Deer hunting has not been immune from advances in technology and tactics. Hunters run the gamut from bringing nothing more than a weapon and a pair of boots to an organized pack that contains everything but the kitchen sink.
Regardless of which denomination with which you identify, considering this list of essentials, along with the explanations for their inclusion in your deer pack, could help you bag more bucks this season.
• Binoculars. Veteran hunter Stan Avery from Union County, N.C., puts a good pair of field glasses at the top of his list. His explanation is that optics help him see deer both near and far and are especially useful at judging a deer’s headgear.
“We hunt a lot of logging roads, clearcuts and gullies,” Avery said. “My binoculars not only help me see deer at long, clear distances, but also distinguish animals before daylight and at sunset that I can’t see with the naked eye. Last season, I killed a nice 8-point that I would have sworn was just a big doe had I not checked out the head with my optics.”
Other benefits include being able to make sense of what you see or think you might be seeing by setting the focus at a fixed range and looking through tree limbs in the foregrounds.
• Rangefinder. Many hunters may scoff at the extravagance of carrying a rangefinder, but bowhunter Doug Goins of Pickens County, S.C., said having one is worth the cost and effort when it comes time to make the shot.
“I spend the first hour or so while I’m waiting for the woods to settle back down using the finder to range trees and then memorizing those