Hunting is a sporting tradition unlike any other. Enduring tough weather is always worth getting a shot at that big buck. For new hunters or those interested in elevating their game, it can be intimidating to know where to start. Here’s a checklist of ten things not to leave the house without during hunting season.

Hunting Checklist

1.) License, Snacks and Water

First, you’re going to need a license. Make sure you have the appropriate tags for your hunt and review your state’s hunting rules and regulations. You’re going to be out in the elements for several hours. It’s a good idea to pack your bag or your ATV with snacks and water especially if you plan to do an all-day sit.

Whitetail Deer in a field

2.) Scent Killer Gold Spray & Special Golden Estrus

Give yourself an advantage in the field. Deer have a very acute sense of smell. That is why Scent Killer helps remove human odor and give you an edge this hunting season.

Attracting deer to your stand is an important part of hunting success. Special Golden Estrus is whitetail doe urine, which is used to attract bucks to your location. They’ll stay still and investigate that smell so you can line up that perfect shot. Spray this product around your stand or on key wicks to improve your chances of seeing a buck.

3.) SpyPoint FLEX Trail Camera

Tracking local game in your hunting area is a game changer. You can use this technology to find common deer trails, track their movement patterns, and see big bucks near your stand. If you find a great spot along your way to your stand, you can place a camera there and see what wildlife travels near that day or night.

Hunter using trail cam

4.) Grunt Tube/Rattle Bag or Rattling Antlers

When you’re hunting in rut, or mating season, bucks will often fight, crashing their antlers together in a show of dominance for the opportunity to breed a hot doe and run the other buck off.

Using tools like grunt tubes or rattling antlers can attract bucks to your spot because they will think other deer are around. Grunt tubes work best after mid-October. Use them sparingly, be patient, and wait for that big buck.

5.) Knife, Gutting Gloves, & Field Wipes

When you’ve finally shot that big buck and taken all your photos, it’s time to get your hands dirty. You will need a sharp hunting knife, 3+ inches long, gutting gloves to keep your hands clean and to stop the spread of bacteria, and field wipes to clean your hands and forearms after you’re finished field dressing your deer.

6.) Treestand Safety Vest & Pull Up Rope

Safety is huge when hunting in a tree stand. Many hunters suffer serious injuries when they fall from their stands. Invest in a treestand safety vest to keep you tethered to the stand in case you lose your step.

A pull up rope is also helpful. Instead of climbing into your stand with your bow or firearm, you can use a pull up rope to bring your weapon to you in the stand so you can climb safely with two hands.

Hunter in tree stand, using a pull up rope

7.) Rope, Tape and Zip Ties

When you shoot your big buck, you’ll need a rope to drag your deer to your cleaning site. You’ll want to bring tape and zip ties for any repairs that come up in the field such as a ground blind window, zipper, or securing your tag to your deer so you can focus on the hunt.

8.) Flashlight & Headlamp

Getting out to your stand before dawn is very helpful when hunting, so you’re going to need a flashlight or headlamp with you to show you the way when you’re tracking a deer or moving to and from your stand. Headlamps are very helpful as they can free up your hands while you climb your tree stand.

9.) Neck Gaiter, Hand Warmers & Stocking Hat

Keeping warm is a must, especially hunting here in the Upper Midwest. Wearing a neck gaiter and stocking hat will keep the cold out so you can stay focused on the hunt. Hand warmers are great for warming you up so you can stay outdoors for longer. It’s a good idea to use several at a time so they can stay warm for longer. You can even put a few under your coat to keep your core temperature up. Do not place hand warmers directly on your skin.

10.) Seat Cushion

When you’re sitting for hours, you need to be comfortable. The Fleet Farm Heat-A-Seat is perfect for your next hunt. This seat cushion retains your body’s heat so you can stay warm for longer, plus it beats sitting on the cold metal of your tree stand.

Make sure you have all these items before hunting season starts. If you have anything missing from this list, stop by your local Fleet Farm. Our local experts can give you the pointers you need to make this year’s hunt a success. Plus, you can find everything you’re looking for in one place. Good luck out there!

Deer in a field


What’s Orange Friday?

You’ve heard of Black Friday, but how about Orange Friday? That’s the day hunters look forward to every year. At Fleet Farm, we open early at 6 AM to offer free prizes and all the gear shoppers need to have a successful hunt.

We’ll be giving collector’s hats and scratch off coupons so you can save between 10 and 50% on your entire purchase. Whether this is your first hunt or your fiftieth, we have everything you’re looking for.

Set your alarms so you don’t miss this annual tradition. Orange Friday starts on November 4th in Minnesota, and North and South Dakota. Iowa and Wisconsin start Orange Friday on November 18th. Find your local Fleet Farm and see what they have to offer.