As the Pennsylvania archery season creeps closer and closer I have started to get my gear ready to go. As I was going through my pack I realized that I have several ‘must have’ items that I always carry with me to my tree stand. Here is a list of 15 bow hunting accessories that I’m always sure to have with me in my pack.
- Bow hooks/belts – I like to carry several spare bow hangers in addition to the folding bow hanger that I have in each stand. I also prefer to use a strap that has 4 hooks on it to hang my gear. It keeps everything less cluttered and I know exactly where everything is when needed.
- Safety harness/lifeline – This one should go without saying but I always want to be attached to the tree as soon as I leave the ground. Anything can happen when you’re scaling the side of a tree in the dark and who knows what type of weather.
- Range finder – In recent years a rangefinder has become common gear for many archers. They are now very affordable and there is no excuse for not knowing how far the shot is. I like to keep mine in the pocket of my safety vest so it’s easy to access.
- Pull rope – I typically keep a hoist rope attached to each of my stands but it seems a couple times a year I’ll be in a new set or in one of my backup climbers and find myself without a pull rope. It’s no fun toting a bow up the side of a tree.
- Grunt call/rattling horns – No matter what time of year I’m always sure to have these calls in my pack. Over the years I’ve had just as much, if not more, success calling in early season then I have during the rut.
- Binoculars – While I carry a full size set of 12×50 binoculars I would recommend something more compact. I couldn’t imagine hunting without good optics. Any time I see movement or a deer in the distance it is so nice to be able to know right away what it is.
- Hand pruners – Keep a small hand pruner in my safety vest as well. It works well when walking to the stand, climbing the tree or trimming once in the stand.
- Folding saw – Much like the hand pruner a folding saw can help clear a pesky limb or sapling that is blocking a shooting lane. It always seems I find the perfect tree only to have a limb that needs cut off once I get up in the stand.
- Snacks/drinks – Always a great idea to have some snacks and a bottle of water in your pack. Some times it’s just tough to leave the stand when the deer are moving. Several years back I was out for a morning hunt. I only planned on staying until 10. As the day went on the deer were moving like crazy. I decided to stay all day but I had no food. Late morning I dug through my pack and found a candy bar that had expired over a year prior and I passed on eating it. Several hours later I ate it anyway and that was one of the best snickers I’ve ever eaten.
- Rain hat – I always keep a gortex rain hat in my pack. It’s light and doesn’t take up much space. At least a couple times a year I’ll get caught in an unexpected rain storm and I’m always happy that hat was in there.
- Insulated hat/face mask – Along with the rain hat I always keep an insulated hat and fleece balaclava in my pack. Some days I’m just not as tough as I thought I was when I left the house or the weather changes and a cold wind rips right through me.
- Scent spray – I always keep a small bottle of some type of scent eliminator spray with me. I like to spray the base of my tree when I get there and spray myself down as well.I always try to spray the inside and outside of my hat as well.
- Flashlight – I like to wear a small clip on LED light on my hat when walking to and from my stand but I always keep at least one other flashlight in my pack. It’s always nice to have a backup especially if searching for blood after dark when as much light as possible is very helpful.
- Wind puffer – When archery hunting you need to know what direction the wind is blowing. You should already know this when deciding what stand to hunt but some locations just seem to have a mind of their own. I always like to check the direction once in my stand and pay attention to see if anything changes.
- Umbrella – Several years ago I got one of those portable umbrellas as a gift and I didn’t think much of it. After using it a few days during gun season I realized how valuable this can be.I’ve been able to harvest a couple nice buck that I know would not have been possible without an umbrella in the weather that day.
I hope you have found this list helpful and it will help you be successful this fall. I’m sure I’ve forgotten several other bow hunting accessories but this is what will be in my pack for the first day. Join our newsletter to receive more helpful tips and articles in your inbox each week.