Deer Hunting Checklist

Hunting Checklist

While watching Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures or Michael Waddell’s Bone Collector, most folks would teleport themselves amidst the creeks: measuring each move towards their game, envisioning how they would play out their tactics in the wild.

In the layman’s understanding, hunting or the game defines the hunting of animals in the wild either for food or procurement of commercially viable products.

However, the kill is only a tiny part of ‘The Great Game’: For those pursuing it for passion or commerce, hunting is a game of skill, tactics, and the right mix of preparation and spontaneity. 

With the wildlife landscape distributed across different parts of the globe, hunters need to adapt and prepare for a wide range of variables like weather, nature of the terrain, the density of the region’s location, and remoteness.

This article will run down its readers the brief requirements that should be a part of any avid deer hunter’s arsenal. 


Pre-Hunting Checklist

to-do before hunt

Preparation is a crucial step to prepare oneself for the hunt.

  • Thorough research of the destination and its nature, of the rules and regulations about hunting in the respective areas, serves to be a good briefing before setting out to the woods.
  • The rules might also have specifications for hunters concerning timings of the hunt, dress code, requisite pieces of equipment, and other on-ground rules about areas available for the search, minimum distance to be observed from the prey, etc.
  • Apart from the mandatory licenses, prior permissions to hunt in a specific location would have to be obtained. 

It is recommended and beneficial for beginner hunters to take up a safety course to get a more professional grip and be accustomed to requisite skills. 

Hunting Checklist

Anticipation is the most bittersweet part of the hunt. As the day arises, it is in the interest to follow some basic protocols:

  • Read the forecast for any possible turbulences; cross prep-up all equipment: polish, clean, sharpen.
  • Practice movements with unloaded weapons to warm up
  • Prepare a checklist and cross-check before sealing the bag pack; don’t hesitate to keep extra batteries, medicals, etc.

A crucial element is the Hunting Wear & Gear. Investing and procuring the right gear can pay dividends during the hunt. 

Also Read: Duck Hunting vs. Deer Hunting


clothes for deer hunting

Clothing for any occasion needs to enable us to perform well with a minor inconvenience. Keeping in mind the weather and terrain; one needs to keep comfort and endurance as the top parameters.

  • Orange clothing and camouflage clothing are ideal for deer hunting.
  • One should avoid using cotton as ‘The base layer’ Irrespective of the climate and opt for silk, merino wool, nylon as options to help wick moisture and provide warmth.
  • The clothing should be loosely fitted To allow ventilation and not be noisy.
  • Hunters should highly avoid jackets with velcro straps or zips.

One should also be prepared for adversities and keep handy raincoats, additional clothing for cases of hypothermia, and warmers for one’s save during a winter hunt. 


equipment for deer hunt

The choice of equipment needs to reflect the hunter’s skill, need, and proficiency. Thus, hunters could go either the short gun/ rifle or the archery and bow routes.

The hunter needs the license, ammo, ammo case, and other additional accessories for firearm hunting. 

  • Maps – Orientation and Navigation are crucial towards not landing oneself up in the lost forest! Thus the hunter needs to keep basic traditional maps and compass and simultaneously be competent to use the same. One could explore the GPS navigation tools available on devices that can operate without cellular networks. 
  • Binoculars– Choosing the right optics is essential to spot the target. Precise imaging, lightweight, wide-field view, edge to edge clarity binoculars are the ideal choice of hunters. The hunter can also pair them with optional bino tripods and other accessories.
  • Night Scope – A Night vision scope is required to provide the hunter with clear vision during the early and late hours.
  • Rangefinders – Rangefinders enhance the hunter’s accuracy and serve to be an essential part of the hunter’s toolkit. A long target range, accurate results are ideal qualities in procuring the best rangefinder
  • Water-Purifier – Staying hydrated is essential. Otherwise, one could run the risk of being exposed to polluted and unfiltered water. Thus, the hunter should keep handy a water purification system and food, water, and fire-making supplies. 
  • Backpacks Backpacks are a crucial deal breaker since they have to tick many qualities to fulfill hunting excursions. It needs to be sturdy to carry all equipment and the meat. Thus excellent and firm padding is ideal. Further, it needs to be light and effortless for the hunter to carry it around. Make sure it is designed to be silent and blend in the environment. 

A list of other essential items to enhance the hunting experience for the hunter is Flashlight and Headlights; toiletries; knife sharpener; batteries; dry towels; scent attractant.

Scent attractants, in particular, are highly used to fool the deer’s sense of smell which is regarded as its most important survival tactic. The hunters can thus use the odor to attract the big buck.

After-Hunting Checklist

after the hunt

Wrapping up the hunt is a mark of skill and finesse. As stated by many hunters: “The real work begins after pulling the trigger.” Field dressing is an essential ritual to close the hunt.

A few basic tools required include cutting tools (for both gut hook cuts and gutless methods); a nylon or window shrink film cloth to keep the meat clean; and tough pack liners; deer tags with tie; deer hunting knife, gloves, and deer drag rope or cart. 


With the evolution of deer hunting technology, modern times have seen a rise of sophisticated accessories like digital trail cams, scent-reducing apparel; scent eliminators; deer calls and rattling antlers; scent lures; decoys, tree stands; ground blinds, etc. 

Avid hunters much await the deer hunting season. Thus adequate preparation and thorough research go a long way in ensuring the hunt’s success and the buck, of course.

The equipment discussed is general and not limited to those mentioned above. It serves to be the beginner’s guide and should complement and advance one’s knowledge with practice and research.

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