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Deer Hunting Supplies

Find out what deer hunting supplies will help make your hunt a success.

A man looks down the scope of his rifle. [©Shutterstock, 2010]
©Shutterstock, 2010
A man looks down the scope of his rifle.

Every deer hunter should have basic deer hunting supplies before heading into the woods. These supplies include the following:

A State License

Hunters should begin with a deer hunting license. Some states require different protocol before granting a deer hunting license, such as required safety courses. These courses vary in length, with some lasting several days, so deer hunters need to find out their state's requirements for granting a license and plan accordingly. Deerhunting.ws provides a list of state regulation sources, which makes finding these requirements easier.

Rifles and Shells

After securing a license and fulfilling proper state safety requirements, the most essential deer hunting supplies are a deer hunting rifle and shells. Both products are dependent upon the type of deer one plans to hunt. Rifle types may also be limited by state regulations. In general, if a deer hunter plans to hunt in wide-open spaces (where many white-tailed deer tend to frequent), the hunter needs a long-range shooting tool. For denser, forest areas, a short-shooting gun is more useful. Traditionally, the lever-action rifle is a deer hunter's basic shooting weapon. However, because of an increase in deer populations, some hunters have begun using semi-automatic rifles and, in some cases, shotguns.

The-Deer-Hunting-Guide.com explains that deer hunters have five basic choices when it comes to weapons:

  • hunting rifles
  • archery weapons
  • shotguns
  • pistols
  • muzzleloaders

Each weapon caters to a different type of deer hunting, making it important for deer hunters to plan a hunting event around the weapon. The type of weapon also determines the season in which a hunter will hunt. Most deer hunters opt for a hunting rifle.

Choosing hunting shells is a laborious process because many states require hunters to use certain types of shells. Furthermore, hunters must choose shells in relation to location, gun, type of deer and other factors. If a hunter is unsure what type of shell would suit a situation best, he or she can check with a local game shop.

Deer Calls

When it comes to deer hunting supplies, deer calls are also high on the list. A deer call replicates a specific deer sound. Deer grunt calls attract the dominant buck to defend his dominance; deer bleat calls are used by does and fawns to signal location to the pack; and deer rattle calls signal an altercation. There are also electronic deer calls that will  produce a wide variety of deer calls. Each call attracts a different type of deer for a specific reason, so deer calls should be purchased accordingly.

Non-Scented Products

It is important for deer hunters to neutralize their scent when hunting, since a deer's first defense mechanism is its keen sense of smell. DeerHuntersClub.com suggests that the best way to neutralize scent is not with a product but with proper clothing care, such as using non-scented detergents. Using non-scented body products is also helpful.

Scent Products

Deer hunters can purchase scent products, such as deer urine gels, to help attract deer. The smell of salt and minerals can also help attract deer. Salt licks and mineral blocks are two such products. Animals will often look for sodium and minerals in the winter to promote their own health. Hunters can make their own salt blocks or purchase them at any deer hunting supplies store.


Proper deer hunting clothing is also key. Clothing must be as non-porous as possible so as not to hold scents. Follow these additional tips when selecting clothing:

  • Choose comfortable boots in case running is necessary 
  • Choose bright-colored clothing to help identify other hunters and stay safe. Camouflaged colors, meanwhile, can help hunters hide more readily from deer.
  • Keep the area weather in mind when choosing clothing. In cold-weather states, layers including wool, long underwear and gloves are best. For warmer areas, lighter clothing and fewer layers of clothing are a better option.

Other Supplies

Other important deer hunting supplies include a knife, a game bag, strong nylon string and garbage bags. A hunter must have these supplies to take home a deer that he or she has killed. It is also a good idea for a hunter to have a compass and a map to keep from getting lost and to recall the location of good hunting areas. Hunters hunting in unfamiliar areas might consider purchasing a GPS device. They should also carry binoculars to better spot deer. Lastly, hunters should have first aid and other necessary survival gear (as deemed by the hunting conditions) to be prepared for the unexpected.

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