Hey guys! It's Locke with SKRE. And I want to take a minute to go over the way that we pack when we go on our Midwest Rut hunt every year.
I'm here on the back porch at 180 Outdoors at their new lodge and we're just wrapping up our hunt. We hunted in Missouri at the end of last week, then we came over here to Kansas and hunted. It's usually a seven to ten-day kind of thing for us. We hunt as much as we can during this period because it's really the best time there is to whitetail hunt. It’s the most exciting and highest odds.
But we thought it would be really cool if we took a minute to just go over how we pack and what kind of stuff that we make sure we always bring with us when we go whitetail deer hunting.
First of all, if you don't have one of these ton bags you need to get one. There are lots of companies that make these big, large duffels. I always keep my camo separate from everything else. I'm kind of an over-packer as well, but I have everything that we make in both our Summit and our Solace pattern. It's really important that you have that versatility in your apparel gear. Because like today, it's in the 60s. On Saturday, it was in the 20s and never got out of the 30s.
This is the time of the year where fall is transitioning towards winter and they get these big fronts. And when they get those fronts, the temperature change can be drastic.
I have everything that SKRE makes in both camo patterns and I keep it separate in one of these large ton bags away from my personal gear, my t-shirts, you know stuff I wear around the camp. Because we all know how important scent is to hunting.
And when I get in from camp, I try to keep my stuff outside on a back porch, like this, wherever I'm hunting. When I get in from camp, the first thing I do is I take my hunting clothes off and I throw them in my bag. I've got my pants still on because we're about to go back out in the woods and look for a deer that another guy shot. But I always put my gear in the bag and keep it isolated.
The next thing is I have just this Rubbermaid box and it's kind of my gearbox. I keep all my gear separate here in a box and make sure to keep it organized. And that way I can come and go, get in and out of camp. All my stuff's right here. It's easy for me to come out here, fill my pack for whatever sit I'm fixing to go make. A couple of things that I think that you always want to make sure you have on a Midwest whitetail hunt:
A chest binocular harness is just vital. I mean when you hunt up here, most of the time you can see a long way. You also you got one tag to fill. You're trying to kill a mature buck usually when you go on these rut hunts. You want to make sure you can check them out. And this bino harness rides well. There are lots of different ones. This one’s from Marsupial. But there's a lot of different ones. Get yourself a bino harness.
Rattling antlersAlways take rattling antlers. It’s that time of the year. We’ve rattled up several bucks. None of the ones that I killed on this trip. We rattled up some younger bucks, but you never know. Always have rattling antlers with you.
This is just my pack - some of the basics in here. Make sure you have an extra release in case you're up here and something happens and you lose your release or something like that. Other than that I usually pack other basic stuff:
- Tether rope for safety when I’m in tree stands
- Bow Rope
I always have some kind of doe estrus. I don't really use doe estrus scents as a lure. I use it more as a cover sent this time of the year because we're hunting most of the time bucks that are cruising. They're out looking for does and they walk all around you. Most of the deer you see, even if they come from the correct side and they come from upwind, they're going to end up downwind. And sometimes I like to have a cover scent and I like to use pure doe estrus, not a synthetic.
For me, the most important piece of gear that I bring on a Midwest whitetail hunt is our Ptarmigan Jacket. Because I can wear it from 60 degrees all the way down into the teens. And it packs up in the little bag.
And now we have the Ptarmigan Pants as well. Most of the time when you're in the Midwest you're walking across a lot of open fields to get to these little pinch points and these little wood lots where the deer are cruising and chasing does. And being able to layer with merino wool and with all of our different layering systems, but having that Ptarmigan to put on allows you to walk in light, stay cool, not sweat, and then get in and put that on and stay warm. It's great.
Nebo Rain Gear
Last thing: Our Nebo Rain Gear. Always bring your rain gear for the obvious reason if it rains. But the thing about the rain gear is when it's really cold and windy. It's hard to stay warm. I don't care what you wear. It's hard to stay warm when the wind’s beating you across an open field.
Rain gear is an excellent wind block. I bring my rain gear a lot. If I'm hunting and I'm trying to sit long hours when I'm up here. And I know I'm really going to get hammered by a North wind and it's really cold, I bring my rain gear and put it on over the top of everything else because they block the wind better than anything else.
I hope that gives you an idea of how we pack. If you choose to make a whitetail hunt in the Midwest you got some ideas - some pointers for when you're trying to gear up and get ready to go on your hunt. And if you do, I wish you the best of luck.