Other than the obvious things modern deer hunters need when out in the woods (cell phone, gun, etc.), there are a few items, even the most experienced hunters forget. And when we forget these items, it's a flat out nuisance or disappointment:
#1) Flashlight - It's easy to remember the flash for a morning hunt, but I can't count how many times I've forgotten one when going out in the afternoon. You know the feeling when you get out of your stand at night; you can barely see in front of you, and start your walk back. You have your orange on, but orange just isn't good enough when you're walking on hunting ground hoping a neighbor hunting a property line doesn't mistake your rifle or bow for deer horns. And walking on state land in the dark without a light, you're crazy!
#2) Seat Cushion - Some of us hunt dozens of stands, and they not all the same. Have you ever had to sit on that mesh or a seat made like a hammock? It's not comfortable. How about getting out to a stand with a wet seat? It's just a matter of time before it seeps through your multiple layers of clothes. And just like fishing, the key to successful hunting trips is more time with your "lure in the water". You have to be comfortable to stay out there an extra 45 minutes here and there, especially when paying an outfitter for a Kentucky deer hunt.
#3) Hunters Orange - To say I've always worn orange is a flat out lie. To say the government has a right to force me to wear a certain color while I walk to my stand on my own property, well, that's just life. I look at everything as the letter of the law vs. intent of the law being a former cop. The law was written with the intent to stop people from getting injured. But if I'm walking with my bow on my own land, not near a property line, should I really be worried? Should I have to follow the law? Is this law stupid? Absolutely. Are they going to prohibit people from taking jobs that are over 30-mile commutes because people die in car accidents? Either way, I always do what I believe is right and safe for me. I simply don't care what some fat judge or a lying politician has to say. To the point of this article, you should always have orange on your person somewhere so you can pull it out when needed. And when you're around younger hunters, you should always be setting a good example for them by wearing orange and following the law (no matter how intrusive it is).
Over the years, odds and probability are stacked in the casino's favor. If you simply apply the information you personally have, you will over time outperform your friends and dramatically increase the % number of bucks you take over a lifetime. I'm certain where I sell Kentucky deer hunts I have in writing requiring hunters to wear 4 safety harnesses and to wear orange.
James Gwilliam - Owner, http://www.huntingkentuckydeer.com