As a predator hunter, I am always looking for that one particular piece of hunting gear that may have the potential to make my hunt a more successful one. Unlike when I first began hunting some 20 plus years ago, today’s hunting world has an abundance of technology, as well as field proven products that make predator hunting not only more successful, but more comfortable and enjoyable. The problem with many hunters, including myself, is that we tend to spend money on new gear each year, yet we do not take it to the field on every hunt. Excuses such as, “not needing it this time”, “I don’t want to carry all of it with me.” and even the elusive “it doesn’t work, why take it” are common evasions that help us to justify new purchases, yet allow us to feel okay when we make the decision to leave it at home. It sounds simple, yet it is true, if one doesn’t take a product on a hunt every time, then of course it isn’t going to work the way that it is marketed.
Over the years, I have had numerous situations in which if I would have had one particular piece of hunting equipment with me, instead of leaving it at home, the outcome would have been better. If one has hunted much, they know things happen while hunting. Situations can arise in the form of technical difficulties such as an electronic caller failing to work in the field, another being one of a hunters biggest fears, not having enough ammo. This is when using a quality daypack while predator hunting comes into play, allowing the hunter the ability to carry all of their needed gear, thus making or breaking a successful hunt.
When choosing a pack for predator hunting, I like to keep multiple situations in mind. I refer to advice from a baseball coach that coached me as a young kid, in which he would tell my team, “always be thinking of what is going to happen next, in every situation.” This same train of thought goes for predator hunting. I like to plan out where I will be sitting, what type of terrain I will be hunting, which position I will sit for different wind directions, and I also try to play scenarios in my head of what I will do if a coyote approaches from in front, the side or behind me. After analyzing every possible scenario, I then try to be prepared for all these situations.
If I know I am going to be hunting in a situation in which a rifle and a shotgun can both be used, I like to carry a daypack such as the Alps Outdoorz Pursuit pack. This type of pack not only carries all my gear, it is also equipped with straps to hold one of my firearms. A lot of times, I will use this design to carry my shotgun on my back while walking to and from different stand locations. The ability to carry my shotgun this way, frees up one hand in case the need arises to make a quick shot with a rifle, in which both hands are needed. Having both hands free gives me the ability to do different task such as using binoculars or using a small hand call when needed. I can do all these things without having to place my gear down before doing so. A bonus feature is that it makes packing gear for an all-day hunt very simple.
Another favorite pack of mine when predator hunting is the NEW Enforcer pack from Alps Outdoorz, which is designed especially for the predator hunter. This pack is equipped with several pockets for every piece of gear needed while hunting, a thick seat cushion to make setups more comfortable, and a kickstand frame which allows for sitting virtually anywhere.
When finding locations to try calling predators, it is important to have the wind in a favorable direction, a good vantage point and the ability to shoot when a predator approaches. To achieve this, sometimes the hunter has to sit in a undesirable location. The kickstand on the Enforcer allows for a comfortable sit, even when in the wide open. If in this wide-open situation, one will want to wear a good camouflage, then try using tall grass, shadows, and some type of backdrop, such as the side of a hill, to break up the human outline and prevent being sky lined by approaching predators. By doing this, the chances of getting the shot, increases dramatically.
Listed below are a few examples of much needed gear that I take along in my daypack while predator hunting:
Extra Ammunition – This includes extra rounds for rifle and/or shotgun
Electronic Call – With extra batteries and/or charger
Manual Calls – Diaphragm calls, open reed howlers, and a variety of distress calls. (not only does this give one more calling options, it also gives a backup if the e-caller fails)
Decoys – Rabbit decoys, fawn decoys, or feather style decoys
Scent – Wildlife Research Center’s Predator Sniper or Coyote Juice work great for when calling
Scent Eliminator – Keeping a bottle of WRC Scent Killer allows for spraying down periodically throughout the hunt, keeping scent free as possible the entire time.
Binoculars – A good set of binoculars is a great way to spot approaching predators, or when scouting for predators.
Rangefinder – Using a good range finder helps to know distance for shooting with a rifle or determining when a coyote is within shotgun range.
Gloves/ Facemask – Carrying a couple of different pairs of gloves for different weather conditions is a good idea or if one gets misplaced.
Coyote Drag – A good rope style coyote drag makes transporting predators easier, it also keeps blood from getting on the hunter.
Multi Tool – This allows for working on firearms, scope or other gear while in the field
Water/Food – I will always carry a couple of bottles of water to stay hydrated while walking, as well as a couple of snacks to keep energy going throughout the day.
Cell Phone – Make sure phone is fully charged before hunting, this is in case of emergencies. Always let someone know where one will be hunting and an estimated time of return.
Camera – I always have a camera (with extra batteries), this allows to capture unique sightings while hunting, as well as success photos.
Two important factors to achieve success is that of having the right tools for the job and being organized. By using a daypack while calling predators, many hunters have discovered that both factors can be achieved, allowing for a more versatile hunter, which leads to a more successful hunter. If one has not tried a daypack, my advice is to try it and you will see that being prepared and comfortable will truly make a hunt more enjoyable.