It seems like I’m carrying more and more gear into the field. Is it all needed? Probably not, but you never know. Despite all of the gear being toted afield there may be a few items you’ve never thought to pack along. Check these out and see if they fit your hunting style.
Your goal is to tip over a coyote, bobcat or a fox so are you prepared if you hit your target? If you hunt fur for a living you likely have a skinning knife along to prep the carcass on the spot. But if you’re a weekend warrior consider stowing some heavy duty garbage bags in your pack. Even if you skin your critter the garbage bag can keep blood from soaking your backpack and associated gear. And if you don’t skin your critter and want to carry it out whole the garbage bag can contain the blood while strapped to your back. If you have snow on the ground and can skid your trophy out without damaging fur.
I like to stay on stand for a long time. I seem to kill more coyotes on the 30-minute mark than on the 15-minute tradition. To provide comfort you may want to consider bringing along a lightweight folding chair or padded seat. Numerous hunting companies, like Hunter’s Specialties offer small folding chairs, padded seats with backrests and even simple pads to cushion your tush. Some give you back support while others need a tree for additional comfort. In any case you’ll be able to sit longer and that means shoot better when an animal does arrive to your calls.
I grew up in the Great Plains, so my setups had a long-range view. I opted to shoot prone whenever possible. That was fine when it was dry out or if I found a location free of prickly pear cactus, but that’s not always the case. For prone comfort consider a shooting mat. Midway USA and Cabela's have a variety of options available. Some may be too heavy and bulky for remote applications, but the added weight may be just the ticket to keep you warm on a snowy, cold day. Look into the prone comfort.
Lastly, you never know when a firearm ailment may afflict you. To fix issues in the field consider simple cleaning options like a bore snake or a portable cleaning systems like those offered by Otis Technologies. In the past I’ve had to deal with snow-plugged barrels, mud in the bore, grit on the action and other issues that could have been fixed quickly with a kit designed for cleaning in the field. Packing along some firearm repair tools, like those from Real Avid, isn’t a bad idea either, especially if you plan on long hikes or extended outings.
What are your must-haves in a hunting pack? Share your comments below.