As with any other sport or hobby in the world; there are certain things you need to have in order for you to be safe or be successful at that particular sport or hobby. The same idea/concept applies to bowhunting. Bowhunting can be a very rewarding and enjoyable sport however there are many factors that could make it dangerous and take the enjoyment right out of it. The key to making sure your bowhunting trip stays positive is to go prepared for any situation that may occur. Here are 10 things you should always carry when you go out hunting.
1. First Aid Kit – While often overlooked bringing a first aid kit with you hunting is essential and can really come in handy if you were to hurt yourself while out in the field, or bush. As we all know there are a ton of ways to get hurt while hunting whether it be a cut from your broadheads to scrapes and scratches from falls.
2. Survival Kit - This item is fairly commonly taken and is again a very important thing every bowhunter should remember to bring with them hunting. This is especially true if you are not familiar with the area you’ll be in or if you are going to be going through dense brush for the evening hunt. It really is amazing how everything at night can look the same and you can get turned around and “Lost” even though you’re only a few hundred yards off the road.
3. Compass/Maps – I can’t tell you how many times this has saved me and many of the other bowhunters I know from finding our way out of the bush after getting turned around. These 2 items are absolutely essential and should be brought with you EVERY time you go out hunting. As a side note the map should be a very detailed map of just the area where you’ll be hunting so that you can see small lakes, and groups of trees or valeys that would otherwise be left out on a bigger map.
4. Flashlight w/extra Batteries – After finishing the night hunt and going out early in the morning for the morning hunt it can get unbelievably dark especially if you’re away from any large citites or towns. Having a good flashlight can help you find and see things like the trail, compass, map, landmarks and more. Just remember that if the flashlight runs on batteries, make sure you bring some extras just in case you end up needing the flashlight longer than expected.
5. Portable Bow Press – Bringing a portable bow press is important to not only your survival but for ensuring a successful hunt in the event your string breaks. There are a lot of sharp rocks, tree branches, broadheads and other things that could cause your bowstring to be compromised and your hunt to be over before it even starts. These are usually very easy to use and can quickly help you to change your bow string and be back in the game in no time. I would recommend going with the top selling portable bow press -Bowmaster Portable Bow Press
6. Extra Bow String - This is more or less the “Second Part” to the above item. Bow strings and cables don’t last forever and can break or snap from things like: dry-rot, sharp objects, previous unknown damage, faulty string etc. I always recommend bringing 1 or 2 extra sets of strings and cable as they are light weight and can help to save your hunting trip in case something happens to your current strings or cables.
7. Allen Wrenches – Have you ever been in your tree stand or hunting spot and you realize your sight or rest has come loose? If this happens and you don’t have some allen wrenches to tighten your equipment back up this could turn into an ugly situation especially if you just so happen to see that beautiful 10 or 12 point buck walk out in front of you. Having a set of allen wrenches that fit all of the components on your bow can really help to keep you in the hunt should the unexpected happen to your bow equipment.
8. Water – As everybody knows your body can only go a few days without water before you dehydrate and things get really bad for you. Chances are you will have a hard time finding some drinkable water in the bush where you’ll be hunting especially these days. I strongly recommend bringing a supply of water with you on your hunts so that in the event that you get lost or have to spend a few days in the bush you will have enough water to keep yourself hydrated and healthy.
9. Quality Hunting Knife – This isn’t usually an issue as most bowhunters do carry one or multiple hunting knives on them at any given time when hunting, however; I thought it was worth a mention just for good measure. A hunting knife can be very useful and not only in case you have the pleasure of filling your tag and having to field dress your trophy but in the event that you get lost your knife can be used to create a spear, kill food, cut vines for rope and start fires.
10. Soft Bow Case – This is more of an item that will help with keeping you out of trouble with your local wildlife enforcement officers. In most areas once the night hunt is over you must encase your bow so that you can no longer shoot it. Depending on your local hunting laws usually this case has to completely cover the entire bow. If you forget this and you get caught with your bow uncovered depending on the laws and officer you could be looking at a nice fine and possibly equipment confiscation.
This is just a list of the top items that every bowhunter should be carrying while bowhunting, I would recommend taking the time before each and every hunt to ensure that you have everything packed that you will need in case you fill your tag or the unexpected happens.