While every state has slight differences in when and how you are allowed to hunt, generally speaking you can hunt big game like deer and elk beginning in late September. Some states have premium draws when quotas haven’t been met, but that isn’t really what you are concerned with here. What you need to know isn’t when you can hunt because you can find all that information on your state’s website. What you should pack for your first hunting vacation will take some thought and gratefully, you probably have all summer to compile a list. Here are some suggestions.
Choose Your Weapon
If you are hunting with an AR, you not only need to think about ammo but also a good scope. Some hunters suggest looking at hi-tech scopes like the Nikon P-233 3-9 x 40 Mate BDC 600 they found on sites like the ar15scopecenter.com website. No matter what your weapon, be it a gun or bow, you will want to determine well in advance what you will be bringing and then get plenty of ammo/bows for the hunt.
Clothes for the Season
During the summer months when you will be checking out the area you will be hunting in, remember the weather is warm and often dry. However, in autumn when hunting season opens, the air will be chill and it may even rain or snow at some altitudes. You will probably want a blazeorange hunting vest so that you won’t be shot when walking about. Other hunters need to see you for your safety and theirs. Make sure you have boots to get you through muddy patches and comfortable dry shoes to wear around camp.
Lodge or Campsite?
If this is your first hunting trip, what you bring will also depend on where you will be staying for your hunting vacation. Some new hunters stay in lodges because that is where they’ll find other hunters to give them tips and tricks for snagging the big one. Other new hunters want to jump right into it, so they get a good tent, a Coleman stove for cooking and an ice chest to keep their foods fresh. Trips away from your campsite are discouraged because that leaves your supplies open to theft – usually not from other hunters but by critters and big scary beasts like bear!
Bear Spray Is a Must for Campsites
By this time of year, bears are well rested and very, very hungry. It is suggested that you get a powerful spray to keep hungry bears away from your site. These sprays are typically formulated with pepper or capsaicinas a deterrent, but you can really never be too careful. Bears can get into almost anything so do keep any foodstuffs locked away, in your truck if at all possible.
This is just a general idea of what you should pack for your first hunting vacation but since you have at least six or seven months before opening day, you do have plenty of time to get your list together. Also, one last word of advice would be to bring along a first aid kit complete with antihistamines. You never know when poison ivy or other plants might cause a reaction, and nothing will ruin a vacation worse than out-of-control itching. Have fun packing and good luck on your very first vacation. Here’s hoping you bring home a trophy.