Hunting

Must Have Multi Day Adventure Gear

I am a huge fan of multi day fishing and hunting trips using as little gear as possible. Of course this entire depends on the location and time of year, but if you plan right you can have a fantastic weekend without having to carry military size backpacks.

At least twice a year I bring my sons on a weekend trip into the mountains and we have got it down to just a few fishing rods, sleeping bags and a few small luxuries. This allows us to hike further and to places that would be quite difficult to get to in just a weekend. In this article I want to highlight how little we actually bring with us on these trips.

1: Sleeping Bags

First off, no matter where you go on an overnight camping trip you will need a sleeping bag. At this stage we have about 4 or 5 different ones each, and they all differ in two areas: (a) water proof and (b) insulation thickness. Dependent on the time of year and weather forecast we bring a sleeping bag that will keep us warm and dry.

While it is better to have a sleeping bag that will be too warm than too cold, you do need to account for this resulting in a heavier bag to carry. Same with the water proof sleepers, these do weigh a bit more, but can make a huge difference if you get caught in a bit of night time rain.

2: Digital And Paper Maps

These days we all have our smart phones with maps down loaded and GPS built in. But you really do not want to rely on digital equipment in the wild. On one occasion I managed to slip while crossing a sream and my back pack fell into the water.

The phone was destroyed, but the printed map simply got a bit wet and could be dried at the camp fire. Unless you know the area like the back of your hand it will always be safer to have a printed map.

3: Fishing Equipment

pict3345Obviously you will need to eat, and one of the ways to make sure you don’t go hungry is to bring some fishing equipment. You will not want to bring your high end carbon fiber rod with a huge box of different tackle. The simpler and cheaper the rod the better, as it is likely to get quite a bit of battering on the hike.

I generally bring a selection of 5 to 10 different lures and I select them based on the time of year. You can see my guide to fishing lures in this article here (ADD LINK).

4: Hunting Rifle

Whether you are going hunting or not, I always recommend bringing a hunting rifle for protection. Unless you are certain that your intended hiking area does not have any dangerous predators this is really a must have.

It is too easy to stumble upon bears, wolves or various wild cats, and in those situations you do not want to be unarmed. It is also a great way to get some extra food, and if you are going for several days you can add to the adventure. Make sure you read my guide to this years’ hunting season for some info about hunting licenses.

5: Survival Kit

This is absolutely essential and should contain a few crucial things. You will need some water proof matches and maybe a flint stone, even if you plan on manually making fire. If you urgently need a fire to dry clothes and yourself, the last thing you want is to wait for heat.

I also pack some pain killers and medication for various stomach upsets. This will help if you get sick or hurt.

Bandages, disinfectant, etc. should be all in an emergency care kit, but make sure to regularly check the dates. You don’t want to pack a hospital’s supply cabinet, but most adventure stores will be able to show you different kits

Very important as well is a survival knife which you will need for preparing food and possibly gathering fire wood. There are tons of different knives available for sorts of prices, so you can just get one that suits your budget.

6: Radio Or Sat Phone

I used to bring a small radio, but have found that radios have become less reliable in certain parts of the country. Satellite phones have significantly come down in price and I now share one with a few friends. Fortunately I have never needed one, by my friend Tony did break his leg on a hike once and was glad to be able to call rescue services on a pretty reliable phone.

7: Optional Stuff

If I go on hunting trips I will bring along my hunting scope, as I am not that good a shot to be reliable without it. If it’s just a fishing trip then I usually leave it behind as it adds weight and is expensive to replace if it gets damaged. I would recommend you check out the rifle scopes at scopesandspotters.net.

One thing we do like to bring along is our spotting scope, as we have a keen interest in birds of prey. Being able to observe them up close is fascinating and you can get some pretty portable spotters that will allow you to get real close.

 

Other than that all you need is a sense of adventure and a willingness to adjust your plans as and when needed.

2016 Hunting Season

Most states and counties split their hunting seasons into spring and autumn with many places having the largest restrictions on the spring time due to the presence of young offspring. Planning your hunting trip is essential as I have encountered many very disappointed people with last minute plans and no way to get a license or permit.

The first thing to do is figure out what kind of hunting you want to do. Trophy hunting permits are more expensive and difficult to get and will very much depend on whether there is a designated cull or not. For example, some Northern States have increased wolf hunting permits, even in spring as some of the wolf populations have grown drastically in recent years.

Bear hunting permits on the other hand are a lot more difficult to obtain, especially for out-of-staters. Locals will always find it easier to get a license, even if this is not an official rule. But if you plan to hunt for food and live locally, it is a lot more believable, than when someone from California makes the same claim in Montana. Are you really going to bring that food back to CA?

file0001705718820Next question is what type of animal do you want to hunt. Birds, small varmint, large mammals? The list goes on and only you can decide. You also need to take into account that animals would require some long trecks and possible multi day trips in order to encounter the right animal of the right gender and age.

Location is another big question. Hunting in autumn in southern States will have quite pleasant weather, while in northern States it will start to get quite cold. For some that is ideal and I personally like hunting and fishing when the first signs of frost appear. These are also the least favored areas, so licenses are easier to get and hunting grounds are not overrun either.

Putting all these pieces together will very much narrow down your selection, and I can help you out with finding the best locations. After that you need to go through the application process for a permit, which can take anything from a few days to several years.

This entirely depends on the supply and demand, where many States and Municipalities have a lottery system where it can take several years before you get a permit. But, we suggest you apply for several permits as many jurisdictions will allow you to defer a granted license. The important thing is that you get the license and then fully understand the restriction put in place.

This would generally involve meeting with a local expert, like myself, who will tell you exactly what you can hunt, where you can do so and how to best track the animals. We maintain a list of exerts that we have worked with over the years, and you can use the contact button or sign up to our email list to receive this kind of info.

It’s all in the planning and we strongly suggest you spend as much time planning as you do hunting. It will make sure you avoid fines and disappointment from start to finish.