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What equipment do I need to hunt?

 
pollinator
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Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
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I used to always go hunting with my uncle. I'm considering a solo hunt this year, but need to know what it is I have to have and what would be nice to have. I'm on a strict budget, but having a deer in the freezer would be a load off my back about food this winter. If I can't afford to hunt, I might buy a pig from the guy down the street. I hunt with a bow if that helps.

I already have:
Bow of legal draw weight
arrows and legal points
camo clothes
camo backpack
boots
butchering knives
 
pollinator
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Skill is by far the most important thing to have, especially in bow hunting.  Shot placement alone is huge, along with being able to judge distance, have the self-control not to take shots that aren't sound, the ability to get close enough to make a good shot.  If you aren't 100% sure that you have the skill needed, I would wait until you are.  Bow hunting is far harder than rifle hunting.
 
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Assuming that you have a place to hunt and a license, I'd say you have the necessities covered.  Do you hunt from a tree stand?
 
gardener
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A good bright longlasting flashlight to find the deer. Particulary if it is an evening hunt.....

 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
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wayne fajkus wrote:A good bright longlasting flashlight to find the deer. Particulary if it is an evening hunt.....



Carrying flashlights while hunting is illegal in Ohio. You can't hunt at night at all. Has to be from an hour after sunrise to an hour before sunset.
 
master steward
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I don't bowhunt but I believe it's common to wait a while after shooting the deer to go track it down.  If it's fatally wounded and will die in 5 minutes, I think they'll usually run 100-300 yards and sit down to think about things.  If you start trotting after them during that time span, they'll get up and run for a half a mile before dying.  

That's why having a flashlight could help if you're hunting near the end of shooting hours.

I have the same question about tree stands or ground blinds.  Other stuff you may need:
Bug/tick proof clothes
Rope to drag the deer out with
Gutting knife (many small knives would work just fine)
Latex/nitrile gloves for gutting
GPS/compass if you're walking around in strange territory
 
pollinator
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Ryan, job one is to get a place to hunt, scout appropriate locations, and make the regulations work for you to maximize your benefit. Public lands can be perfectly good or scary as hell. I would stay out during gun season around here, especially if you are bow hunting.

Hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, in nearly every state Ohio included. See page  9 of the Ohio guide. Most deer I take after sundown, which means I spent $150 on my bow and $90 on my optic which is very good in low light (crossbow, I don’t do much traditional because crossbow is so much more lethal and humane).

I generally get three or four deer per broadhead/bolt before they are trashed so it’s not free. Same with arrows except they are more likely to skip and get lost.

Get a friend to show you how to field dress, it’s easy to foul a deer. Start with good technique it’s easier than unlearning. After a few it goes quickly. Have a plan to deal with a lot of meat quickly, Ohio has some monsters. Oh, definitely get a gambrel before you need it. That sucks trying to quarter a deer with a wonky 2x4 wedged in the hocks. Ask me how I know!

When you find your spot, take down some details and post them and often there are deer behaviors to take advantage of. That’s some bad English. Oh well
 
Tj Jefferson
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I use exclusively tree stands for deer. I have a portable climber that was about $80 on clearance after the season which has been up about 80 trees, so it’s reasonable. I would have gotten a little nicer one if I knew how useful they are I use it for scouting and other game.. I have a couple manufactured stands I use with the kids since they seat two. It really helps to get above their scent level. I shoot turkeys from ground blinds sometimes.

A crossbow is lethal in about 10-15 seconds in the midribs. The diameter of damage is shocking. A traditional bow is more likely to be redirected by ribs and require tracking or waiting a lot longer. Make friends with someone who has a dog that is curious and they work magic.

A good lethal shot I will have the deer hanging 10 minutes after the shot. No kidding.
 
Tj Jefferson
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Ryan Hobbs wrote:

wayne fajkus wrote:A good bright longlasting flashlight to find the deer. Particulary if it is an evening hunt.....



Carrying flashlights while hunting is illegal in Ohio. You can't hunt at night at all. Has to be from an hour after sunrise to an hour before sunset.



I read the Ohio regulations. This is wrong. Ryan I don’t mean to be a jerk but you need to read the regulations. You can’t have a light attached to your bow. Every hunter can and I believe should use a headlamp or flashlight to safely identify yourself and avoid getting shot. Tree stand accidents kill more people than gun accidents. Add safety margins please. AM hunts you are going out in the pitch black and pm hunts you are coming back well after dark, and deer “don’t wear headlamps “ as my buddy says.
 
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Tj Jefferson wrote:

Ryan Hobbs wrote:

wayne fajkus wrote:A good bright longlasting flashlight to find the deer. Particulary if it is an evening hunt.....



Carrying flashlights while hunting is illegal in Ohio. You can't hunt at night at all. Has to be from an hour after sunrise to an hour before sunset.



I read the Ohio regulations. This is wrong. Ryan I don’t mean to be a jerk but you need to read the regulations. You can’t have a light attached to your bow. Every hunter can and I believe should use a headlamp or flashlight to safely identify yourself and avoid getting shot. Tree stand accidents kill more people than gun accidents. Add safety margins please. AM hunts you are going out in the pitch black and pm hunts you are coming back well after dark, and deer “don’t wear headlamps “ as my buddy says.



Tj is correct.  Here are the regulations: http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/portals/wildlife/pdfs/hunting/2019-20%20Ohio%20Hunting%20&%20Trapping%20Regulations.pdf
Ryan may be confusing "spotlighting" deer (illegal everywhere) with carrying a flashlight.  I don't know any hunter anywhere who doesn't carry a flashlight, for tracking deer or just safely making their way into and out of the woods during dawn and dusk hours.
 
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Ryan Hobbs wrote:  need to know what it is I have to have....



1. An old pair of running shoes. (~$5)
2. A rock (free) or an old knife ($1)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistence_hunting

I would argue that’s the permaculture approach...
 
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