Deer Season: Are You Really Prepared?

Deer Season: Are You Really Prepared?
Deer Season: Are You Really Prepared?
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The deer hunt is coming up, and your anticipation builds by the hour. Got license, got gun, got ammunition, got the orange vest and cap, got a good place to hunt. But are you fully prepared?

A quick check list before you leave home is wise. Start by reading. Read the current 2011-12 - issue of your state's hunting guidebook. Know what the rules and limits are for the place you will hunt. It’s not hard to read and absorb.

Second, make a mental or written list of the assorted items you need to take either in a pack or in your vehicle. Give some thought to how you will get a deer out of the woods to a vehicle if you kill one.

Here are some practical points passed along by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission staff: Rope, knife, whistle, bottled water, sensible snack food. You’ll build on this starter list according to your own habits and needs, taking into account where you will hunt and how far you’ll be away from the vehicle.

The rope can be fairly light, not something to pull a tractor with. Rope is extremely handy for getting a deer out of the woods and for field dressing a deer carcass. History and fiction books show pioneers and Native Americans walking through the woods with a deer slung across their shoulders. Forget it. It’s much more feasible to tie the rope around each rear leg of a dead deer, step into the loop and drag the carcass. With two people, it’s much less of a physical chore.


Knives are extremely varied in size, shape and function. You’ve probably got one on hand that will work fine. Sharpen it. If you don’t know how, get someone qualified to do it and to teach you. This knife doesn’t have to be Bowie in size. Fixed or folding blade is your choice. The cutting you will need to do on a deer carcass can be handled with a three- or four-inch blade - again, a sharp blade.


The whistle is for signaling. Yes, we’ve heard of deer hunters blowing a whistle to momentarily freeze a deer, but the suggestion here is to help communicate with a companion or two in the woods. It’s also for emergency use. Three blasts on a whistle, three shots from a gun are both universal emergency, I need help, signals.

Don’t go into the woods without a bottle of water in a pocket. Hot, cool, cold weather doesn’t matter. You need a drink of water during a day, even a morning, of deer hunting. This water can come in handy field dressing a deer, too. A small amount can help clean things. Twelve to 20 ounces of bottled water should be enough to carry along, but have some more in the vehicle.

Snack food is a personal choice, but again, be sensible. A bag of potato chips isn’t a likely choice, but a stick of jerky and some peanut butter or cheese crackers are commonly used. Apples, bananas, oranges and tangerines are also popular among Arkansas deer hunters.

A small first aid kit is suggested. A few Band-Aids, some adhesive tape, gauze pads and a few antiseptic wipes are the basics. Wasps, yellow jackets or hornets can pop a deer hunter unexpectedly, so a gauze pad soaked in household bleach and secured in a small, tightly closed empty medicine bottle is good to take along. All this can fit in a small pouch easily carried in a pocket.


Make a plan before you leave for the hunt. Going alone? Leave a timetable and instructions both at home and on your parked vehicle under a windshield wiper blade. Give an expected time of return. If you are going with one or more companions, a plan can be made just before walking into the woods. Follow the plan. If you change locations, tell your buddies and don’t expect them to guess where you have moved.

Cell phones are wonderful for deer hunts as well as everyday life. If one doesn’t work in your remote area, try to come up with a plan to reach a signal – top of a hill perhaps.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

13 Fishing Omen Black Baitcasting Rod

13 Fishing Omen Black Baitcasting Rod

Multiple time FLW Costa winner Jessi Mizell is no stranger to catching big Florida bass on a popping frog. As he tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead, with the new 13 Fishing Omen Black baitcasting rod, the job just got easier.

As KVD tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead, innovative Humminbird products and cutting-edge technology like that found in the new Mega 360 Imaging sonar are major reasons contributing to his unparalleled success.

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance's Lucas Steward shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead what all of the fuss is about in the brand new Ghost trolling motor being brought to market by the Tulsa, Okla.-based fishing equipment manufacturer.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options. Catfish

12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options.

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes. Wild Game

10 Recipes for Your Outdoor BBQ

Game & Fish Online Staff

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes.

 A 7 pound giant taken on a jig during the pre-spawn transistion in the Midwest.

Although the art Bass

4 Tips When Jig Fishing For Bass

Chris Schneider - August 25, 2015

A 7 pound giant taken on a jig during the pre-spawn transistion in the Midwest. Although...

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range Ammo

10 Best Long-Range Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

Behind the Badge is a regular series of perspective stories by Oklahoma game warden Carlos Gomez. In this article, Gomez recounts his experiences from his first nighttime poaching bust. Stories

Behind the Badge: A Warden's First Night-Poaching Bust

Game & Fish Online Staff - July 30, 2018

Behind the Badge is a regular series of perspective stories by Oklahoma game warden Carlos...

Here's a look at some of coyote hunting rifles and shot gun featured in this summer's Game & Fish 2018 Gear Guide magazine. Stories

Gear Reviews: New Coyote Hunting Rifles, Shotguns

Game & Fish Online Staff - September 07, 2018

Here's a look at some of coyote hunting rifles and shot gun featured in this summer's Game &...

Calling all coyotes:'These predators are efficient, so finding and calling them to the gun can Stories

Predator Hunting: 3 Ways to Find Elusive Coyotes

Brad Fitzpatrick - June 26, 2018

Calling all coyotes:'These predators are efficient, so finding and calling them to the gun can

A rimfire, old standard and new import top our list of favorite rifles for coyote hunting 

All Stories

3 Coyote Guns

Brad Fitzpatrick - September 28, 2017

A rimfire, old standard and new import top our list of favorite rifles for coyote hunting...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.