11 Hunting Tools Every Hunter Would Never Live Without

If you’re planning a hunting trip, or just trying to stock up on your gear, you need to know what to have and what not to have! If you want to be an expert hunter, you have to have the right equipment.

Here are 11 hunting tools that no hunter can live without:

Hunting Tool #1: Turkey Decoy

Spring turkey hunting is a favorite activity for any hunter and when the season hits, you want to be prepared: you need to have a turkey decoy!

You can purchase a Hunter’s Specialties Strut Suzie Snood Hen Turkey Decoy from Big R with lifelike feather detail, specially formulated no flake paint, and a collapsible two position stake system.

The big toms are sure to love it! This piece of turkey equipment will help you bag a bunch of big gobblers!

Hunting Tool #2: Bow Release

Any hunter wouldn’t be comfortable stepping into the field without a bow release. It’s very short, which allows you the have the maximum draw possible and fits your hand perfectly.

You’ll need one that is light as a feather and has a non-collapsing trigger that allows you to get more draw length and more speed!

Hunting Tool #3: Heat wraps/Heated socks

If you’re on a turkey hunt, whitetail hunt, elk hunt, or any other type of hunt, temperatures can drop down at any time.

One thing you should have on you at all times is something to keep you warm through the cold and wind chill. Heat wraps are always a good idea!

You can also purchase Heat Holders socks that will keep your shins and feet warm through the hunt and Peel N’ Stick Body Warmers (only $1.99 at Big R!) that will provide you with 12+ hours of continuous body warmth.

Hunting Tool #4: Bow Sling

If you’re planning on going on a spot and stalk hunt or high elevation bow hunt, having a bow sling will make your life a lot easier! It will protect your string, cables, cams, and allows you to have free hands for climbing and hiking.

If you’re in a hurry, it’s super quick to take off and can be tossed in your pack.

Hunting Tool #5: Neck Gaiter

Having one of these babies is very necessary to protect your face and neck against the elements!

It will repel water and keep you comfortable throughout your hunt. You will be also be able to last a lot longer in weather conditions when the wind picks up or the temperature drops.

It also takes up a minimal amount of room, and won’t weigh you down!

Hunting Tool #6: Shooting Rest

Shooting isn’t too effective if you can’t get a precise shot because you can’t keep it steady. Having a shooting rest will fix that!

You won’t be able to do another handgun hunt without one. The Caldwell Shooting Supplies’ The Rock Jr. Shooting Rest is available at Big R and comes with an interchangeable non-slip rubber feet or metal spike feet and ¾ inch diameter steel post that provides secure and smooth elevation.

Hunting Tool #7: GPS and Compass

You’re likely to do a lot of hunting solo, and even if you’re not, you absolutely have to carry a GPS and compass!

This will keep you safe and confident in not getting lost, and able to find your way around at any time of day.

You want to have both because relying on just one battery operated GPS can get tedious, so having an old-fashioned compass connected to your GPS can give you a better sense of security!

Hunting Tool #8: Camo Apparel

When you’re hunting, you obviously don’t want to be sticking out like a sore thumb. Camouflage is one of the most essential things you need to be concealed.

You can find all your camo essentials at Big R such as camo sackpacks, spray paint, gloves, hats, jackets and pants.

You want to blend in with your environment as much as you can!

Hunting Tool #9: Good Boots

Hunting is all about getting around by foot. You want to make sure your feet are protected and prepared for all of your journeys!

Invest in some waterproof, light and durable boots that will stand up to mud, woodpiles, ponds, and puddles.

Big R offers great Realtree AP Xtra reinforced rubber boots with moisture wicking interior lining and a molded EVA midsole that provides lightweight cushioning for shock absorption.

Make sure you check out our article on how to take care of your boots and keep them clean!

Hunting Tool #10: Gun Cleaning Supplies

Take care of your guns and they will take care of you! You want to make sure your gun is in tip-top shape for when you go hunting.

So, make sure that you are cleaning your gun regularly. Invest in some good gun cleaning supplies that has non-marring cleaning forks to hold your gun securely, non-slip rubber feet, and molded compartments for organization.

Big R has a good deal for Tipton Gun Cleaning Supplies Gun Butler for only $24.99.

Keep those bad boys clean!

Hunting Tool #11: Binoculars

You don’t want to scare away your prey by getting too close, so having a good pair of optics is essential!

You’ll depend on having binoculars a lot to be able to spot animals in the distance and aid in recovering a deer after the shot by viewing it as it runs off.

Being able to spot them in the distance can mean the difference between harvesting a whitetail and eating a tag sandwich!

Check out the BSA Rugged Binoculars for some quality binoculars at a quality price!

How to Cook Venison: 10 Favorite Deer Meat Recipes

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Are you ready to spice up dinner time?! We’re not talking about just adding some different spices here and there – try something completely new! An awesome way to change up your meals is to use some seriously underrated but delicious meat: venison! Don’t worry if you’re new to it, we’ve created an easy guide to help you.

A great way to start cooking venison is to grill it. The high heat and fast cook time works well for filets and ground venison. Keep in mind that if you are preparing filets of venison on the grill that the meat has little fat in it. This means that you must be careful not to overcook it. To avoid overcooking it, don’t cook beyond medium rare and stay by the grill the entire time. Or, if you’re looking to make a homemade snack instead of a meal, try making venison jerky! You can purchase a 700 Watt Dehydrator 5 Tray from Big R that generates maximum speed and quality for dehydrating meats like venison. It helps you dry food in a few short hours, not days like many ordinary food dehydrators! If you’re looking to cook up some delicious game, here are our 10 favorite deer meat recipes:

1. Venison Chili

A great way to serve venison is in chili! Hearty and delicious, this is a great recipe for game meats!

You’ll need: 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, one chopped red onion, 4 minced cloves of garlic, 4 tablespoons of brown sugar, 3 cups of red wine, 4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 4 tablespoons of tomato paste, 4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon chili powder, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro, 4 tablespoons of canola oil, 10 slices of cooked bacon (diced), 2 pounds of venison stew meat (trimmed and finely diced), 2 cups of cooked and drained black beans, and salt to taste.

Melt the butter in a large pot on medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic and sauté them for 3-4 minutes. After that, stir in the brown sugar and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the red wine, vinegar, tomato paste, chicken broth, cumin, cayenne, chili powder, cilantro and salt. Simmer the ingredients for 30 to 35 minutes. While it’s simmering, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to high heat. Drop in the bacon and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Move the bacon to one side of the skillet and add the venison to the open side. Season the venison; add salt and sauté for about 15 minutes. Stir in the beans and mix well, then transfer the meat to the pot. Mix everything together and let it simmer for 20 more minutes. Yum! You can find this delicious recipe here:

Venison Recipe #1: Venison Chili

2. Venison Fajitas

Spice up your fajita night by using venison instead of your regular meat! All you need is 2 teaspoons of seasoned salt, ¼ teaspoon of garlic salt, ½ teaspoon of black pepper, ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 ½ pounds of venison cut into 2 inch strips, 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 1 medium red bell pepper cut into 2 inch strips, 1 medium yellow bell pepper cut into 2 inch strips, 1 medium onion cut into ½ inch wedges, and 12 warmed flour tortillas.

Mix together the seasoned salt, garlic salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and oregano for the fajita seasoning. Sprinkle about two teaspoons of the seasoning over the sliced venison and mix well. Cover and refrigerate the mix for about 30 minutes. Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a heavy frying pan. Cook the bell peppers and onion until they start to soften, and then remove them from the pan. Pour in the remaining oil and cook the venison until browned. Return the pepper mix to the pan and season with the remaining fajita seasoning and reheat. Serve with the warmed tortillas and you’re all set to enjoy!

Venison Recipe #2: Venison Fajitas

3. Easy Venison Stew

A simple yet tasty way to cook venison! All you need for this is 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 chopped onion, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 pound of venison cut into strips, one 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, one 8 ounce can of drained and sliced mushrooms, ½ teaspoon of dried thyme, ½ teaspoon of dried sage, ¼ teaspoon of dried tarragon, and ¼ teaspoon of salt.

All you need to do is heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, which should take about 5 minutes. Add the venison to the skillet and cook/stir until its browned. Stir in the tomatoes, mushrooms, thyme, sage, tarragon and salt. Cover the skillet and simmer the mixture until the venison is tender, which should take about 30 to 40 minutes!

Venison Recipe #3: Easy Venison Stew

4. Venison Gyros

Add a cool twist to traditional Greek gyros by using venison instead! You’ll need 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 ½ tablespoons of ground cumin, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, 2 teaspoons of dried marjoram, 2 teaspoons of ground dried rosemary, 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 3 pounds of venison cut into ¼ thick strips, one 12 ounce package of warmed pita breads, and salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk together olive oil, cumin, garlic, marjoram, rosemary, oregano, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the venison strips and evenly coat by pouring the sauce over it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Once the meat is marinated, heat a large skillet over medium to high heat. Cook the venison strips a half pound at a time until they look browned and there’s no more pink on the inside (about 8 minutes). You can add onions, romaine lettuce, and cherry tomatoes to give these venison gyros a truly Greek feel!

Venison Recipe #4: Venison Gyros

5. Venison Casserole

A delicious meal for ground venison! You’ll need 2 cups of buttery mashed potatoes, 1 pound of lean ground venison, 1 tablespoon of canola oil, 1 chopped red onion, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2 diced stalks of celery, ½ cup of diced red bell pepper, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, 2 beaten eggs, 1 cup of cottage cheese, 2 sliced tomatoes, and 1 cup of shredded Colby Jack or Cheddar cheese. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the mashed potatoes in a 2-quart casserole dish and set aside. Brown the venison in a large skillet over medium to high heat until it’s no longer pink and set that aside. Heat the canola oil in the skillet, then stir in red onion, garlic, celery, and red bell pepper. Cook the onion until it’s softened for about 3 minutes. Drop in the cooked venison and season with the Worcestershire, salt, and pepper. Spoon the mixture onto the potatoes in the casserole dish. Stir together the eggs and cottage cheese in a small bowl and spread evenly over the meat mixture. Top it with the tomato slices and sprinkle with cheese. Bake it uncovered for about 20 minutes and voila!

Venison Recipe #5: Venison Casserole

6. Easy Venison Meatloaf

A great twist on a classic dinner! All you need is 2 pounds of ground venison, one 6 ounce package of dry stuffing mix, 1 cup of water (if you want to enhance the flavor, use chicken broth in place of water), 1 finely chopped onion, two ¼ cups of barbeque sauce, 2 lightly beaten large eggs, and salt and ground pepper to taste.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Mix the venison, stuffing mix, water (or broth), onion, ¼ of barbeque sauce, eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl until mixed well. Shape the venison mixture into a loaf and place into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread the other ¼ cup of barbeque sauce over the top of the loaf. Place into the oven and bake until it’s no longer pink in the center (about 1 hour). Place in an instant-read thermometer into the loaf and it should read 160 degrees F!

Venison Recipe #6: Easy Venison Meatloaf

7. Teriyaki Venison

Add the delicious flavor of teriyaki to compliment your venison! For this you’ll need 1 pound of cubed venison steaks, 1/3 cup of teriyaki sauce, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of creole seasoning, and ½ cup of vegetable oil.

Place the venison cubes into a large bowl and cover with teriyaki sauce. Sprinkle with the garlic and marinate it in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Sift together the flour and Creole seasoning then cover the venison in the flour mixture. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the venison for about 15 minutes or until browned!

Venison Recipe #7: Teriyaki Venison

8. Sloppy Does

Fun name just as fun to eat! All you need for this is 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 1 pound of ground venison, 1 seeded and diced jalapeno pepper, ½ cup of ketchup, 1 diced clove of garlic, 2 teaspoons of molasses, and 1 teaspoon of yellow mustard.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Brown the ground venison and jalapeno pepper in the skillet until it’s no longer pink, or for about 10 minutes. Stir in the ketchup, garlic, molasses, and mustard into the mixture. Bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for at least 10 minutes and serve on sesame seed buns!

Venison Recipe #8: Sloppy Does

9. Grilled Venison Scape Sandwich

Quick, easy, nutritious and delicious! You’ll need 1 ½ pounds of venison (slightly frozen and sliced into 1/16-inch slices), 8 minced garlic pieces, 1/3 cup of canola oil, ¼ cup of soy sauce, 4 split hamburger buns, and 4 slices of sharp Cheddar cheese.

Place the venison strips in a bowl and sprinkle with garlic. Pour in the canola oil and soy sauce and mix well. Cover the bowl and let the venison marinate for at least one hour. Preheat a grill fitted with a fine grate grill topper to medium heat. Evenly spread the venison on the grill topper and stir occasionally until it’s no longer pink, or for about 10 to 15 minutes. Warm the hamburger buns on the top rack of the grill. Divide the venison among the buns and top with cheese!

Venison Recipe #9: Grilled Venison Scape Sandwich

10. Venison Stroganoff

This recipe offers a great way to make stroganoff with game meat! You’ll need 1 pound of cubed venison, 1 chopped onion, two 10.75 ounce cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup, one 16 ounce package of uncooked egg noodles, one 8 ounce container of sour cream, and salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.

Season the venison with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sauté the onion in a large skillet and add the venison when soft. Drain it when the venison is no longer pink and add the soup. Reduce the heat to low and simmer. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add the noodles, cook for about 8 to 10 minutes then drain. When the noodles are almost done cooking, stir the sour cream into the meat mixture. Pour the meat mixture over the hot cooked noodles and serve!

Venison Recipe #10: Venison Stroganoff 

7 Hunting Mistakes That New Hunters Make

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You’re totally new.

We’ve all been there: heading out on a first hunt. You are ready, but you have a few butterflies in your stomach.

You’re going to make mistakes. That’s expected.

But are you going to learn from your mistakes?

We hope! Fortunately for you, we have listed 12 mistakes all new hunters make, so you can go from amateur to still-amateur-but-smarter in 5 minutes.

1. Scouting The Field

Nothing prepares a hunter for success more than proper scouting.

Far too many hunters wait until the week before the season starts to begin scouting.

Proper scouting never stops. One should start at least a month in advance and continue through the end of the hunting season.

Deer are quite good at avoiding humans and it will not take them long to notice one.

A great scouting tip to consider: look for areas with vast agricultural crops and creeks. You are looking for where the wild game will be, not where they are.

An expert hunter would scout two or three areas. Try to avoid hunting in the same area day-after-day. As the deer adjust, so should the hunter.

2. Too Much Call, Too Much Scent

Scents and calls are valuable tools for the hunt. The most effective time to use deer calling and scents are during the breeding phase. Utilize scents helps to lure the wild-game into your stand.

However, saturating an area with scent day after day is not very productive, and is definitely not fooling any deer!

3. Patience While Hunting

Hunting is a sport that requires a lot of time and patience. The number one skill a hunter can have is to sit still and remain as motionless as possible.

A lack of patience can lead to an increase of anxiety for when the opportunity arrives.

A hunter must learn not to overreact. Deer are extremely in-tune with their surroundings. Any fidgeting will send them running away.

Make the move to shoot slowly, calculate the placement and control the shot. It is important to find a stance that you are comfortable in since you will likely be waiting for long periods of time.

4. Dress Appropriately

Proper clothing can make a significant difference in the enjoyment, safety, and success of your hunting.

It is important to wear clothes that are tailored to the climate you will be hunting in.

During the fall and winter months, layers will keep you insulated and comfortable. You can shed back or add some layers when the temperature changes throughout the day.

Do not forget about shoes! They need to be reliable, support your ankles and knees, and be sturdy enough to endure the terrain.

Also, a hat or cap, gloves, and two layers of socks are essential in the cold.

5. Hunting Laws & Regulations

Before going hunting, make sure that you know the laws!

There are guidelines that govern the hunting grounds within each state, and they can change from season to season. As a responsible hunter, it’s important to stay informed about regulation changes.

Officers can approach you at any time. They are responsible for protecting hunters and their resources. They also have the authority to report violations with consequences that can vary from citations all the way to jail time. It is imperative to always carry the proper paperwork, such as hunting license. 

Respect the land and game to avoid any consequences!

6. Share Hunting Plans

Not telling anyone where you are going is one of the biggest and most dangerous hunting mistakes.

No one plans to get lost while hunting, but the weather, the excitement of the chase, or the failure of knowing your exact location can leave you turned around.

Before setting out, get to know the grounds where you will be hunting. Let someone know who you are hunting with and the route you will take.

This will help the search-and-rescue team if you are reported missing.

7. Hunting Equipment & Accessories

Getting geared up can be costly and confusing. A few of the essentials a hunter will need are camouflage, a firearm, ammunition, hunter’s orange, hunting license, and land.

The camouflage is meant to conceal you. It does not matter what store the camo is from, as long as the hunter matches the pattern of the landscape.

Buying a rifle can also be very complex. How do you know what to get? It is a matter of personal preference and comfort.

Depending on the hunting season, every hunter should be wearing hunter’s orange. It is to keep other hunters aware and for personal safety.

Lastly, the most important item is the hunting license. Without it, you would not be able to hunt!

Happy hunting, and make sure that you stay safe out there.