Author Topic: Hunting pack/supplies for beginner?  (Read 5583 times)

Offline Adam

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Hunting pack/supplies for beginner?
« on: April 21, 2010, 01:55:51 AM »
I'm a rookie hunter, never been hunting other than as a child once or twice tagging along with stepdad for deer.  I live on the Big Island of Hawaii and will be going out for feral hogs or goats.  Most likely I'll see hogs since it will be in the brush but who knows.  I'll be hunting with Remington 870 w/ 20" fixed IC choked barrel and rifle sights firing rifled slugs.  I know thats not the ideal setup for some but I'm going that route for now just because it only cost me $130 for the barrel rather than waiting to purchase a $500-$600 bolt or lever rifle (which will come later).  At least I won't feel under-gunned and will have quick followup ability just in case I have a "too close for comfort" encounter with hogzilla.  Anyhow, I have the hunting license and the weapon but would like to get some advice from experienced hunters as to what I should take with me.  Furthest hike would be maybe be a couple miles and I'll be going it alone until I can meet a hunting parter/mentor.
Here's what I have thought of so far:
hunting license/ID
hunter orange vest
waterproof boots/clothing (doesn't get too cold but LOTS of rain)
compass/map of hunting unit/gps
small first aid kit

The game processing / field dressing part is where I need the most help.  I believe the hogs range from small all the way up to 200+ boars but I'd stay away from the huge ones because I'm a little slight of frame to be dragging 200 lbs through the brush and forest.  The technical details of opening the critter and removing the undesireables I have a pretty good idea of but I'm sure reality will teach me a few hard lessons.  I would really appreciate recommendations on specific technique and specific tools to do so.  For example, the best way to bleed it out, should I hang it to gut and how, etc.  Do I need a gut hook, bone saw and specific different knives or can one knife get it all done efficiently?  Game bags, gloves, techniques to haul out without damaging meat, extra water to wash out body cavity, where to draw line between field dressing and home butchering, you get the point.

I know this is a loaded question but I will love any and all input, even if you're ignoring my main question and telling me stuff like why I shouldn't use slugs, or that I really should only go with a parter, etc.  Getting more knowledge than I started with is the real goal here.
Thanks in advance!

Offline Herew

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Re: Hunting pack/supplies for beginner?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2010, 09:16:12 PM »
It sounds like you're only going out for a day trip, is that right? In any case I would recommend brining a mini survival kit. You can't go wrong with a good fixed blade knife. I would suggest the "Cheaper Than Dirt Rough Use Knife". Gerber makes a gut hook that uses standard razor blades that can be changed out when one gets dull.

Offline 7.62

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Re: Hunting pack/supplies for beginner?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2010, 10:29:08 PM »
A three or four inch fixed blade knife will work fine,look at the Helle Eggen,a very nice knife and the sandi blade is easy to sharpen.I like to carry a saw with me,The one I use is a Wyoming saw with the 18 inch blade,it breaks down and fits into a carrying case that you can wear around your waist,there are books out there that show you how to field dress your kill,and I would think you could find that on the internet to.

Offline outdoorman63

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Re: Hunting pack/supplies for beginner?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2010, 09:41:21 AM »
there are several brands out that have more than 1 blade on them, one is the gut hook cutting blade and the other is a small saw..this would keep down on space in your bags are helpful also..

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Hunting pack/supplies for beginner?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2010, 10:10:56 AM »
One item I'm never without (And this may sound weird at first) is Maxi pads.  I keep 2 or 3 in every BOB or Bag.  They are great for pressure dressings, cheap and disposable. (And they have sticky on the back so they stick to clothing you use to make field dressings).  They aren't big and a great addition to any sized first aid kit.
band aids and even small gauze pads don't cut it for a good knife wound and the big first aid stuff is WAY expensive comparatively and still not as useful (unless you get the really good big gauze pads and rolls).

Offline Crusher13

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Re: Hunting pack/supplies for beginner?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2010, 10:21:25 AM »
Even though it is just a couple miles plan like you will be out at least 1 night. Shelter/water/fire/first aid. Need some rope for all sorts of uses. I don't know if you plan on eating ferral hogs. Never hunted those but proper field dressing and preservation of meat makes it taste better. Large garbage bags work great. Some rubber gloves might help with the cleanup even ones that go up to your shoulder. Way to carry water to wash meat and yourself. Hand sanitizer/wet wipes.

Experienced people can butcher an animal with just a knife and knowing the weakness of the bones and using leverage. I am not that good and a sagensaw works great for pelvis and breast bones.

I am sure some will come up with more great ideas that is what I can think of now. Sounds like a lot but should be able to fit it all in a small daypack.

Offline Greywolf27

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Re: Hunting pack/supplies for beginner?
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2010, 10:30:49 AM »
I have family living on the big island.  Last time I was out there, we got a couple of the feral goats, they stand about half shin to knee high at the shoulder.  Two of them easily fit into a day pack.

Offline MountainManIndy

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Re: Hunting pack/supplies for beginner?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2010, 10:37:39 AM »
You got lots of good suggestions - now for a couple more...   ::)

Since you haven't done this (or even if it's been awhile) - books just don't quite cut it, they help, but aren't enough... Certainly having a partner to go out with you (that has something other than armchair experience) would be your best bet... but that being said...
IMHO... here's goes:

Regarding game processing-
Brad Lockwood has some excellent game processing videos (although they're mainly geared for deer and elk - the principles remain pretty much the same - a hog is a might tougher though)...  Go to and check it out. I know places such as Bass Pro and Cabela's sell them (if you have one of those fine establishment's close by - or within a 'day's drive'...  ::)

Yes, Outdoor Edge in the business of selling knives and such too... their butcher lite (packable) and the game processor (what I use) might be useful for you as well... the chest spreader works very nice for cooling game down and their saw works great for cutting thru the pelvis bones. They aren't the most super-duper knives - but they get the job done without breaking the piggy bank (I know - I've broken my piggy bank several times on sharp pointy things - still do from time to time - but that's another story)

Get in some 'range' time with your 870... slugs kick a bit more than shot-shells... you need to get familiar with the characteristics of how YOU shoot it... how it feels... what is its range that you feel comfortable hitting the game animal - slugs drop like rocks... so I'd not try more than 200 yards (and that's pushing it - more like 100 yards or less and good stalking and/or blinds)

The set of things that seems to be missing from your plan... (and I apologize if I'm preaching to the choir  ;D)
1 - MAKE SURE you KNOW THE AREA you intend to hunt.
2 - you mark it on a map, have a compass, GPS handheld, etc... and know how to use them
3 - if you are dead set on going alone (not encouraged by the way)... then make sure you've given another person a copy of where you're going to be, how long you intend to be there... and that you'll CALL THEM when you're done
4 - STAY IN THE AREA YOU'VE MARKED... resist the temptation of traipsing all over the place regardless of how big you think the hog, deer, elk, whatever is... (I know, I've never hunted a 'whatever' either - but it could be fun - just don't get caught up in chasing it)...
5 - make a copy of your boot print (right and left) on some aluminum foil - mark it with your name and leave it in your vehicle (makes things a might easier to track you if it comes to that) - and/or leave a copy with someone (the person you leave the map with is a good idea - just sayin')

I know you're thinking about being out for 1 day... but put some stuff in your pack - that would allow you 3 days ...just in case you do something like twist an ankle, break something, or cut something... or even get a might confused on where you are... Pack a tarp or something that you can use for a shelter... doesn't have to be a tent... a tarp works great if you set it up like a pup-tent...

You mentioned your location is 'rainy'... rainy can get you dead of hypothermia... soooo make sure you have something that you can start a small fire to re-warm yourself if needed (actually take 3 methods of starting a fire... the RULE: 1 is none, 2 is one, and three is better)

If you do get a tad bit turned around (easy to do if you're focused on your prey)... don't panic - remember the acronym S.T.O.P
S - Sit down... (take a drink of water, eat something.... look around... helps get your brain working - especially if you've been running around chasing stuff)
T - THINK... (how long have you been at it, how fast, same ridge line, hills or whatever)
O - Observe... (look around - does any of it look familiar, check your map, look at your coordinates... do you have a GPS... turn it on and compare)
P - Plan ... (to include - it's too late to get out now... mark your spot - and set up camp... do you have a phone signal - don't panic if you don't... it happens... get some rest and start out the next day - or STAY PUT!... IF you are truly lost - Signals are your friend as long as you don't set the whole place on fire... )

ALL THE BEST... Take a bit of time and make it enjoyable... if anything you get to take a nice walk and enjoy God's country... and most of all REMEMBER: Nature is neutral... she doesn't care one way or the other... she just is. Respect her and she'll respect ya back... mess with her and you'll be wearing your butt for a hat... she does that  ::)