PACKING FOR THE HUNT
Whether you are the experienced hunting
professional or the first time trip taker.
Everyone needs a check list of items to
make sure that all things are packed and
ready for the hunt. So here is a list of
items that we suggest for all hunters bring
and/or to consider bringing. Please note
that some items can & may vary
depending upon the time of year and/or
the type of actual hunt that you are on.
1.) A Sense of Humor: We ask that everyone please remember that you are
at "Deer Camp". As with every deer camp there are always guys cutting up with
other guys and that any picking at/on each other is all in fun. So please do
your best to have as much fun at camp as possible and try to take any
offensive picking with a grain of salt. Again, it is all meant in fun.
2.) Patience: We all are hunters and know that some days afield can be
stressful. Some days it just seems that the hunting Gods are not being so
cooperative with a well though out plan for hunting down a nice buck. Please
Always Remember that "EACH &EVERY DAY IS A NEW DAY IN THE WOODS".
What seems to be a bad day for you today....and an awesome day for others.
Usually has a way of turning tomorrow into the best day ever for you, but the
worst day ever for them. So always remember this..., Don't focus on anyone
else's hunt but your own. Again, what is happening for the other guys in camp
could be happening for you tomorrow. Unlike basketball...Hunting is an
individual sport and not a team sport. The only thing done in hunting as a team
sport in deer camp is sharing thoughts, ideas, different plans & tactics and
offering thoughts of encouragement to get back into the stand the next day. All
Please Note: Items #3 & #4 are optional items based on your personal
preference for strong scent control practices.
3.) Bath towel & Wash cloth: NOTE: "Backwoods Whitetails does make these
items available". But for those that may have a personal liking for say a specific
size of towel, if may have skin irritations from certain brands of laundry
detergents or for those that just want to use a towel washed in
their own preference of scent away soap, etc. Please do not forget to
bring those two items with you.
4.) Sleeping Bag & Pillow: PLEASE NOTE: "Each room/bed is complete
with a pillow, sheets and blanket". But for those cold blooded hunters that
require extra warmth, may require several pillows and/or need a firmer/softer
pillow. Or if you just like the feel of your own personal pillow from home? You
should not forget to bring those two items with you as well.
5.) Scent Elimination Products: "PLEASE NOTE: "We will be sending
out an hunt preparation email to specifically cover/discuss the subject of scent
control". MOST IMPORTANT TO YOUR HUNT - PLEASE BRING ALL SCENT
ELIMINATING ITEMS NEEDED to aid you in the success of your hunt.
Suggested Items: Scent Free Laundry Soap, Scent Free Body Wash, Scent Free
Shampoo, Scent Free Deodorant, Scent Elimination Field Spray, Scent Free
Body Gel and Scent Free Field Wipes. Other scent prevention items are
important to the your hunt are two (2) Scent Controlled Storage Containers.
One for your hunting clothes and One for your hunting boots. Also needed is a
Field Mat / Carpet for those dressing in the field. And/or for those dressing
prior to and will be riding out to their hunting area in their field clothes. Don't
forget to bring a Scent Free Blanket/Sheet for covering up your car/truck seats.
6.) Scent Absorbing Clothing: "It is REQUIRED that
every hunter wear some sort of Scent absorbing
clothing with head cover while hunting". The brand does
not matter, but we require that all hunters to wear some sort of scent
absorbing head cover, bandana or hat along with either a set of base layer top
& bottoms or outer jacket and pants. We personally recommend that each
hunter wear a full head cover, base layer system and full outer gear to maintain
maximum scent control. Remember, A guide can/will only take a hunters
success as serious as the hunter will and/or does himself.
ATTENTION ALL FIREARM HUNTERS! It is Mandatory by the
Illinois Department of Natural Resources That ALL firearm and
Muzzle Loader hunters wear A "SOLID" BLAZE ORANGE HAT
AND SOLID BLAZE VEST while hunting. Sorry blaze orange
camouflage is NOT legal.
7.) WEATHER CONDITIONS: Please check the forcast prior to packing
and/or leaving for your hunt. You will need to use the zip code 61441 for Ipava,
Illinois to check the 10 day forecast prior to you leaving for the hunt. However,
you all know how weather men lie, lol. So we recommend that you
always prepare for windy, rainy, hot and/or cold weather as
conditions can change drastically from one day to the next. For
those wondering just how extremely cold & drastic our weather can be? I can
put you contact with past years firearm hunters whom swore they were hunting
Northern Canada. I assure you that they can and will attest to the sudden bitter
cold arctic style temps that they experienced while on their hunt. Please note
that we will be sending out a hunt prep email specifically on "Staying Warm In
8.) SAFETY VEST or HARNESS: IT IS "MANDATORY" THAT ALL
HUNTERS WEAR A SAFETY VEST OR HARNESS WHILE
HUNTING FROM ANY ELEVATED TREE STAND!
9.) AERIAL MAPS: Sometime Prior to your departing for the hunt. We will
email to each hunter the updated aerial map to the property for which they will
be hunting while at Backwoods Whitetails. "It is mandatory and required
by IL Law that each Hunter carry an aerial map on their person
while in the field hunting". Therefore each hunter will need to print off
the aerial map that is sent to them. Again it is required that all hunters have the
map on their person at all times. We will also provide hunters with an aerial via
text message so that it can be on their phone as a back up and as a quick
reference during their hunt.
10.) GPS FOR YOUR VEHICLE. On the day of arrival, each huntere will be
taken too & shown their assigned hunting property. Due to we do not provide
daily transportation to and from your hunting sites. It will be the sole
responsibility of each hunter to drive his/herself to and from their hunting
property each day. Therefore, a good GPS device for your vehicle will be of an
extreme importance for finding your way in the dark to & from your hunting
property each morning and then back to the lodge in the evening.
11.) PRUNERS & FOLDING SAW: A good set of ratchet pruners and a
folding hand saw should be included for your day pack. Those two items will be
needed in the event a hunter chooses to hang his/her own stand and/or if a
small twig or branch has grown out to inhibit a shot from one of our preset
stand sites. Please note that Shooting lanes have been trimmed prior to the
start of the hunting season for CLOSE & SELECTIVE shot opportunities from
all of our preset stand sites. Our preset stand site are prepared with shooting
lanes that have been trimmed to allow close up shots ranging from 0 - 35 yrd.
NOTE: COVER IS KEY IN STAYING HIDDEN. Therefore remember that the
sudden cutting/trimming of tree and/or tree limbs can/will release odors that
may draw attention to the very cautious nose of a whitetail. Once a whitetail
has been alerted to the new changes of the freshly trimmed location. That
animal may possibly detect any human scent associated with that trimming and
may suddenly be alerted to avoid that area/stand site. Therefore we ask that
hunters should try not to cut, trim or remove any of the cover or of the canopy
if at all possible from any of the Backwoods Whitetails preset stand sites. If you
feel that your shot opportunities are being restricted from one of our preset
stands? Before trimming anything from one of our preset stand sites. First
Please remember that you have the freedom to set up your own stand sites.
Secondly, Please contact the guide for instruction and/or advice on your
current situation. Reason for this request is that we have had hunters totally
destroy a set up by cutting away all of the vegetation around a stand site
leaving it totally exposed and wreaking of tree saps and human scents.
12.) SCREW IN GEAR & BOW HOLDER: Each of our preset stand sites
should have a screw in tree step and a small bow/gear holder installed for your
convenience. Now unfortunately, in the past we have had a few hunters
take/remove the gear and bow holders that we were generously providing at
each stand site. Therefore, in the event that you may require special hangers
for your gear.... or in the event that you arrive at a stand site where a previous
hunter may have removed those items. We suggest the everyone add atleast
one Screw in Bow Holder and/or Gear Holders to your day packs. In the event
that there is a bow holder, gear holder, or any other type of gear that has been
left behind from another hunter? Please do the right thing, do the respectful
thing, do the honest thing and either leave the stand site as you found it....or
return the gear to the guide so that those items can be returned the client that
mistakenly left the item behind. In the event that you have forgotten an item at
a stand site. Please notify your guide immediately and we will get your gear to
back you. In the event anyone has lost and/or is needing last minute items for
the hunt. Please Note that there are a few sporting goods stores within a 20
minute drive of the lodge.
13.) A Bow / Gear Hoist Rope: Each stand should have a hoist rope
already installed. But again, in the event someone has removed that rope, an
animal found it to be a tasty chew toy, etc. Please don't forget to throw a back
up hoist rope into your pack.
14.) Carabiner Clip: A good carabiner clip will be necessary for those not
wanting to deal with the hassle of tying off their bows and/or packs to the hoist
rope. Each of our hoist ropes should have two loops tied into the end so that
hunters can quietly, quickly & easily utilize a carabiner clip to hook up their
gear up to the hoist rope.
15.) Seat Cushion: Due to the lovely rodents that love the taste of a good
seat cushion. WE DO NOT INSTALL NOR LEAVE SEAT CUSHIONS ON OUR
TREE STANDS. Therefore, anyone that will be making sitting long sits, hates
the feel of cold steel on your butt cheeks or simply has soft tender cheeks
(keep that one to yourselves, lol) You will need to throw a cushion in to your
day pack. Don't forget to try that cushion out prior to taking it to the woods.
Allot of cushions can be very VERY noisy in the event of a slight move in the
16.) A Ratchet Strap: Bridget & myself personally check each and every
tree stand each summer. Most BWO stands will be mix of single and Double
ladder stands. But please check your aerial maps for a reference as to the
preset stand types on your assigned farm. Note that there are still a few farms
having a few stick ladder & portable loc on set ups. Each Ladder stand has
been secured with (2) two ratchet straps. As well all portable stands are also
secured with two ratchet straps on top and one on the bottom of each stand. I
promise you that our stands are rock solid when we leave from checking them.
However....there are still the lovely rodents that may find a strap to be a tasty
treat and/or the weather can wreak havoc on outdoor gear. So just as
precaution and/or in the event that you do show up to a stand site to find that
there is a chewed and/or damaged strap or buckle. We suggest hunters carry
one in their day pack as a back up.
17.) A Good Flashlight & Trail Markers/bright eyes: Note that all
stands will be marked with ribbon to and from the stands. But for the hunters
that plan on hanging their own stands and/or for those needing an added
marker to locate your way to a planned hunting site. Please don't hesitate to
throw in a pack of bright eyes and/or Trail Markers into your day packs. Please
do not take down or remove bright eyes or trail markers that have been
installed by Backwoods Whitetails or other hunters.
18.) Grunt Call and/or Rattling Antlers: NEVER LEAVE HOME
WITHOUT A GRUNT CALL! For those not familiar with the use of a grunt call.
We will do what we can to help instruct you on different ways to use it during
the rut. As for Rattling and/or the use of decoys? We feel those items are a
personal preference. What is desired and/or works for one hunter might not be
desired and/or work for another. We have REAL rattling Antlers are
available for use here at the lodge. So for those that do not have a set, we
can help you with that.
19.) GOOD QUALITY TRAIL CAMERA/CAMERA's:
Please Note that there will be a Hunt Prep email to specifically cover the subject
of using trail cams. This is mainly a subject for all archery hunters. Please
remember that are you not only hunting whitetails. But remember that bow
hunting for trophy bucks is/can/and will be the worst and hardest mental game
that a hunter can play on himself while hunting for that one special whitetail.
Therefore, it is both common & very easy for a hunter to sit on stand for hours
to not see a buck. Thus those situations can & will cause a hunter to grow
mentally weaker in the stand with each passing moment. When that happens?
Not only does the hunter start to loose confidence in his/her chosen hunting
location. As well he/she can start to question the entire quality of the hunt,
question their choice/confidence in the guide/outfitter. Thus leaving the hunter
to literally give up on the hunt before it is even over. But thank God for trail
cameras right?...or wrong? Well either way, because trail cameras have not
only proven to be one of the most important & valuable tools for studying
whitetails. But at times they have proven to be a great confidence builder for all
trophy hunters to this day. Therefore with the use of a properly placed
QUALITY TRAIL CAMERA, a doubting hunter can sometimes reboost their
confidence by seeing what game animals and/or activity there is in the area. So
if you have some to bring? Then don't be afraid to throw a couple cams in the
pack in the event ya may want/need one. Hunters should at least be prepared
to place a camera at both their current and/or at an alternate choice of hunting
A VERY SERIOUS NOTE: Please!!! Do Not Mess with, Do Not touch, Do Not
Pull a card Nor even Check the contents of any card from ANY of our Trail
Cameras for ANY REASON! Remember that each of our personal game cameras
are strictly not to be touched, nor moved, nor checked by anyone but a
Backwoods Whitetails Guide. I will be upfront & blunt about this subject by
saying that messing with one of our cams is the absolute quickest way to get
on my bad side. We don't and wont ever go into your rooms, nor mess with
your stuff while you are here. So please do not go into our woods to mess with
our stuff while you are here. I will definitely say "Thank You" now to all for
respectfully complying with this request.
20.) Tree Stand and/or Ground Blind: All properties contain several
preset stand sites. However we request that all hunters bring his/her own stand
or ground blind for making any immediate move necessary to succeed. Please
feel free to contact / speak with the guide in the event that you are in need of
assistance with moving in and/or hanging your stand. Please Note: Hunters are
not allowed to move any tree stand and/or ground blind that is the property of
Backwoods Whitetails and/or the property of other hunters. Climbing stands,
Portable hang on stands with Climbing sticks, Ladder stands and ground blinds
may be used. NO SCREW IN STEPS ARE PERMITTED!!
All ground blind hunters please do not forget to bring a chair for sitting in your
NOTE TO FIREARM HUNTERS: For hunters wanting or needing to make
immediate moves onto deer activity. We personally recommend that hunters
make that instant move with the use of a small packable folding chair. For
those that are wanting the potential protection of the elements we recommend
maybe using a chair/ground blind combination.
Note: in the event hunters are limited to space in their vehicle or will be flying
in. You can either purchase those items upon arrival if needed....or you may
ship those items to Backwoods Whitetails where they will be safely stored at
the lodge while awaiting your arrival.
21.) A CELLULAR PHONE: All hunters will need to be ability to
contact and/or be contacted by his/her guide for any & all
reasons at all times. As well ALL hunter will need the ability to be able to
contact their fellow hunters as well. It is mandatory that immediate
contact be made with the guide once a shot has been taken at
any animal (Regardless of a hit or a miss!).
BEST & WORST CELL SERVICES: The absolute BEST service
providers here in Illinois will be US Cellular and Verizon (and in
that order). The absolute WORST services where hardly any connection can be
made will be with Sprint, At&t or Nextel. Those providers have always proven to
have weak, poor or no service at all in this area. Note that a Pre Paid Track
Phones with US Cellular and/or Verizon service may be purchased at the local
Walmarts or Cellular located within 20 miles of the lodge.
22.) Large Cooler: for transporting any meat and/or trophy items back home.
If Anyone still has questions or concerns with any of the items and/or
situations listed. Please call or email us for assistance and we will get your
questions answered asap.
Thanks Brett & Bridget