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First hunt, what do I need?

Old 03-21-2017, 12:11 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 1
Arrow First hunt, what do I need?

I took hunter education last month, now I'm just lost in the world of Cabelas and Bass Pro because I have no idea what is neccesary and what's gimmicky.

I live in North Idaho, and I'm planning on doing some black bear and deer hunting. I've been looking for women's camo and found Prois. Now I'm wondering what camo pattern is best. What size hunting pack I should get. And specifically what brand/type/store I should be buying from for different things (like knives, boots, etc. etc.).

A short list of what I should be focusing on would be SO helpful right now
tothephonebooth is offline  
Old 03-21-2017, 01:56 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,744

first of welcome to the site, and to the hunting world
MY suggestion is this, start with simple basic' s and wait till you see if you LIKE it or not

the basic's being IMO a rifle of appropriate caliber for what ever animal you wish to go after( a 30-06 covers a LOT of things)
a decent 4-5 inch fixed blade knife gets my vote on a knife
are you planning to hunt ALONE< or with others,
I ask this as if hunting with others, you can get away with NOT having to BUY a lot of things your first yr and use them as a way to see what they have, how they use it and IF you like it
MOST will have there own pack frame/pack! for carrying out quartered game
a deer can be dragged out with a simple rope, as can a bear, but out west MOST folks quarter them and carry them out!

I would say MUST have items are a decent compass and KNOW how to use it, a MAP of hunting area/area's!
a good flash light, a decent first aid kit, small if going NOT far, bigger if packing farther back!

as for camo
this is a LOADED question, MILLION of animals have been killed LONG before camo was invented, I personally think camo MAKES A person feel more like a hunter than it actually HELPS YOU get any game
many animals can see UV and other things we cannot, so m WHO know's what camo pattern works or doesn't to be honest!

if you wish to par take in camo, BUY what fits you well
if you plan to hunt in low temps buy GOOD clothes that work well in cold weather, if in rain, carry good rain gear, rain gear can be simple or high tech
a good fisherman rain suit will work wonders over MOST camo hunting gear, as it won't bleed thru over time!(I own a ton of high end so called HUNTING rain gear, and its ALL bleed thru after a lot of use,( like a few days of non stop rain) in the rain
BUT good heavy fishing rain gear doesn't breath very well LOL and isn't the most quiet!

I would rather have quiet gear than camo gear any day of the week

I started hunting in plain jane street cloths, for first few yrs,(didn;t have the funding to have other things)
and never struggled filling tags on many game species!

stick to basic's and add things as you FEEL you need them or more likely WANT them!

hunting doesn't have to be a TV show commercial of gear!
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:58 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 67

Mrbb is correct. I agree with the above gear. The MUST have kit is a first aid kit, flashlight, rain gear, and water. I also recommend a gerber/leatherman. As far as camo goes, most will do...though I prefer Realtree. I always buy my hunting gear/clothing when they're on sale or clearance from Cabela's or Basspro.

Most important thing: have fun and stay positive!
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Old 03-22-2017, 07:56 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 5,130

Guns & ammo for short trips.

More stuff on long trips.................

Be prepared to turn your "day pack" into your "over-night" pack - you're good !
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: So Cal
Posts: 55

+1 on the advice on warm clothing!!!

Last year was my first hunting season ever. I hunt in VT, and I've been backcountry skier, ice climber, for the past decade. I've taken many courses on mountaineering skills, and even then I totally underestimated deer season's cold weather.

Sitting for hours, on a tree stand has been one of the coldest experiences I've ever had in my entire life. My first days I had to leave the stand early, because first signs of hypothermia kicked in (it was only about 20 degrees). I have been, entire day outside, on -10 degree weather ice climbing, and never got early signs of hypothermia.

Don't underestimate the weather, it can ruin your hunt.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:14 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Germany/Calif.
Posts: 2,664

I've been hunting in earth tone bib coveralls and a olive colored fleece Gortex jacket forever. Lots of pockets is a plus.

I buy my bibs large enough for a heavy sweater or synthetic liner underneath if necessary. The wildlife really doesn't care how you look.

Camo is kind of over rated IMO. What game sees most is motion, chances are if you don't move they won't see you or hear you.

A few trips and you will make your own wish list, I wish I had this or that with me. Don't forget your ammo.

Old worn and many times washed materials make less noise than new clothes do.

I have a pair of Cabelas (on special) soft cotton coveralls, a size to large, that works well as another layer if needed.

I (now) always have something else with me to put on if the weather changes. Even if it just a rain poncho and/or a blanket.

I came real close to being in serious trouble when I was caught in a freak pre dawn summer storm, the temperature dropped 40 F in an hour. I wasn't dressed for it and had no backup. Sideways freezing rain, sleet and a 30 MPH wind can cause you real grief quick.

Good comfortable, water resistant or water proof boots are a must.

Last edited by MudderChuck; 03-23-2017 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 03-23-2017, 04:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 19

Great advice above. If you live in North Idaho, you want to be prepared for harsh weather, and in some cases, snow. The good news is that hunting clothing is among the best outdoor wear on the market today. You will need to stay 1) dry, and 2) warm. Some will build numerous layers to enable them to adjust in small steps to changing temperatures. I tend to dress in really, two layers. The first is what I would want to have on for hiking in to my hunting spot, hunting on the move or anytime I am physically active, counting on my physical activity to keep me warm, a soft-shell style of pants and jacket work well. The second layer is what I put on when conditions are bad or when I get to a spot and have to sit quietly for long periods of time without getting cold. For this I use fleece-lined, waterproof, quiet-knap outerwear. The camouflage pattern matters less than you might mentioned above, animals see movement, not color. Find something that fits you well, is not too tight, and has the qualities that will serve you well during your hunt.

Find some insulated and waterproof boots that are not too heavy to walk in but provide adequate support for the terrain you will be working. These are what I use: There are many options like this and fit matters most. If in doubt, round up a half-size as you will probably wear thicker socks.

In your pocket (not in your pack...always on your person) you should always have the ability to start a fire, and have a compass and map to get home if you need to. Whatever your choices and there are several, be sure to practice with them.

I would look for a waterproof, quiet, and warm outer layer, parka and pants. Under that you can find a mid-weight jacket and non-cotton pants, that will fit under the outer layer. Next to the skin a polyester, wool, or silk underlayer is useful. Avoid cotton for everything except possibly your bandana. There are high quality hunting garments specifically cut to fit women.

Your backpack should be sized to carry your heavy layer, hunting gear, and survival gear...but be careful not to make it too big as you will probably wear it as you hunt.

I have some very nice and expensive knives but I normally carry a Russell Green River "Hunter" knife that you can buy for about $20. It is a pattern and style that dates to the 1800s and it works great, is easy to sharpen and cheap to replace. You can find them and a sheath to fit on eBay.

Assuming you are rifle hunting, a 30-06 (as mentioned above) is an excellent choice and will take any North American game. If you want a little less kick, a .308 is an excellent choice and is what I hunt with myself, never feeling under-gunned in my hunting experience. For a lower cost rifle option, I might suggest a Ruger American Rifle as an affordable option in .308 (I have the compact model). A good quality 3x9 scope with a 40mm objective lens would serve you well. Nikon makes a nice scope at an affordable price in the ProStaff. These are lower cost but get-the job-done suggestions and you can move up from there.

Good luck. Going with someone who knows what they are doing is helpful in case you get an animal on your first hunt.

Last edited by paveglass; 03-23-2017 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 03-23-2017, 10:10 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Germany/Calif.
Posts: 2,664

My boots cost about the same as all my other clothes combined, my feet are important to me. Cabalas has a made for Cabalas Meindle hunting boot that is good. Good fit and comfort is more important than brand IMO, Gortex is a plus.

Rain gear is a plus, but gets way hot real quick in the warmer months. I have a large poncho that covers me, my pack and rifle that hangs past my knees. Folds up into an eight inch square maybe two inches thick, rubberized nylon. I wear knee high wool socks, if wool gets wet it doesn't bleed heat like many other materials. If my legs get too hot I can roll the socks down to my boot tops. I carry an extra pair of socks, dual purpose, I can pack other stuff inside the socks to reduce noise.

Loose clothing works best.

Easy to get turned around in the forest, even small patches of woods. I always have two compasses with me, one good one and one cheapy as a backup. Believe me no matter how good you are, sooner or later you are going to have to walk miles farther than necessary if you don't have a compass with you. Most lessons I learned the hard way. A fog rolls in, it gets dark or you just fail to pay attention, disorientation gets most everybody sooner or later.
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Old 03-26-2017, 03:04 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,926
Default You newbies are on your own

After going to a big box store for the first time in a long time this week, why would you think it's a lot easier being experienced.
Yes, I carry about an eight pound day pack. Of the day pack, turned into a night pack which becomes a day after pack. It took forty years to fill that pack.
For instance I use to carry just wood matches. Now it's wood matches, three small lighters, and a small magnesium fire starter. Stay out in frigid weather and you'll know why. But then as a newbie, why would you select the second choice. To you, it could be over kill.
But as a newbie don't forget the toilet paper. You'll even have it for fire startin' paper.
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Old 03-26-2017, 04:29 PM
Giant Nontypical
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 5,130

Valentine just pointed out the "Golden Rule"; One is none, 2 is one.

Especially if it's important (kinda like fire........ and water = pills/filter).

Also; a way to find your way back - GPS, compass (breadcrumbs - LOL)

Last edited by Sheridan; 03-27-2017 at 10:19 AM.
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