After scrimping and saving, finding extra work and forgoing Friday night pizza, your dream hunt is finally here. Researching outfitters, calling references, memorizing maps and taking every possible precaution before leaving, you don’t want to forget anything important. Here is a checklist of what is absolutely essential for your hunting road trip.
Prepare for your Dream Hunt with Great Gear
License– This is a no brainer. Without a license you won’t be legally harvesting anything.
Weapon– Unless you are super hardcore and plan to make your own improvised weapon out of rocks and sticks, be sure to bring your gun or bow. (If you are making a wooden spear to hunt with, check the local game laws to make sure it is legal).
Ozonics– Ozonics is cheap insurance against anything Mother Nature can throw at you. There is no sense saving all that money and taking time off work to immediately ruin a hunt by smelling like a hunter. With the exception of the obvious license and weapon, Ozonics is an absolute must for your dream hunt.
Trail Camera– Most decent outfitters will have been running trail cameras long before you’ve ever even heard of them, but bringing one along is still a good idea. Especially if you are on a semi-guided or DIY hunt. Moultrie makes several options for any hunting situation with one thing in common; they can handle any circumstance you throw at them. A handful of cameras can be your eyes on the ground because you won’t be able to hunt all your stands at once.
Calls– Depending on what you are hunting, the chances are very good that Knight & Hale makes a call for it. If you’re going on a whitetail hunt, be sure to bring along a grunt, bleat, snort wheeze, and rattle call. If you’re chasing long beards, Knight & Hale has sweet diaphragm, box, pot and peg, locator, and tube calls. Waterfowl? Predators? Big game? Yes. Yes. Yes. Knight and Hale will bring them all in on a string.
Cooler– When you are successful, be sure to keep that precious meat you harvested cold until you get home. With Siberian coolers, you have the ability to keep anything cold. With cooler sizes from 22-85 quarts available, any wild hunting adventure can be proven by bringing home the back in a Siberian cooler.
Target– One of the best things to do around camp before and after a hunt is target practice. Be sure to bring along your favorite target to make sure that when the moment of truth arrives, you’ll be spot on. Traveling is hard on weapons, and we all know that you’ve invested way too much into this hunt to screw it up with a gun or bow sight that got knocked out of whack.
Optics– Depending on the style of hunt and weapon, several optics may also need to make the trip. Always be sure to at least have a good rangefinder and binoculars. You may also want a spotting scope, and of course if you are using a firearm, a reliable scope on your gun. Thankfully, Sig Sauer puts the same remarkable quality into their Electro Optics series as they do in their firearms. On this hunt of a lifetime, be sure to bring all of your glass.
Clothing– Depending on the game and environment, the gear needed will certainly vary. That being said, your guide won’t have clothes for you, so be sure you don’t pack lightly on this one. Plan for the best and the worst of weather, and pack for it. Nothing ruins a hunt faster than being too cold, too hot, or too wet. Don’t forget it.
Boots– Each hunt is different, and the footwear required for them changes too. Always ask the guide or locals what sort of environment you will be in. Ask about how much hiking will be expected. Be sure to research average temperatures. All of these factors will help you choose appropriate footwear.
Don’t forget to have fun! Hunting is supposed to be fun, and taking a road trip makes it that much more memorable. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses, take pictures, write in a journal, and do all that you can to make memories. As always, be safe, shoot straight, and have fun!