Hunting equipment and accessories are critical to any successful hunting trip. In this article we’ll examine different hunting equipment and accessories–from hunting equipment that will help you carry your gear, to hunting accessories that will help you send a stable and accurate shot. We’ll cover hunting accessories for your rifle, as well as hunting accessories for your body and comfort. Our goal is to provide specific ideas for hunting equipment and accessories that will help you be more efficient and comfortable in the field.
Hunting equipment and accessories make you more efficient during the hunt. Being more comfortable means being more refreshed for that single moment in time that will determine the outcome of your long tracking journey. Having the right hunting equipment to aid you at that moment could mean success or failure. To be more blunt, having the right hunting equipment may make the difference of coming home with a trophy or just a sorry story. And with that in mind let’s look at the following hunting equipment and accessories.
HUNTING ACCESSORIES FOR YOUR RIFLE
Scope and backup scope
A scope is a critical hunting accessory. Depending on the game you are hunting, select a scope that can work well in short and medium range. While hunting in the U.S., you will most likely engage your game in distances of less than 200 yards. Add to that some rocks, lots of trees and other obstacles, and you’ll get closer to reality. We think a great hunting accessory for that scenario is a holographic red dot sight with an added 3X magnification amplifier, ideally one with a larger external ring that offers higher MOA.
This sight is good for short and medium distances. Some would prefer the added magnification of a 3X to 9X scope and that works well too. Whichever hunting accessory scope you opt to take, we highly recommend you take a zeroed, backup scope with you. I have heard and read of many hunts that were cut short after the scope broke during navigation of harsh terrain or just an unfortunate fall.
One of the best hunting accessories we can think of is a good bi-pod. We are partial to Harris bi-pods, but any good bi-pod will provide you with added stability on any terrain. No matter how solid your arms, a bi-pod that physically connects your firearm to the ground will offer more stability. We recommend a bi-pod with varying length legs that could work well in harsh and uneven terrain. When the moment of truth arrives, get the extra edge a solid bi-pod can provide, and get your game with a single, well placed shot.
During a hunt you will cover terrain and trek for varying distances. A good sling will allow you to keep your hands free and your balance in check. We recommend a sling that will hold your firearm close to the body and allow you free movement without hitting your legs. A good sling can even enable you to run with your firearm secure to your body and ready for quick access. Since slings are very personal hunting accessories, we recommend you try them out in a retail store prior to buying one. Then we recommend you try your sling prior to the hunt to assure it works as well as you expect.
HUNTING EQUIPMENT FOR YOUR AMMUNITION
You’ll need ammunition for your firearm of choice, and as you know ammunition can be heavy. I know of people who take hunting ammo for the task at hand and some cheaper ammo for plinking, should the hunt go badly as far as game is concerned. If you also carry a weapon for self-defense, you may also have some additional ammo for that. When you combine ammo with cloths, other hunting equipment and camping gear, you end up with a heavy pack.
We recommend a good, solid backpack as a must-have hunting equipment, and we are partial to Blackhawk gear. A three-day pack is easy to carry along with a rifle and is sufficiently large for a smart hunter (i.e.: one that only takes the bare minimum of hunting equipment). Make sure the backpack straps are large enough to accommodate your body, with and without a heavy coat, and that they distribute the weight evenly. We also recommend you check and seek a backpack with back support and possible waist strap to distribute the weight from your upper back to your hips and thereby reduce shoulder tension.
If you hunt with a shotgun or center fire rifle, your ammunition will need to be protected from the elements and your sweat. Ammo cases come in all sizes and shapes, but a good, solid and waterproof case will ensure that your ammo stays dry and in top shape. We have had the occasional slip on slick rocks into a stream of ice cold water, followed by a hard landing. If your hunting equipment is well protected, your ego and backside will survive too.
Ammo pouches: small ammo pouches can ride on your belt or stay in your pocket. It keeps bullets from spilling or falling and makes them easily accessible. These are great for center fire rifles as well as self-defense revolvers that are unable to use moon-clips. It is a small hunting equipment item that will go a long way in the hunt, and may be used for range trips and competition too.
Small ammo pouches can ride on your belt or stay in your pocket. It keeps bullets from spilling or falling and makes them easily accessible. These are great for center fire rifles, as well as self-defense revolvers that are unable to use moon-clips. It is a small hunting equipment that will go a long way in the hunt, and may be used for range trips and competition too.
HUNTING EQUIPMENT FOR COMFORT
Nothing sucks more than to be cold and hungry in the field. Good, warm under-cloths that insulate your body from the extremes of the environment are worth their weight in gold. We prefer garments from Smart Wool or Under Armor which are very light, keep close to the skin and do not hinder movement. The latter is critical in both hiking to the hunt area and being able to maneuver the firearm efficiently. External layers need to be light and protect you from cold wind, rain and general temperature. There are several choices here and the key requirements focus on garments that are light-weight, moisture-wicking and give you good range of motion.
If you happen to hunt in warmer climates, for example in Africa, you want garments that will protect you from the heat and the sun. You also want good coverage that will protect you from insects and other blood-sucking nasties. Be sure to keep in mind the terrain in which you’ll hunt to have protection from particular problems such as snakes and scorpions.
If you found the ideal spot and know that game will come to it sooner or later, the ability to stay concealed quietly and for a long duration is key. A shooting mat will insulate your body from the ground. It will keep sharp stones from poking you, ants and other critters from getting inside your shirt and pants, and it will keep the hard ground at bay. Snipers use shooting mats to stay comfortable and, therefore, more alert and efficient. You should have one too.
In summary, we looked at different options for great hunting equipment and accessories. No matter what you hunt and at what time of year, this gear will make you more comfortable and efficient. They may make the difference between achieving your goals or learning a painful lesson.
Until next time, stay safe by staying alert.