While hunting is one of America’s most popular pursuits, hunting is also one of the more important public uses of national wildlife refuges. National Wildlife Refuges aim to provide quality outdoor recreation experiences for all visitors. To enable everyone to be able to enjoy these public spaces it is important that all visitors share refuge lands and waters responsibly.

Much of your firearm goods can be purchased at the likes of Palmetto State Armory, but for some of the kit, you would do well checking out US Outdoor or similar outdoor specialists.

Pre-Hunt Thoughts

A few suggestions for those wanting to hunt and to make everyone’s visit enjoyable are:

• Be safe, get certified – check your state’s wildlife agency for courses.

• Stay safe on and off the ground – learn about treestand safety.

• Ensure Pet safety – be sure of your target.

• Steer clear of big refuge events. If there is a major non-hunting event taking place on the refuge then plan around it.

• Stay in designated hunt areas. Do not go into areas heavily used by non-hunters.

• Be courteous – avoid conflict.

In a civilized and cultivated country wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen.  People who protest against all hunting and consider sportsmen as enemies of wildlife are ignorant of the fact that in reality the genuine sportsman is the most important factor in keeping the larger and more valuable wild creatures from total extermination.

Hunters are the driving force behind funding many of our nation’s conservation efforts.

After the near elimination of the bison and many migrating bird species in the early 1900’s Americans realized the impact that humans could have on wildlife.

To ensure that there would be animals to hunt in the future hunters began to support programs that helped maintain species populations and protected habitat for wildlife.

There is nothing more exciting than the anticipation of your first hunt and If you are planning your first hunting adventure or are an experienced hunter, realizing when you are out in the bush all you have to rely on for survival is what you are carrying  in your pack making sure you are well prepared will help make the day a total success.   Many hunters determine what they need in their packs through trial and error over the years but of course, one of the best ways of knowing what you need is to get out there in the field and experience the trials and tribulations of hunting. Whether you are an experienced hunter or are new to hunting, knowing what to pack in your day hunt pack will have an impact on your hunting experience.  Below is a list of what can be found in most hunting day packs, beginning with the basics.


One of the most important items needed for survival. Water is the most important item to carry in your hunting day pack.  You should always save the majority of the weight in your pack for water.  Putting your water in a bladder will minimize the amount of space it takes up.

First Aid Kit

A small first aid kit is a must, it can be as simple as two or three medium and large band-aids, antibacterial wipes and antibacterial creams, hand sanitizer, paracord and anti-itch cream.  You should carry enough with you to keep yourself comfortable.

Rain Gear

Ensure your rain gear is a material that will wick away any moisture.  Particularly if you are hunting on snowy mountains and run the risk of your layering system getting soaked.  That of course, is when hypothermia could become a problem and you would have to cut your hunt short.


Useful for when you need your hands free to dress an animal in the dark.  One that has a long runtime for longer hikes back, and alert mode settings like strobe and SOS for emergency situations.  Several of today’s headlamps are very lightweight so you won’t notice that you are wearing it or that it is in your pack.


A days hiking is going to make you pretty hungry, many hunters like to carry mixed nuts in their bag and some hunters swear by their jetboils for heating up pre-packaged freeze dried food.  If you want to limit your weight, mixed nuts, any kind of jerky and high calorie protein bars are a good choice of items to pack.  However, if you have space and weight in your pack a jetboil and freeze dried meals are a great option.


A good field dressing knife is important to any hunters daypack.  Make sure you have a sharp, strong blade when you are hunting.  Factor Equipment’s Hardened Knife is durably handcrafted specifically for any active outdoorsman.  It has a convenient drop-point blade that makes for a fast and easy clean-up.

Rubber Gloves

It is safer, and recommended to wear rubber gloves while field dressing any animal as you never know what bacteria or parasites they may have.  If you have a small cut or scrape on your hand when dressing your animal without gloves you could potentially become very sick.  Carry two or three pairs in your bag.

Trash Bags/Game Bags

Trash bags can always help get the job done when packing out game.  If however, you are packing out anything larger than a whitetail it would be worth investing in game bags. Trash bags are more likely to tear if filled with heavy pieces of meat.  Game bags are reusable and also much easier to use.

Survival Blanket

You should always carry a survival blanket in your hunting pack no matter what hunting you plan.  They weigh very little and don’t take up very much space.  If you track an animal late into the night and have to post up camp you will appreciate having it.


A rangefinder is small and light.  It is considered important to carry a rangefinder with you when you are hunting because you want to ensure that you make an ethical shot. If you know you can’t make a 700 yard shot but you can see a trophy elk through your binoculars then that would be an irresponsible shot to take and you could potentially wound that elk.


Useful In case you have to track an animal that you shot as sunset approaches, you could be tracking the animal well into the night.  It is a good idea to have a good flashlight with 300+ lumens to ensure you can see what is in your path and around you.

Baby Wipes

Useful for many things, to clean your hands before eating, wipe any blood off you after field dressing an animal, wipe the sweat off your face after a long day, clean your knife, and numerous more things.

Fire Starter and Lighter

It is always useful to carry a lighter as you never know when it will be needed.  Maybe to start a fire when deciding to post-camp for the night, or if you are hurt and need to attract attention, you need to burn the end of some paracord to solidify a knot etc.

Game Call

After everything is in your bag it is a good idea to put your game call in last.  That way you can easily get to it without making too much noise, for when you see a nice bull or buck not too far away from where you are hunting.

Hunting License

Put your hunting license in a plastic bag to protect it from the elements.

Making sure you are prepared for your first ever hunt is super exciting but being prepared is a must. Your license is obviously the first thing you need to ensure you have with you, as suggested it is advisable to cover it or keep it in a plastic covering.

Before your first hunt, or in fact before any hunt, you should check all the regulations of the area you are heading to whether close to home or in another state, which areas are  legal or illegal to hunt and also how close to homes or roads you are allowed to hunt.

While preparing for your hunt purchase your hunting license, sight in the gun or bow that you will be using and get any landowners permission necessary in the area you want to hunt.

Before the Hunt

• Hunter Safety Course

• Hunter License

• Driver’s License or other ID

• Landowner Permission

To recap the following is a general list of equipment needed during the hunt

• Ammunition

• Scent Attractant

• Ammunition Case

• Two Way Radio

• Binoculars

• Dry Towel

• Rifle or Bow with Scope

• Batteries

• Backpack (Day or Multi-Day)

• Hand Warmers

• Knife Sharpener

• Lighter/Matches

• Toilet Paper

• Trail Marking Tape

• Headlamp

• Game Calls

• Food / Water

• Seat Cushion


During the Hunt

• Clothing

• Jacket

• Boots

• Inner Layer (long underwear)

• Socks

• Outer Layer(Puncture resistant)

• Gloves

• Orange Vest (check area regulations)

• Rainwear

• Orange Hat (check area regulations some rules include the amount of orange you need to wear)

After the Hunt

• Gutter Gloves

• Butt-out Tool

• Permanent Marker

• Deer Drag

• Processing Knives

• Pelvic Saw

• Cooler

Plan your hunting trip well, ask for advice if you are inexperienced but above all enjoy what the land has to offer.