Deer hunting gear is an important topic… at least it should be. However, my gear list differs quite a bit from what you might expect to hear from a typical outdoor professional. No grunt tube, doe bleat, estrous scent, rattling antlers, wind checker, decoy – the list goes on. All of those types of items are tools, but they are tools I rarely use. My hunting style is that of a mobile public land hunter. I carry in the bare essentials to keep things light on what could be a lengthy hike with a tree stand. That means I put less reliance on trying to attract an intelligent, experienced whitetail to my setup. Rather, I rely on scouting to set a ghost-like ambush that could catch even the wariest buck off guard.
As you’re well aware, I also do quite a bit of self-filming. That means I need to pack in camera gear, and it’s one more reason to cut down on the unnecessary clutter. Hauling in a tree stand, weapon, camera arm, extra clothes, and essential tools and setting everything up in a timely matter is no small task. However, through a lot of trial and error I’ve honed in my process to the point where I can still get everything up the tree in one trip. The following video shows my step-by-step process.
My process is always subject to change, because I’m always searching for better ways to do things. One tip I’ve received since posting this video is the gear hook. Instead of bringing multiple pull ropes to attach to a bow, camera arm, or clothing, you can have one pull rope with a coated metal hook (S-hook or snagging hooks seem to be common). Once up the tree, you drop the hook down to retrieve your gear piece-by-piece. It may be a marginally slower and more difficult in the dark; however, it does have advantages for climbing trees with tons of branches, or retrieving a dropped piece of gear once set up.