What Hunting Gear Do I Need?

Camron Stover

Are you interested in learning to hunt but don’t know where to start?  Maybe you’re ready to start hunting a new species but don’t know what gear you’ll need to get started.  HuntingGearDeals.com has compiled a list of hunting gear for various species of game animals that hunters will need.  The cost of hunting gear can be intimidating for beginners because there’s so much to buy and the prices are outrageous nowadays.  Thankfully, HuntingGearDeals.com is here to help you find the best deals on hunting gear from across the web, so be sure to sign up for our Daily Deal list so that you never miss a deal.

Below, you’ll learn what hunting equipment you’ll need to pursue each species of wild game, such as deer, elk, bear, squirrels, waterfowl, and more.

What Hunting Gear Do I Need to Go Deer Hunting?

Let’s start with the most common hunting animal in North America, the whitetail deer.  Many of these items can be utilized in different types of hunting, so it’s a great place for us to start.  I won’t go into too much detail as to why you need each product, our goal is to streamline the process and help you find what you need to get started.  We won’t be diving into specific archery and gun-hunting gear as it is listed further down the page.

Here is a detailed list of deer hunting gear you’ll need to get started:

  • Clothes for Deer Hunting: 
    • Base Layer
    • Mid-Layer (Insulation Layer
    • Outer Layer
    • Boots –
    • Socks – Avoid cotton
    • Gloves, Beanie, and/or face mask
  • Weapon: Compound Bow, Crossbow, Centerfire Rifle, Straight-wall cartridge
  • Grunt Call
  • Rangefinder
  • Binoculars
  • Backpack
  • Headlamp
  • Wind indicator
  • Scent control products
  • Tree stand
    • Safety Harness
    • Bow Holder
    • Gear Rope
    • Climbing Sticks
  • Ground blind
    • Ground blind chair
    • Heavy duty stakes
  • Trail Cameras
  • Rattling Antlers
  • Headlamp
  • Field dressing kit
  • Knife (field dressing)
  • Digital scouting map (OnX Hunt)
scent control tips for deer hunting

What Hunting Gear Do I Need to Go Elk Hunting?

Ever heard the old saying, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat?”  This applies to elk hunting as there are several ways to hunt elk and each require various types of gear.  The more remote the hunting location, the more important your elk hunting gear as you depend on it to survive in the wilderness. This list is the most customizable list of all of the animals in my opinion as there are so many different ways to hunt elk.  From a rifle elk hunt in Colorado where you’re sleeping in a lodge or hotel each night, to hiking 10 miles deep into the backcountry to chase elk for a week with nothing more than what you can carry on your back.

Here is a detailed list of deer hunting gear you’ll need to get started:

  • Hunting Clothing
    • Base Layer – Merino wool
    • Mid-Layer (Insulation Layer – lightweight puffy jacket)
    • Outer Layer – waterproof and windproof
    • Boots made for the Mountain – Crispi or Kenetrek
    • Socks – Darn Tough Socks (merino wool)
    • Gloves, Beanie, and/or face mask
  • Trekking Poles
  • Hunting Pack
  • Tent/shelter
    • Sleeping Bag
    • Sleeping Pad
  • Food
  • Cookware
  • Water filtration device
  • Water bottle
  • GPS
  • Spotting Scope
  • Binoculars
  • Rangefinder
  • First-Aid kid
  • Field dressing kit
  • Game Bags
  • Elk calls
  • Waterproof matches and a lighter
  • Kneeling pad
peak refuel hunting

What Hunting Gear Do I Need to Go Duck or Goose Hunting?

Before you jump into buying decoys and calls, focus on the fundamental items to ensure success while hunting for goose and ducks.

  • Hunting Clothing – Camo is extremely important
    • Base Layer
    • Mid-Layer (Insulation Layer
    • Outer Layer
    • Waders – insulated and camouflage
    • Long Socks – Avoid cotton
    • Waterproof Gloves,
    • Camo headwear
  • Shotgun and Ammo
    • Invest in good equipment
  • Life Jacket (camo)
  • Blind bag or backpack
  • Shotgun Sling
  • Calls: 6-in-1 Whistle, Double-Reed Duck Call, Electronic Caller, Mouth Calls, Short-Reed Goose Call, Duck Call
  • Duck Strap
  • Decoys
    • Decoy Accessories: Cord, Bag, Weights, Anchors, Gloves, Gaff Hook
  • Floating Gun Case
  • Hammer and Stakes

If duck hunting with dogs, you’ll need the following items:

  • Dog Blind
  • Dog Food
  • Dog Leash
  • Dog Vest
  • Water bowl
  • Dog Whistle
jansen duck hunting

What Hunting Gear Do I Need to Go Squirrel Hunting?

The easiest game animal to start hunting is probably squirrels.  That’s where most kids get their first exposure to hunting and for good reason, it’s a blast!  Squirrel hunting doesn’t require expensive gear or finely tuned skills.  If you can shoulder a shotgun, you’ll eventually find yourself near a bushy-tailed squirrel with a gun in hand.

  • Shotgun (For an additional challenge, try using a .22 caliber rifle).
  • Ammo – #5 or #6 Shot

What Hunting Gear Do I Need to Go Bear Hunting?

Bear hunting can be challenging for hunters of all experience levels due to the unpredictability of bears.  There are three basic strategies to hunt for a bear.  The first and dare I say easiest, is baiting.  Where legal, bear can be hunted over bait.  Just make sure you follow the rules and regulations to stay within the letter of the law.  Spot and stalk bear hunting might be the most challenging, while hunting bear with dogs might require the most practice and gear.  Hunting with dogs is definitely the most expensive way to hunt bears.

Gear needed for hunting bears with bait:

  • Weapon
  • Treestand
  • Trail Camera
  • Scent Control products
  • Bait

Gear needed for spot and stalk bear hunting:

  • Weapon
  • Binoculars and/or Spotting Scope
  • Rangefinder
  • Hunting Clothing and boots built for mobility

Gear needed for hunting bears with dogs:

  • Weapon
  • Vehicle
  • GPS Tracking System
  • Dog boxes/dog kennel
  • Well trained dogs
  • Radios

What Hunting Gear Do I Need to Hunt with a Rifle?

Firearms season vary across the country as some states regulate the use of straight-walled cartridges only vs centerfire ammo in other states.  For the record, necked down centerfired ammo has a much flatter trajectory and will shoot further.  It’s also the type of rifle that most of us are familiar with, including calibers like:  5.56, .30-30. .243, .270, and .308.  Straight-walled cartridges are typically used in flatter states to decrease the distance that a bullet will fly, such as a .350 Legend and .450 Bushmaster.

Specific gear you need to hunt with a rifle include:

  • Rifle
  • Riflescope
  • Scope rings to mount the rifle to the gun
  • Gun Sling
  • Ammo
  • Blaze orange
  • Optional – Shooting sticks
do you have to wear orange when hunting

What Hunting Gear Do I Need to Hunt with a Bow?

My favorite weapon of choice, a bow!  I’m a bowhunter at heart, so this is my bread and butter.  When it comes to hunting, there’s nothing more satisfying than watching an arrow zip through the rib cage of big buck, bear, or other animal that you’re hunting for.  You’ll need a little bit more hunting gear than the you would with a rifle or shotgun and very similarly to that of a crossbow.

  • Compound Bow
  • Archery Sights
  • Arrow Rest
  • Quiver
  • Stabilizer
  • Peep Sight
  • D-loop
  • Release
  • Rangefinder
  • Binoculars
  • Arrows
  • Broadheads
  • Field points
  • Archery target

What Hunting Gear Do I Need to Hunt with a Crossbow?

Crossbows have been adopted into the archery season in many states across the country and for good reason.  Crossbows allow new hunters an efficient and effective method of hunting, as well as extending the archery hunting years of seasoned hunters alike.  Crossbow hunters will need the following items:

  • Crossbow
  • Crossbow scope (most crossbows come with a scope usually)
  • Bolts
  • Broadheads
  • Rangefinder
  • Target – Must be crossbow rated
  • Optional – Bog Deathpod (best purchase I’ve made to help my kid be more accurate and confident when it’s time to pull the trigger)

What Hunting Gear Do I Need to Hunt with a Shotgun?

Hunting with a shotgun provides a lot of opportunities through the various species.  Not one shotgun can do it all, but just to give you an idea, you can hunt turkey, squirrels, rabbits, doves, ducks, geese, deer, predators, and much more with a shotgun.  You’ll need different types of ammo for each one, but shotguns are the most versatile weapon in the hunter’s arsenal.  When hunting with a shotgun, here are a few items that you should consider buying:

  • Ammo (20 and 12 gauge):
    • Slugs – big game
    • 9 shot – clay pigeons
    • 7 Shot – doves and small game birds
    • 6 Shot – squirrels
    • 5 shot – rabbits and pheasant
    • Turkey loads – Winchester Longbeard XR #5 Shot is my favorite
    • Steel Shot – waterfowl
  • Gun sling
  • Butt pad – extra protection for your shoulder
  • Optics – Not necessary but a great upgrade for some game species
  • Choke tube – specific to the type of hunting
best turkey hunting scope

Hunting Gear Every Hunter Should Own

Here’s a quick list of hunting accessories that every hunter should own:

  • Knife w/ a gut hook to easily field dress game
  • Headlamp
  • Flashlight
  • Field Dressing Gloves
  • Hot Hands (if it’s cold where you hunt)
  • Wind indicator
  • Field Tag or paper
  • Hunting license and necessary stamps/tags
  • Backpack
  • Storage containers for hunting gear

Conclusion

Whether you’re a brand new hunter or you’re interesting in pursuing a new species this year, this list of gear will help you get started.  Many of the items that you’ll need can be utilized in multiple scenarios, allowing you the opportunity to get more bang for your buck.

Also, don’t forget that HuntingGearDeals.com is your number one resource on the web to help you find the best deals on hunting gear from across the web in one place.  When you’re first getting started with hunting, acquiring the products listed above can seem like a daunting task, but don’t sweat it.

If money is an issue, be on the lookout for used hunting gear as you can often find a good deal nearby on FaceBook Marketplace or yard sales.  Best of luck hunting and be sure to subscribe to the HuntingGearDeals.com Daily Deal email so you never miss a good deal on hunting gear.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Hunting Gear Deals Daily Deals email list and we will help you find the best deal on this quiver!

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AUTHOR BIO

Hi, I’m Camron the owner of Hunting Gear Deals. I’m an avid bowhunter with a knack for finding good deals on hunting gear and love to help you save money on hunting gear.  I’m also the owner of the popular Bucks, Bulls, & Bears email newsletter that’s built to educate and entertain hunters.  If you haven’t subscribed, you’re missing out!  Last but not least, I’m proud to say that I work for Whitetail Properties as a Land Specialist in Ohio.  If you’re in the market for hunting property, shoot me an email and I’d love to help you find your dream property.  

Instagram- @huntinggeardeals

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