By Kenneth Lancaster
It never fails. You settle into your stand and suddenly realize there's something important you forgot. We hunters use so much gear, it's easy to accidentally leave items miles away at home.
I've learned over the years it's always helpful to make a list and review it the night before your hunting trip.
Before I leave to go to the woods the next morning, I check my list again to make sure nothing vital has been left out.
Double-checking your list can mean the difference between a happy trip and hours of frustration.
Editor's Note: I can attest to the importance of using a checklist. Early in my hunting career, I once got up at 3 a.m., drove 90 minutes and arrived to my hunting destination without any ammo. And, of course, the bucks were chasing does like crazy and my rifle was useless. How aggravating!
Before hunting again, I wrote down a checklist. In time I've been able to mentally go over the items without the written list.
Here are the essentials of my list, much of which goes in my backpack:
Weapon (yes, I know hunters who've actually forgotten their gun or bow), ammo or quiver, boots, gloves, safety harness, safety orange, binoculars, license (kept in a plastic bag), two flashlights, rangefinder, knife, toilet paper, folding limb saw, ThermaCELL (in warm weather), camera, water bottle, pee bottle, snacks, rope, screw-in hanger, disposable latex gloves, scents and cover sprays.