Back to Basics

As hunters, we often get sucked into the barrage of product endorsements we see on our favorite hunting shows. I know I’m guilty of wanting something or buying something because it looks cool, or a professional swears it works. The truth is, people have been hunting for a long time with minimal amounts of gear. 

So what do you need to hunt?  The obvious answer is a weapon. A gun or a bow can set you back hundreds of dollars depending on what you get. However, you don’t have to have the newest name brand or all the attachments to have a perfectly good hunting tool. Find the gun or bow that will do the job you need. If you are hunting close range from a tree stand do you really need fancy high end long range optics or a bow sight with 20 settings? Probably not. 

Next, you need some type of clothing that protects and hides you. Recently, I was planning a moose hunt in Alaska, and I needed a new jacket. I wanted a light weight, waterproof, wicking jacket. I searched, but even on sale I couldn’t find one for under $100 or more. I started to think about what I really needed. I wanted something to wick away sweat, but did it really have to be the jacket? No, the jacked didn’t even touch my skin. So I ended up layering and using my original waterproof jacket which worked just fine.

You don’t have to buy expensive gear to be warm and hidden. Good camo can be found for cheap at stores like WalMart. Buy something that hides you and layer your clothing for comfort.

Finally, scent control. Some hunting shows will try to convince you to buy scent controlled clothing and sprays and washing agents, and a hundred different products. I know for a fact that even though scent control is important, watching the wind is more important. I shot my first Pope and Young buck while chain smoking. I used to use my smoke to let me know which way the wind blew. In fact, all the people I hunted with smoked at that time, and we always got our deer.

Does that mean I’d do that now? No, but it showed that being aware of the wind is most important. Of course, reducing your scent profile with the usual precautions, but you don’t have to buy a whole new hunting wardrobe, or have to have a separate closet for scent control products to get your buck.