Western Hunting Gear | Nick Mundt’s Packing List
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the same old deer hunts behind the house that you’ve done your whole life. That’s a critical part of the hunting tradition. But at the same time, there are so many new species and locations for a hunter to explore. If you’ve got the time and are willing to travel for a hunting trip, you could be in for a great adventure. Bone Collector’s Nick Mundt is on his way to the Arizona strip for a coveted mule deer hunt in Unit 13B. He’ll walk you through the western hunt packing list that he’s using to get ready for his trip. So if you’ve been wondering, “What do you need for mule deer hunting,” this is the hunting gear list for you.
UPDATE: Nick harvested a great Mule Deer shortly after filming this video, scroll down to the bottom of the blog to see all of the pics!
Western Hunt Packing List
Here are all the various items you need to include for lightweight backpack hunting or a longer-term hunting trip. They are organized into groups of equipment so you can separate and organize your gear ahead of the trip. But first, here’s a video from Nick showing you his process, what to pack for a mule deer hunt, and how you can quickly pull together your own western hunt packing list.
Scent Elimination Gear
When it comes to deer hunting, staying scent free is critical to avoid being detected. And when you’re hunting world class trophy mule deer (like in the Arizona strip), you definitely don’t want to screw up any opportunity you get. That’s why Nick packed an ozone bag and scent elimination products.
- ScentCrusher® bag and ozone unit – You can place all your hunting gear in the bag, turn the unit on for 20 to 30 minutes, and be sure that all the scents and bacteria that cause them have disappeared. This is good to do before each hunt to ensure your hunting clothing is as scent-free as possible.
- Swirling Wind Spray – Of course, if you ignore the smells your body creates and puts off, you’re only taking the effort halfway. Use Swirling Wind Soap as a shampoo, body wash, on your hunting gear to keep yourself scent-free while in the field.
Some of the most important things on your western hunt packing list is clothing. Having the right kind of clothing for your body is critical to staying comfortable. In an early-season hunt like this, especially in Arizona, you need to make sure you can function in the hot weather during the day. But it also gets pretty cold at night, so you should be prepared for that too. Here are some of Nick’s essential regular clothing items.
- Underwear and socks – starting at the very first layer, make sure you have enough clean pairs of underwear and socks for your whole trip. You can choose cotton, like Nick, if that works for your body. Otherwise, polyester and wool options might work better from a breathability standpoint.
- Camp clothing – since you’ll likely be sitting around a fire, eating meals, or gathering firewood while you’re hanging around camp, pack separate clothing just for that purpose so you don’t stink up your hunting clothes. This includes a sturdy pair of work pants (e.g., camo jeans, etc.) so you can set up tree stands or hunting blinds as well.
- Sleepwear – pack a separate pair of sleepwear that will keep you warm enough and that you won’t get dirty around camp or while hunting.
Camo Hunting Clothing
Like regular clothing, you should make sure your hunting clothing is appropriate for the conditions you plan to encounter. In other words, lightweight camo clothing is the perfect choice for most of this early-season trip. In the mornings or at night when the temperatures drop, including some heavier options in your western hunt packing list will keep you warm enough.
- Drake Non-Typical® clothing – Having lightweight camo deer hunting clothing will keep you concealed but comfortable throughout your trip, and Drake Non-Typical clothing will do both. Nick packed a few different kinds of camouflage, including Realtree® Max-1 XT™ and EDGE™ patterns for different hunting scenarios.
- Shorts – Given the hot early season weather, it’s always a good idea to have some shorts with you. Nick packed some shorts in Realtree® EDGE™ pattern so he can still hunt in them, provided he sits in a blind near a water hole or something where his bottom half is concealed.
- Zippered jacket or vest – Again, desert areas can get quite cold at night and during the early mornings, which makes having some heavier camouflage clothing with a smart move. Nick packed a medium weight full zip jacket, quarter zip jacket, and vest to layer.
- Rain Gear – Camo rain gear should always be on a deer hunting gear checklist. You can count on the forecast being wrong at some point.
- Boots – A pair of broken-in boots is a hunter’s best friend and probably the best gear for mule deer hunting. Showing up for a hunt with new boots is likely to produce painful blisters. There are many good brands, but Nick is using Goretex® boots that breathe well and keep your feet dry throughout your hunt.
Hunting optics (e.g., binoculars, spotting scopes, range finders, etc.) are must-have gear for mule deer hunting. Mule deer range across some very large and remote expanses of wilderness, and they can disappear quickly by bedding down in small depressions or tucked within cover. Without good optics to spot and stalk them, you’d be at a real disadvantage. Nick is using a variety of optics for his mule deer hunt.
- Spotting scope – This new spotting scope from Bushnell® (from the Forge™ series) is a 20-60×80 scope, which allows you to see things far away in clear detail due to the large objective lens. It is fully multi-coated, waterproof, and features the EXO barrier that repels water, dust, and debris.
- Binoculars – Nick is bringing two different binoculars (also from the Forge™ series) with him, including a 15×56 and 10×42 option. The large 15×56 binoculars can be mounted on a light tripod to also glass for deer, while he can wear the smaller 10×42 binoculars on his neck as he hunts and makes a stalk on a buck. Featuring the same great coatings, EXO barrier, and waterproof construction as the spotting scope, these binoculars are powerful additions to your western hunt packing list.
- Rangefinder – The Bushnell® Nitro™ laser rangefinder is compact, yet offers very accurate distance to target using the ARC mode to compensate for up or downhill shots. When shooting with a bow at a trophy buck, knowing your range is critical!
- Light tripod – as mentioned, having a light tripod along is essential for glassing with the spotting scope or binoculars.
Other Miscellaneous Hunting Gear
Then there’s the hunting weapon, backpack and all the other hunting day pack contents that one should keep with them.
- Bow – Nick is shooting the Hoyt® RX-1 bow for this trip. Having a high quality bow that you have practiced with is critical to making a good shot.
- Backpack – without a good backpack to stuff your gear in, you wouldn’t get too far. Make sure there are plenty of pockets
- Hunting knife – The Havalon® Bone Collector knife has two really sharp blades in it – one for skinning and one for heavy duty purposes. It’s a great utility knife to keep with you too.
- First aid kit supplies – even for small day hunts, it’s a good idea to keep some basic first aid kit supplies with you.
- Sunglasses – especially in the mountains and high desert areas, sunglasses are necessary to keep you from getting tension headaches and hurting your eyesight.
- Water bottle – staying hydrated in the early season hot weather is critical.
- Headlamp – always keep a headlamp with you in case you get caught out in the dark, especially when you need to track an animal.
- Packing Tips for Western Hunting
To get everything on your western hunt packing list ready to go, it helps to spread it out on the floor first so you can see what you have and what is missing. Keep your clothing in separate stuff sacks so you know exactly where everything is on your hunt. As for how to pack a hunting backpack, keep your heavier and non-essential gear down further in your pack to keep it balanced. Use multiple pockets on your backpack to keep smaller items you’d like to keep handy. Use this list and these packing tips to prepare for your next hunting trip.
Nick Mundt’s 226” Arizona Mule Deer
Shortly after filming this video in preparation for his Arizona mule deer hunt Nick harvested this 226” buck.
Nick had this to say about the hunt:
@nickmundt – “I just can’t express how excited I am to have taken this 226” buck from the AZ strip!! We had a great week of hunting and we saw lots of really good bucks! Fortunately this one was the biggest! All of the guys @mossbackaz@mossbackoutfitters and Tory Brock Hunts were unbelievable!!! I was lucky enough to draw the tag with the help of @worldwidetrophyadventures and I made a 63 yard shot with my @hoytbowhuntingCarbon RX-1. As usual the @g5outdoorsDeadmeat tore him up!! The body on this buck is the biggest I have ever seen and it was truly amazing to get my hands on him!! @cohenstone was right over my shoulder and got amazing footage!! This is a dream come true, I’ve dreamt of this moment literally my whole life. A huge thanks to Chad and John Woodruff, Tory Brock and Uncle Arlis for their passion in scouting and knowing every inch of this massive country!! The best part is that this buck was killed on lands owned by US!! All public for everyone to enjoy!!”