The Essential Hunting Gear Checklist for New Hunters

The Essential Hunting Gear Checklist for New Hunters

Hunting is a vital activity when it comes to managing wildlife and preserving wild habitats in the US. Hunters are the country’s top conservationists, as many hunting licenses, permits, and taxes on guns and ammunition go directly towards conservation efforts.

While the number of hunters in the US has been dropping for years, we finally saw a spike in numbers. Michigan, for example, saw a 67% increase in hunting licenses sales in 2020, spurred on by the pandemic. 

New license sales mean brand new hunters are hitting the field. They need a hunting gear checklist to ensure they have what they need for a successful hunting harvest.

If you’re a new or aspiring hunter trying to determine what essential hunting gear is needed, then keep reading below for our top hunting tips when it comes to buying gear.

Shooting Gear

The most important hunting gear you need to consider when hitting the field is what you’re going to shoot with. What you bring to the woods or mountains is determined by the species you are after.

Most new hunters should start by chasing small game; squirrels, rabbits, and in some cases wild hogs and coyotes. 

To take down smaller animals, a small 22 long rifle will get the job done. Make sure it has a scope on it, as you are shooting tiny targets.

Have extra ammunition handy, such as in a vest or jacket pocket.

If going after big game like deer, you’ll just need a larger caliber rifle, like a 30-06. In wide-open areas, like the western United States, having shooting sticks or a bipod will help you steady your rifle for long shots. 

In the close-range woods of the Midwest or the Eastern US, a tree stand or saddle will get you off the ground so the deer don’t see you. 

What to Wear While Hunting

Avoid wearing cotton while hunting. It’s heavy, bulky, and takes forever to dry if it gets wet. This can be dangerous and lead to hypothermia.

Instead, invest in camo pants and a camo shirt made of performance materials like polyester. Buy a softshell jacket that doesn’t make a ton of noise when you move around. 

And bring a set of base layers to keep you extra warm on those cold fall mornings. Rainproof outer layers are vital as well. 

What to Pack While Hunting

There are plenty of small things you can bring with you when you go hunting for a day or two.

You’ll want a knife so that you can gut and/or skin any animals that you harvest. Binoculars and a range finder are invaluable. Bring a first aid kit, plenty of water, snacks, and a headlamp. 

And a GPS mapping tool can prevent you from getting lost and allow you to mark the locations of animals or tracks so that you can set up in the right spot. 

And some of the most important resources you can invest in are intangible. Memberships to hunting organizations, such as, can help you build relationships with other hunters in your area who can provide you with tips, advice, or even go out hunting with you. 

Checking Off Your Hunting Gear Checklist

The need to acquire tons of stuff from a hunting gear checklist can scare away many would-be hunters. You can spend a lot of money on gear to start hunting.

But you can also start on a budget. Focus on the essentials, buy used gear, or borrow what you don’t yet have.

Looking for more hunting tips? Visit our blog now to keep reading.