Hunting is a dangerous sport that requires a lot of protection. Many hunters know that the thrill of it is worth the risk. Even so, having proper hunting gear can make or break a trip.
Even expert hunters struggle with what gear works best. Many have brand loyalty or color preferences, but the most important thing is protection. If you’re in the market for new gear – such as boots, weapons, bags, and jackets – this brief guide will give you an idea of how to find the right gear.
When it comes to boots, insulation is key. Depending on when and where you take your trips, the woods can get cold. Your extremities, including your feet, are the first to truly feel the chill. That’s why insulation is so important.
Insulation adds extra protection from the other elements too. You can encounter rough terrain while scouting out big game, so you want your feet well-protected. A lot of hunting boots also have steel toes, which are good for protection but not as stealthy.
Stealth is point three. You don’t want boots that will be too heavy – stomping around the woods is the surest way to scare off birds, deer, and other targets. Look for something lightweight but insulated to maximize protection and stealth.
Like your boots, you want a well-insulated jacket that will protect you from the dangers of wind chill and rainy, damp conditions. The wrong jacket will give you no warmth and can distract you from your hunt. You can usually find great hunting jackets at sports stores. Look for something water and windproof.
You’ll also want to pick sturdy, high-quality material. Jackets can be made of anything from nylon to cotton. What you need depends on where you’re going hunting. You’ll also want to find out if the material is noisy, like some synthetic fabrics. Stay far away from those.
Speaking of noise, make sure any zippers, buttons, and/or straps are silent. You want to eliminate as much noise as possible while hunting. Look into the features of the jacket too, like pockets, hoods, and wrist straps. Hoods are great for keeping your ears warm, and it never hurts to have extra storage on your person.
It’s hard to go into detail in a short amount of time, especially considering how many weapons are available to hunters. With guns, a lot of it comes down to preference. A good hunting rifle is lightweight but powerful, easy to reload, and has a reliable safety. A rifle that’s too heavy will weigh you down while you travel. If it takes too long to reload, you’ll miss your chance. A good safety speaks for itself. This all comes down to researching your options.
With crossbows, the details can be tricky. A good crossbow should have a draw weight between 100-200 pounds. Anything in that range should have a decent range. Some states have maximum allowed draw weights, so be sure to learn the local laws. Speed is also important in a crossbow and companies are constantly improving the maximum speed. A good model should be at least 300 fps.
Hunting requires a lot of extra bits, as well as food and snacks for longer trips, so you’ll want a good backpack. Like the jackets, you want something that is made of a material that doesn’t make too much noise when you’re pulling it off or unzipping it. You can find dark colored or camouflage patterned bags at most sporting goods stores.
Look for a bag that’s lightweight with a lot of storage space, like different sized pockets. Padding or protection for your back is also something to note while you’re looking. You want to be able to fit essentials like food, water, ammo, or rain gear.
Even with your gun or crossbow, it’s never a bad idea to carry a knife. A knife can help you take apart your prize in the field, if needed, or simply help you out of a tough spot in the woods. You want something like a pocket knife – retractable, but with extra features. Many hunting knives are especially sharp, so you want one that’s easy to open but won’t pop out in your pack by accident.
Hunting is a tricky sport with a lot of dangers. Despite the thrill of danger, it’s important to have the right gear to stay protected, no matter how great of a hunter you may be.