Equipment and Clothing

Today’s hunter is anything but a minimalist. The number of gadgets available to the modern hunter is almost unlimited, and to a novice – overwhelming. Most of it, while potentially providing increased comfort or some level of increased success, is unnecessary.

This mountain of available equipment can also become a potential economic barrier to participation. Separating out the “must haves” verses the “nice to haves” can be difficult even for the experienced hunter. However, this will be a critical task for the instructor of this session.

Because of the regional and seasonal differences in hunting seasons and hunting techniques, the list of the minimum equipment required to go deer hunting varies considerably. Developing this list should be relatively easy for you to put together. Remember, your participants are novices who may or may not want to continue to hunt, or continue to deer hunt, after the class. Keep the list to the bare essentials.

In reality, three separate lists should be developed. They are:

  • Equipment that the students are expected to supply
  • Equipment that the program (or instructor, mentor/guide) will supply
  • Optional/nice to have equipment

To save instructional time, these lists should be developed in advance and handed out at one of the early class sessions. However, each list should briefly be gone over during the class to explain what each piece of equipment is and what it is used for. Again, your participants are novices.

Some of your participants likely have other outdoor experience and may have equipment that can be used for hunting. In almost all situations, the participants will be required to purchase some equipment. Those purchases should be kept to a minimum.

In many programs, the program supplies expensive equipment, such as firearms, and cold weather or foul weather gear. Hunter education programs, 4-H Shooting Sports Programs, and confiscated firearms may be available for your program to use.

In some situations, mentors or guides may also supply equipment. While this practice is not recommended, particularly for firearms, it is sometimes unavoidable.

In any case, clearly identifying, and listing, the equipment supplied by the program (and where it will be obtained) is important for the participants, instructors, and mentors/guides.

The last list includes optional/nice to have equipment, such as seats, chairs, full camouflage, hunting packs, hand warmers, etc. In many situations, this equipment depends on the hunting technique used and/or the weather during the actual hunt.  Often, this optional equipment may be supplied by the mentor/guide. Again, these details should be worked out well in advance with the mentor/guide.


Clothing should not only be scent free, but also as silent as possible. Nylon should be avoided. Obviously, outer clothing also must comply with state regulations regarding “blaze/hunter orange” requirements.

Camouflage clothing is not necessary; but the cloth selected should be soft and noiseless as possible. A mix of drab colors will work fine as long as they are scent free and quiet (and warm if hunting during colder months).

A deer’s hearing is second to its hearing as a defense mechanism. Unnatural noises, even subtle sounds like nylon rubbing against each other, can alert them to your presence. 

Proper clothing will also keep you warm and dry. Dressing in layers, and avoiding cotton will help keep you warm and dry. Modern synthetic clothing and wool are excellent choices. Some excellent clothing may be found inexpensively at used clothing or Goodwill stores.

Rain gear is a huge asset during inclement weather. Occasionally, rain gear or cold weather clothing may be lent to participants by the program or mentor/guide.          


A 10 Step Guide to Buying Hunting Gear to Maximize Your Budget

It has begun, the catalogs have arrived full of new products, you see decoys, jackets, bows and you need it all because this season it’s time to get serious, new gear is a must and nothing’s going stop you.

Ok now pause, take a deep breath and drift back down to reality because the truth is you can’t afford all that gear and honestly you don’t need it. With all the never-ending sales fliers and relentless emails advertising deep discounts it can be an exhausting task to not blow the bank on a bunch of junk that seemed like a good deal.

Ditch the Camo: How to Mix, Match, and Bargain Hunt for the Best Mountain Hunting Clothes

I don't know about the rest of you, but the amount of money I can devote to hunting gear is finite. That means I have to make choices with my funds, and multiple seasons in the backcountry have left me with one iron-clad certainty: I'd rather put my money toward quality optics, a good pack, and the best boots I can afford rather than high-dollar clothing.
That's going to sound sacrilegious to some readers, who have been brainwashed into thinking that if you're not wearing the "correct" camo pattern, you're just not a serious hunter.

Do I Need Camouflage to Hunt?

I bet I look ridiculous right now, I thought to myself. Nick and I were sitting in full camouflage in the middle of an open pasture of National Forest. A herd of cows was approaching from the west, and they didn’t seem to see us. Eventually, the cows started to surround the rocks we were sitting on top of, just ten yards away, many of them looking straight at us. They must see us, I reasoned. We stayed still and they carried on with their grazing. Were they indifferent, or just unaware? To find out, Nick stood up. The cows immediately reacted with mild panic, scattering away with great haste.

Deer Hunting Checklist

A detailed worksheet that can be printed to help you gather items for a deer hunt. Items have checkboxes next to them so you can check them off a list and are sorted in to categories such as "Preparation", "General Hunting Equipment", and "Clothing."

Choosing The Right Caliber For Hunting

There are several factors on choosing the right caliber for hunting. One is the size of the game you are hunting. Second would be the terrain your quarry calls home and third is what is legal where you live. I personally break size of the game down in to 4 groups. They are small game, medium, large and dangerous game. I would classify squirrels , rabbits, close range fox and raccoon as small game. Medium game would be deer, hogs, Black bear and long range varmits like fox and coyote. Large game are in the Red Stag, Elk, Moose, Grizzly and any long range medium game.