2013 Hunter’s Checklist: Captain’s Column
By angelamontana

Posted: October 17, 2013

Montana’s general rifle season for deer and elk is just 10 days away. Hunting is a lot of fun when you are prepared when you head out. Since you only have a few days to get ready this check list should help you get ready. Feel free to clip this Hunter’s Checklist out. Oh yes, if you have a tip that you would like to add to the list, e-mail me at captain@montanaoutdoor.com or drop it in the mail to: Hunting Tips 4591 Heavens Gate, Missoula, MT 59803.


  • Small bottle of hand sanitizer-it’s almost 100% alcohol, can be used to help start a fire when placed on toilet paper
  • Cell phone in your vehicle-it just might save your life, plus doubles as a camera
  • Toilet paper, small bucket, and shovel in your vehicle-when nature calls
  • Hunting license (yes, check it again to make sure) so you can hunt when you get there.
  • 2013 sunrise/sunset tables-so you know when you can start and have to stop
  • Good pair of hunting boots and warm socks plus an extra pair of socks-there’s nothing worse than wet or sore feet
  • Sharp knifes, and a pack saw-one for the hide, one for quartering
  • Sharpening stone or steel
  • Game bags and a spray can of Pam-they keep flies off your game after you field dress it
  • Rain gear-dry is better than wet
  • Extra clothing-it would be nice if you could take layers off as the day warms up
  • Plastic tarp-to place your animal on when cleaning or to cover up when transporting
  • Binoculars- they give you an edge and are safer than glassing from your rifle scope
  • Range finder-better chance if you know your distance
  • Electrical or duct tape-to tape your license onto the carcass (after you validate it by cutting out the month and date)
  • Hunters orange sweatshirt or vest and cap-it’s the law, 400 square inches above the waist
  • Compass or GPS unit-if you want to get back to camp
  • Garmin GPS unit loaded with the Montana mapping System from huntingGPSmaps.com
  • Map of your hunting area-so you don’t trespass or get lost
  • Sighted in rifle and ammo-one-shot is the best hunt
  • Ammo carrier-makes things easier in the heat of the moment and keeps your cartridges clean
  • Bottle of smoke so you know which way the wind is blowing
  • Orange marker tape- it helps you get back to camp and can help mark the site of your kill
  • Five to 10 feet of rope-hundred uses
  • Small flashlight-helps before dawn or after sunset
  • Head lamp for hands free in the dark
  • Matches in waterproof case and small candle- it will help keep you warm if you need to start a fire
  • Energy bar-it helps you keep going and is light to pack
  • Leatherman tool-thousand uses
  • A good spare tire, jack and tire wrench-ever been stranded?
  • Two pairs of gloves-in case one pair gets lost or wet
  • One pair of rubber dishwashing gloves-use when field dressing your animal
  • Two one-gallon jugs of water-many uses, including washing hands and washing out carcasses
  • Sunglasses-if you get in a snow situation, you won’t be squinting all day
  • Warm cap-most body heat is lost through your head (with or without hair)
  • Newspapers and duct tape-Some years ago the disaster coordinator in Kalispell showed me a variety of ways to use newspapers and duct tape as insulation for our bodies.  used 3 or 4 layers to go around your core, your arms, set your foot on a bunch and form a boot, tape. Snow mobiler’s should stow some for their outings as well-(via Sheelia Miller)
  • Clear plastic  garbage bag-to allow some degree of hunter’s orange to be visible. Costco sells these in a extra large and long version that you can almost sit on  the bottom rear edge. Any thick durable plastic in almost a hunter’s orange color is a good idea-(via Rodney Deitz)

Also put supplies into a fanny pack: a pocket first aid kit, small pkg. of trail mix, small water bottle, pocket-size emergency blanket, plastic garbage bag (cut armholes and head hole and you have a rain proof vest) small packet of fire starter, short piece of nylon cord to help drag game out, waterproof matches and a throw away cigarette lighter. An extra set of vehicle keys. Finally a camera-a picture is worth a thousand words

(Written by the Captain; Cover photo: trophyhuntingobsession.com)

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