colder, you will find yourself hunting during morning hours. The mornings can be damp and a bit frosty. It is best to wear insulated boots to keep your feet safe and warm. The morning does warm-up quickly. A proper set of layers will be your best friend. A camo colored long-sleeve t-shirt, lightweight insulated jacket, and hunting overalls is a very reliable combination.
- Evening Hunting: The evenings get dark and cool very fast. It is always important to wear a set of thermals to keep your body warm at all times. Also, insulated gloves and a facemask will support your body heat. Do not forget to bring your flashlight along in your handy hunting day pack.
- Tree Climbing: When building a treestand, you will need to climb. To feel the most secure, its best to wear your handy safety harness with well-gripped boots. A pair of warm gloves with proper grip will help you climb without any unnecessary cuts or scrapes. Also, a hat and sunglasses will keep your face comfortable and protected from the sun.
What NOT to Bring to when Deer Hunting:
3) Open-toed shoes
5) Blue-colored clothing
7) Fragile items (e.a. glass water bottle)
2) Scented skincare
6) Disposable water bottles
FAQs about Deer Hunting:
1. When is the best time to go deer hunting?
Traditionally, it is best to hunt when deer are the most active. This is usually during the breeding season, which is from October to December. However, you must check when deer hunting is permitted. This varies by location.
2. How do I know where I can hunt?
The best way to find out is by checking a state or county’s wildlife agency website. This should have all the necessary information on deer hunting. You can also call the agency as well.
3. How do I acquire a hunting license?
A hunting license is issued by your local wildlife agency. The terms and conditions vary by state. However, each will most likely ask you to pass a hunter safety education course. There is a fee for the license.
4. How do I get a bowhunting license?
Just like a regular hunting license, the requirements will vary by state and it will come with a small fee. A bowhunting license may entail passing an additional bowhunting education course. All the information you need will be found on your state’s wildlife agency website.
5. What is the minimum age to obtain any type of hunting license?
This, again, varies state by state. For most states, you need to be at least 16 years of age. Some states do offer Youth Hunting licenses.
6. What rifles can you use for deer hunting?
There are tons of excellent rifle options for deer hunting. How to choose one will depend on a few circumstances. You must determine what you are comfortable with and what rifle cartridge size you need. And, most importantly, you must always check the state’s regulations on rifle types.
7. Is deer baiting legal?
Deer baiting has specific regulations per state. There are certain rules around feeding and baiting deer that you must look into on each state’s wildlife agency site. For the most part, 22 states permit baiting deer.
8. Is deer hunting banned in any state?
It is not completely banned in any US state. Yet, each state has particular hunting laws and zoning. Each state’s wildlife agency website should offer a detailed map and list of these regulations.
9. Can you plan a deer hunting day trip?
Absolutely! Deer hunting can easily be a day trip. It is always best to pack your survival shelter, just in case the day goes longer than planned.