How to Choose Hunting Gear for Men in 2022
Hunting is considered a gear-intensive activity. But should it be so? Do we need everything the market for hunting gear, containing hundreds of items intended to facilitate harvesting game, has to offer? To answer this question, you need to answer the following – What do you need, and why? It’s called common sense. If you have lots of spare money, you can just invest them into gear from top-tier brands without even thinking about it. There’s nothing wrong with this approach.
However, if your financial resources are limited, you should invest reasonably. That’s why we asked experts from this trusted outdoor store to prepare a guide on choosing hunting gear, which explains what equipment you may need and what features you should look for.
Things to Consider When Choosing Hunting Gear
Different game animals and birds require different equipment and hunting accessories – it goes without saying.
For example, a hunter who plans to harvest big animals, such as whitetail deer, mule deer, elk, moose, and so on, should have a field dressing kit. Field dressing not only eases the transportation of meat from the hunt area to your car but also helps maintain the overall meat quality. Generally, a basic kit includes a regular knife, a knife with a gun hook, a bone saw, rubber gloves, game bags, and a piece of paracord.
On the other hand, decoys are an integral part of duck hunting gear. Game birds are gregarious, so when they see a flocking community, they instinctively want to join it. Waterfowl hunters usually bring a dozen decoys. Dove hunters can manage with five or six decoys positioned in separate pairs. By the way, the best tactic here is to use game calls in conjunction with decoys. By mimicking specific sounds, you’ll attract birds’ attention from afar.
Choosing equipment based on the game you want to hunt is relatively easy. However, what about clothing? Hunting clothes is one of the most debated gear-related topics. In particular, people want to know what camo patterns work best and whether camo clothing is necessary at all.
To choose the best hunting clothing based on the game animal or bird, you should understand how it experiences colors and how its eyesight works.
Let’s start with ungulates and deer in particular. First, deer are red-green blind, meaning they don’t experience these colors the way we do. For this reason, deer hunters can wear blaze orange for safety without worrying about spooking animals. However, deer are very good with yellow and blue. Besides, they see UV light.
You should also know that deer have lower visual clarity, meaning their vision is slightly blurry. It brings us to the judgment that deer rely on picking up outlines and contrasts from the background and don’t see small objects from a distance. The best strategy here will be picking a break-up camo with macro contrasts and micro non-realistic patterns that aid in disrupting the human silhouette.
Birds, on the other hand, have eyesight superior to humans. They see all colors (including UV spectrum) and have high visual clarity. That means your camo should reproduce natural patterns and colors of the environment of your hunting spots. A camouflage that uses images of various vegetation is called mimicry camo. Turkey camo may use images of tree bark and leaves, while waterfowl camo often depicts reed.
In addition to a hunting jacket and a pair of camo pants, bird hunters are recommended to wear masks and gloves for better concealment.
The best hunting clothes are made with a stretchy quiet fabric that doesn’t create noise when its parts rub together. The outer layer (hunting jackets, pants, and vests) that uses special water-resistant, breathable membranes provides the most protection.
Your weapon of choice also dictates what clothing and gear you should have. Let’s further the topic of choosing hunting clothing. Do you need camo at all?
Your type of weapon sets the distance of engagement. Bow hunters should be as close as 30-40 yards to the animal. Shotgun bird hunters are limited to the same range. Slugs generally become inaccurate and lose velocity at ranges greater than 100 yards. (However, some modern slugs can maintain energy at 200 yards.) On the other hand, rifle hunters can easily extend the maximum effective range to 150-400 yards.
So, if you hunt with a rifle or use modern slugs, the distance to the animal is too long for camo to make any decisive contribution. Scent control, noises, and movement may have more impact on the final result. Just go with solids in earth tones.
Hunting camo is a must for short-range archery, muzzleloader, and shotgun hunters because they need better concealment.
Your weapon also impacts the choice of hunting equipment. For instance, waterfowl hunters use choke tubes that increase shot pattern density and range. Bow hunting gear includes a bunch of archery-specific supplies, such as bow release, extra broadhead, nocks, and string wax.
Terrain and Climate
Let’s talk about hunting boots here. It’s an essential part of your system, so don’t splurge on it. First, consider the terrain you plan to hunt in. Rugged terrain with rocks and shale requires tall boots with a stiff sole for support and deep lugs for traction. Such boots are heavy, but your feet wear out wrapping around each rock. Flat country hunting doesn’t require much support, so lightweight and flexible ankle boots or low hiking shoes will do the job perfectly.
When choosing insulated hunting boots for winter, consider the amount of activity your hunting style imposes. If you move a lot, you better choose boots with a rating of 0-400 grams, depending on the temperature. If you plan to hunt from a treestand or a blind, pick winter boots with an insulation rating of 600 grams or higher.
Considering your budget is probably the first thing you should do because it will help you prioritize gear. You can always start with hunting gear essentials and gradually expand to less vital devices, tools, and apparel.
For example, your core hunting gear may include:
- Rangefinder (a must have for bowhunters)
- Game calls
- Weather-resistant clothing (hunting jacket and pants or hunting waders)
- Dependable footwear
- Fundamental game-specific equipment (deer hunting gear includes a basic kill kit, and decoys are for duck hunting)
To cut costs, you may shop for hunting gear all year round and not before season openings, when prices increase due to higher demand. Though you may be focused on purchasing affordable hunting supplies, some gear is worth investing a little more money in because high-quality equipment will serve longer and won’t let you down at the worst possible moment.
The market for hunting gear is saturated with manufacturers of all kinds – some are focused on the premium segment, and others intentionally manufacture affordable equipment. To pick what will work best for you, you should research brands. Google best hunting brands, best hunting gear brands, or best hunting clothing brands. Pick a handful of manufacturers and start collecting information – reviews on Youtube, customer feedback, info on official websites, and so on.