State Wildlife Agencies Checklist:  


  • Know the rules and regulations where you hunt

  • It is every hunter’s responsibility to know where they are to avoid trespassing

  • Not only is littering careless and unsightly, it is against the law

  • Leave gates as you find them – if a gate is closed, close it behind you

  • Hunters must be sure of what they are shooting at (species, sex, etc.), and know what lies beyond their target (houses, outbuildings, livestock, vehicles, other hunters)

  • Be aware of fire danger at all times, and use precautions

  • Check clothes, dogs, ATV’s and vehicles for weeds and weed seeds to help prevent the spread to other private and public lands

  • Ask for permission to hunt on private land

  • Access to public lands (on a private road) through private land requires permission of the private landowner, lessee, or their agent

  • Avoid ridge driving and driving to overlooks – not only is this a poor strategy while hunting, it is considered as driving off road if it is not already an established trail

  • Report any hunting and fishing, trespassing, vandalism, or other criminal activity you see by contacting your state game agency

  • Carry bear spray, be prepared and know how to use it

  • Hunt with a partner and let someone else know your plans

  • Get harvested big game out of the woods quickly

  • Upon returning to a site where harvested game is left unattended, study the site at a distance for any movement or changes and signal your approach by making plenty of noise

  • Never attempt to frighten or haze a bear from a carcass

Survival Basics Checklist


Important to also note the time of year and conditions of area you are entering, which will add to these basic needs. 



  • Wide-mouth 32oz Nalgene bottle, which is durable and waterproof



  • Water treatment tablets and/or Water filter system



  • A dozen strike-anywhere matches wrapped in a small plastic baggie and secured with a rubber band

  • A standard butane cigarette lighter

  • A dozen cotton balls slathered with petroleum jelly and stored in a plastic baggie (fantastic fire-starters)



  • Braided nylon rope, the thinner the better, and ideally 50 feet in length

  • Tarp



  • Travel-size mirror 

  • Whistle 

  • Compass



  • Wide cloth bandages

  • Antibiotic ointment

  • Ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory

  • Duct tape, rolled tightly



  • High Density foods (jerky, protein bars, trail mix, peanut butter, etc)

  • Electrolyte mix (Gatorade, Tailwind, etc) 



  • A sturdy, compact folding knife



  • Emergency Bivy or Emergency blanket or Heavy-duty lawn bag

The Rookie Bowhunter List                    



There is a steep learning curve to bowhunting. The best thing you can do is find a veteran bowhunter to be your mentor. If they hesitate at your request to tag along, offer to leave your bow at home and help pack out their game. You’ll learn volumes and be ready for next year.



Know when rut season happens for your prey. For Elk, it starts to ramp up around 2 weeks prior to the fall equinox. They will advertise themselves to females using wallows and begin to bugle, locating cows to herd. At the height of the rut, bulls will defend their cows against intruders. Knowing where they will be when is your ultimate goal.



You owe it to your prey to be the best shooter you can be. Buy gear that fits you and know how to use it accurately. Tune in your bow, then practice, practice and more practice—shooting at a variety of ranges, angles and stances. If you’re hunting bulls and a cow walks by within range, put your sights on her and draw without an arrow. If you’re shooting a release, make sure to wedge the trigger so you don’t accidentally dry fire. See how long you can hold steady. Do you shake? Did she see you draw? Where should you aim? Making screw-ups during dry runs are better than when it really counts.



Spend as much time as you can in the off-season scouting and dissecting the countryside on topo maps and Google Earth. See how close the nearest roads are. Do outfitters guide there? Then, go there for a night or two and check it out. Is there water? Cover? Forage? If so, mark it and find some more spots.


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Early fall in the mountains brings every kind of weather. Pack wool and rain gear. How hot is too hot for hunting? If you get a game animal, will it spoil before you get it out? Set limits and stick to them. Mark your weather forecasts, bring them into your master hunt plan.



Does your bugle push your game away or draw them in? What does a locater bugle sound like? When do you tack on grunts? If you can’t answer these, keep your calls in your pocket. Learn how they talk to each other before you do more harm than good.



If you’re lucky enough to release a solid shot, just sit down for at least 30 minutes, an hour is better. Many times you can hear the animal fall. Other times it will bed nearby and slowly pass. The last thing you want to do is bump it.

Hunter Basics Checklist                                                                         


Important to also note the time of year, conditions of area and your comfort level, which will add to these basic needs. 



  • Rain Gear

  • Base Layer

  • Hat

  • Gloves

  • Balaclava

  • Boots

  • Blaze Orange Vest


  • GPS/Map/Phone/Compass

  • Wind Checker

  • Range Finder

  • Binos

  • Knives/Saw/Hatchet

  • Field Dressing kit

  • Regulations

  • Licenses/Tags

  • Bear Spray

  • Headlamp

  • Game bags

  • Firearms / bow 

  • Ammo

  • Accessories (allen wrench key, broadheads, release, gun cleaning, sharpening tools, etc)

  • Optional: 

    • Scent removal

    • Camo makeup

    • Decoys

    • Game calls

    • Game transport devices (sleds, wheelbarrows, carts, etc) 

    • Light-weight rope & pulley system


  • Cooler

  • Overnight Gear (tent, sleep bags, pads)

  • Tarps

  • Cooking Pot/Utensils

  • Firestarter or Portable Stove

  • MRE / Food supplies

  • Duct Tape

  • Mini shovel


  • Med Kit

  • Wide cloth bandages & band aids

  • Antibiotic ointment

  • Ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory

  • Toilet Paper/Baby Wipes

  • Toiletries

  • Hand towel

Side note: Make sure your vehicle and OHV is stocked with repair equipment, tie down straps, chains, tow straps, gas can, extra oil, extra windshield washer fluid, etc.

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