There are numerous tools at your disposal, but which work for you? Whether you bring a gun, crossbow, or a tree stand, there’s a bunch of gear you should know about, if you don’t already. Hunting gear comes a dime a dozen, so you need to know what to look for when deciding what kind of hunter you are.
Many hunters enjoy using a crossbow instead of a gun for a few reasons. Whether you’re going out on the ranch or the woods, you’ll be able to retain the element of surprise. While whitetail have good hearing, a crossbow bolt is less audible than a gunshot. When you fire a gun, every whitetail deer nearby (for up to a mile or more) hears it and runs. That’s like giving yourself extra work. Now you have to hunt them down.
If you use a crossbow, it’s quieter. When a crossbow bolt enters a whitetail deer, it goes in clean, and comes out clean. You don’t get bullet fragments. It’s easier to clear. Not only that, but crossbow bolts are usually reusable. The only time that you have to throw them away is if they get damaged beyond repair, and that’s rare.
If you’re going to use a crossbow or a rifle, a tree stand is going to be your best friend. You have to use one in a clever way. Whitetail deer can only see up so much. If you’re close to them, and in a tree stand, you have the element of surprise. (That’s if you have ridden your natural human musk and are quiet.)
If you’re too far away from whitetail deer, they’ll be able to see you. You can usually use a tree stand for up to a mile away from where whitetail gather. Tree stands are a commitment. You can’t climb into your tree stand and expect to sack a deer right away. If you are lucky, you will encounter some whitetail within an hour, but it can take longer. That’s why you need to douse your scent, and it’s recommended to bring a thermos full of coffee, too.
So if you go with a hunting rifle instead of a crossbow, you’ll still want to use a tree stand. They’re so valuable if you use them right. However, if you are a mile away from a whitetail deer, you can’t expect to get a one-hit kill with your iron sights. You need a good scope.
The only way that a scope can mess you up is if you’re using the wrong one. Often times, the rifle manufacturer should have a matching scope. If you can, have a professional align the scope for you so you’re not shooting off to the side.
One of the worst parts about going in a tree stand, especially for hours at a time, is getting hit with wind. Fast and chilly wind can make your skin raw. To avoid that, you need a good face mask. The danger of chilly wind is that when your face is numb, you don’t realize your body temperate. Getting too hot or too cold can result in nodding off. Falling from a tree stand can be fatal, so you want to make sure you’re sharp and on your game.
You never know what’s going to happen. If you’re out on the ranch, or out in the woods, everything is wildcard. You can expect the unexpected, and that can help you, but those who don’t prepare will surely always regret it when it comes down to the wire. Having a small tool kit in your everyday carry pack can help with a lot of things. Pack electrical tape, a few small knives, and basic first aid supplies. They safe “Better safe than sorry” for a reason.
It’s something that a lot of hunters overlook. You should always have a good pair of binoculars around your neck. The wild is the wild for a reason; there are the governing laws of nature, and nothing else. If you run into a predator, like a bear or a wolf, your options narrow down. Having binoculars and scouting areas before you trek through them is crucial. If you want to avoid bad run-ins, get hunting binoculars. It’s important to have a good range, grips, and a reliable build. Go for waterproof or scratch resistance.
Flashlights aren’t what they used to be—they’re better now. You can use a tactical flashlight to help you with a lot of things. They go by lumen ratings. The more lumens, the brighter it is. If you get lost, or it’s taking longer to get back to camp or your car, you’ll want a bright flashlight. These usually have rough edges around the lens so you can use them in a pinch. There are some tactical flashlights that are also tasers, if you know where to shop.
Just like getting too cold in the winter, you can overheat in the summer in a lot of gear. Be choosy about what you’re carrying. If you can find slimline models of powerful flashlights, smaller EDC packs, and so on, you should always go with them. You can be putting a lot of stress on your body, so it’s best to take it easy and pack the right way. Overheating is a big problem if you don’t attention.
It sounds simple, but when you bring garbage foods like chips and sodas, it’s not only bad for you, but it’s loud. Bring titanium screw-cap cups with water, and something healthy in a plastic Ziploc bag to prevent being too noisy when reaching for a snack. Eating high-protein foods with low carbs will help keep your senses sharp, so you won’t let your prey get away.
You should always pack the appropriate gear, no matter what. Even if you’re going out with a guide, it’s a great way to get in the right habits now. Squaw Mountain Ranch provides tours for first-timers.
Give us a call at (830) 275-3277 for more information, and book a tour of the ranch today.