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  • Whitetail deer season is opening up all around the country; get prepped to tag a trophy buck and fill your freezer.
  • We'll walk through kit considerations for hunting gear, from your rifle loadout to apparel and more.
  • 95% of hunters claim not to wear hearing protection; a silencer can protect your ears and improve your hunts.

Hunting Essentials List: For Your Next Whitetail Deer Hunt 

Whitetail deer season is quickly approaching, and we are excited to return to the woods and put some meat in the freezer.  


This year, we're breaking down an ideal deer hunting loadout for this season to help increase your chances of getting that trophy buck or stocking up on venison for the winter.  


We'll cover our favorite picks for a hunting rifle and suppressor setup, our go-to gear and apparel, and other useful tools to bring on your hunt. 

Table of Contents

Essential Rifle Setup for White-Tail Deer Hunting 

Choosing the correct firearm and accessories for your hunt is paramount to a successful hunt.  

Hunting with a suppressor is legal in most states across the country and can increase your odds of success this season. 

Our goal is to hunt ethically, which means making good shots with the right caliber to quickly dispatch an animal.


The rifle, ammo, optic, and suppressor all come together to create a weapon system that can effectively take down a whitetail in the most efficient way.  

Hunting Rifle

One of the most popular hunting rifles in the country over the past few years has been the Ruger American. It's a lightweight bolt action rifle with good accuracy and reliability at a great price. Ours is chambered in 300BLK, allowing us to use subsonic ammo for near-silent close-range hunting or supersonics for longer shots and better ballistic performance.   


We opted for a bolt action rifle to increase sound performance when shooting suppressed. The locked action makes the 300BLK rounds even quieter and provides a hearing-safe hunting experience. 


This rig is ideal within 200 yards, which is perfect for most of the opportunities we get here in Central Texas.  


If you live in a place with more open shooting lanes, the Ruger is also chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester if you need a little more range. 


If you live in a state with straight-wall cartridge restrictions, we recommend a rifle chambered in 350 Legend or 450 Bushmaster. 

Hunting Suppressor 

A study found that 95% of hunters do not wear hearing protection while shooting.


Traditional hearing protection is bulky, uncomfortable, and can get in the way when you're hunting. Silencers can protect your ears and improve your hunting experience. 


Our goal with this rig was to create a hearing-safe hunting rifle, and the CGS Hyperion makes that possible. With this silencer, taking a single shot when the right buck strolls past is no issue without bulky, hot hearing protection.  


The Hyperion is one of the quietest 300BLK suppressors ever made and fits the build perfectly. It weighs just 15.1oz, so it does weigh down the pack when hiking into a hunting spot. At 9.5” long, the Hyperion has a ton of volume to effectively suppress the gunshot and makes this 300BLK bolt action rifle sound amazing.  


The Vortex Crossfire II 4-12x50 is a great hunting scope at an affordable price with a ton of great features.  


The glass clarity is outstanding, and the bullet drop compensation (BDC) reticle makes taking accurate shots simple.  


The Crossfire also has adjustable parallax, making the image crystal clear even at further distances.  


This second focal plane scope has proven to be an awesome optic for this rifle, making taking shots out to a couple of hundred yards a breeze.  

Hunting Ammunition 

We opted for 300BLK for its performance while shooting suppressed.   


For whitetail hunting, there are two types of ammo that we keep coming back to: Barnes 110 TSX and Hornady 190 Sub-x. 


Barnes 110 TSX is a supersonic, 110-grain, solid copper expanding projectile that delivers incredible terminal performance on game animals.  


The Barnes bullet is 100% lead-free, which is a requirement in certain areas for hunting. As a solid copper bullet, it retains its mass upon impact and expands to about .66". The performance is outstanding on medium-sized game animals like whitetail deer.  


The Hornady 190-grain Sub-X is an excellent choice for subsonic hunting.  


This ballistic tipper lead core bullet expands at subsonic velocities (down to about 900FPS) and expands to about half of an inch. The Sub-X allows us to take deer whisper-quietly when shooting suppressed and still delivers excellent performance on  game.  


Subsonic hunting is ideal out to about 100 yards, which is great for most of the blinds and tree stands we hunt from.  


In a herd of deer, we have been able to take a shot at our target deer, and the others in the herd barely react. You could potentially fill multiple tags at the same time. 

Essential Clothing for White-Tail Deer Hunting 

Your hunting attire should do two things for you: keep you comfortable and keep you from being seen. 


If you're in a northern state, you need to stay warm and dry while in the woods waiting for the sun to come up and the deer to stroll in. And if you're in the south, like us, it will be 80° on opening day, so you have to stay cool and keep the sun off yourself. 


The best hunting clothes should also help break up your outline and make it harder for you to be spotted by the game animals. Camo, which is effective in your area, is an important addition. 

Base Layers

The layers touching your skin play a huge role in temperature regulation and keeping you comfortable in the field.  


The base layers you opt for will be different based on your environment and will differ depending on the conditions. If you're in a warm climate, moisture wicking and sun protection are essential to help keep you cool and stop sun damage.  


In colder regions, thermal layers that help trap heat close to your body are essential for staying warm in the deer blind.  


Under Armour makes a great line of base layers for cold and hot environments, including garments explicitly designed for hunting. 

Outer Layers

The top layers in your apparel system help to combat the environment instead of regulating your internal body temperature.  


These layers are generally weatherproof to keep the wind and rain off you and maybe insulated depending on the temperature you'll be hunting in.  


Good camo patterns come into play on your outer layers as they are the most visible clothing articles.  


Most states require hunters to wear blaze orange, so incorporate an orange hat and vest into your hunting ensemble. 


The gear from Kuiu, First Lite, and Sitka are all great quality and offer a variety of camo patterns to match the terrain you'll be hunting in. 


There is nothing worse than wet feet out in the field. Not only are soggy socks uncomfortable, but they can also be potentially dangerous in the wrong environment.  


Your extremities lose heat much faster than your core and wet feet in freezing temps can cause frostbite quickly.  


You are also more prone to blisters and infections with wet socks rubbing against your skin.  


A good pair of boots will keep you warm, comfortable, and safe. We recommend waterproof boots with a rubber sole and an insole that is comfortable for long periods of time and hikes. 


Pro tip: New boots tend to be stiff and uncomfortable. Wear your boots around the house and outside for a few days before you take to the woods to break them in so you're ready to go on opening day. 


Some of our favorite brands for good hunting boots are Crispi USA and Saloman. 

Hunting Pack 

If you're hiking into a remote hunting spot or plan on being out all day, a backpack to carry extra gear comes in handy.  


Your loadout will determine how large of a bag you require. Generally, a 14L pack is large enough to carry food, water, and emergency medical equipment. 


We recommend backpacks with weatherproof zippers to keep your belongings dry and adjustable shoulder straps to ensure your bag sits comfortably on your back.  


A waist strap is a great addition if you'll be going on longer hikes or wearing the bag for extended periods. Waist straps allow your hips and lower body to carry some of the weight instead of your back and shoulders.  


There are a ton of great brands in this space. We highly recommend Eberlestock, Viktos, and Vertx. 

Essential Gear for White-Tail Deer Hunting 

There are pieces of deer hunting gear that can take your hunting skills to the next level beyond what you're wearing or what you're shooting.   


Calls and scents to attract the big buck, binoculars, and range finders to glass an area, and a god knife and game bags for once you've made the shot will all come in handy to make you a more successful hunter. 

Deer Calls

While it would be nice to always be able to set up a stand in the perfect location where the deer walk right in front of you naturally, that’s not always the case.

A call, or a variety of calls, can help to coax out a whitetail. The most common types of calls for whitetail deer are bleat calls, grunt calls, and raddle antlers. 

  • Bleat Calls 
  • These calls are simple to use and can be very effective. Bleat calls aim to emulate the sound of a doe in heat to attract bucks during the rut, or fawn calls to attract does in the early season. 
  • Grunt Calls 
  • Grunt calls sound like the grunts of a large buck and should be used in the early season and early rut. Male deer fight over territory, and the grunt is a challenge call to other bucks. These calls can bring in large bucks in a hurry if you’re in the right area. 
  • Rattle Atlers 
  • Similar to the grunt call, rattling antlers sound like two bucks fighting. The sound of antlers clashing together can signal other bucks in the area to come stake their claim to the territory. 

Hunting Scents

There are pieces of deer hunting gear that can take your hunting skills to the next level beyond what you're wearing or what you're shooting.   


Calls and scents to attract the big buck, binoculars, and range finders to glass an area, and a god knife and game bags for once you've made the shot will all come in handy to make you a more successful hunter. 


You have to spot the deer before you can shoot it.  


A set of magnified binoculars makes surveying an area much more effective than your naked eye.   


Binos are very effective for finding deer if you hunt in a more open area, such as a crop field or plains.   


Good glass clarity and adjustable focus are vital features of hunting binoculars, as deer often blend into their environment very well. Good glass can be the difference between filling the freezer and missing a good opportunity due to not seeing a quality deer.  


SIG Sauer and Vortex Optics both make top-tier binoculars at a variety of magnification ranges and price points so that you can find the perfect set for your application.   


A binocular harness, like from Marsupial Gear, is an excellent piece of kit to hold your binos and rangefinder to allow you to remain hands-free while you're traversing the wilderness and will keep them safe when not in use.  

Range Finder

Most of our shots don't happen at the exact range we zeroed at, which means you likely need to adjust when you're ready to take the shot.  


Knowing exactly how far away your target whitetail deer is will help ensure you make an ethical shot on the animal. Misjudging the distance and making an incorrect hold can result in a miss or, worse, an injured deer.  


Laser rangefinders have come a long way over the last few years and are now compact, lightweight, and accurate. This tool will make you more confident and accurate this hunting season.  


We've had great results from the Vortex Diamondback and SIG Kilo handheld rangefinders. Both brands also make range-finding binoculars so that you can cut down on one piece of gear. 

Hunting Knife

When you do make a successful shot, the real work begins.  


Field dressing a deer is relatively simple, and there are tons of great guides to learn how to do it. However, you'll need the right tool for the job.  


A sharp knife with a curved blade of at least 3" long will make cleaning the deer easier. A sharp knife allows you to cut through the hide instead of fighting with the knife and gives you more control to avoid ruining the venison.  


The worst-case scenario is cutting into the stomach or intestines, which can spoil the meat if punctured. 


Our Toor Knives and Montana Knife Company blades have held up great and have made field-dressing deer simple. 

Game Bags

After you've cleaned the deer, you have to do something with the meat.  


If you're far from your vehicle or camp, you might quarter the deer to pack it out.  


Game bags give you a clean way to store the meat while in transit. These bags allow airflow to help cool the meat but stop dirt, bacteria, insects, and more from contaminating your venison. 


Game bags are lightweight and pack very small. They're easy to stuff into a backpack or even large jacket pockets. 

Essential Emergency Kit for White-Tail Deer Hunting 

We highly recommend carrying an emergency kit that contains first aid kits, trauma kits, survival items, food, and water while you're out hunting.  


If an emergency happens, be prepared; these items will help to keep you safe while you're out in the wilderness. 

First Aid 

Keeping a basic first aid kit to tend to minor injuries can pay dividends.  


In the wilderness, minor cuts, scrapes, and burns can be annoying at best and get infected at worst. Keeping some antibacterial ointment, bandages, and burn cream on hand allows you to mend small problems before they become bigger issues.   

Trauma Kit

We always recommend being prepared for the worst case, even if it is very unlikely. While serious injuries are not common, having the tools on hand to treat these injuries could save lives.  


Carrying a trauma kit containing hemostatic gauze, tourniquets, splints, chest seals, and an emergency blanket allows you to deal with severe injuries like: 

  • puncture wounds 
  • large bleeds 
  • sprains or broken bones 
  • hypothermia 


Providing emergency medical to yourself or others can be life-saving before medical professionals arrive. 


For a premade trauma kit, check out offerings from Dark Angel Medical and North American Rescue. They offer great products and training on using the gear to keep yourself and others safe. 


A lot of whitetail deer hunting occurs in the evening, just before sundown. 


Good hands-free illumination can make navigating back to camp, cleaning your deer, or packing up your gear in the dark much easier.   


We recommend battery-powered headlamps over rechargeable units so that in case your light dies while you're using it, you can easily swap out a couple of batteries and be back in action.   


The Black Diamond headlamps have held up great over the years and have outstanding output. We've had a great experience with the Spot 400 model, which runs on AAA batteries.


If you're planning a long hunt, taking food with you is essential.  


You burn a lot of calories carrying your equipment into the field, and even more so in extreme heat or cold. Keeping some non-perishable food with you, such as energy bars, dried fruit, or even an MRE, will give you energy without taking up much space. 


Dehydration is serious, and it happens fast when you're burning calories.  


Bringing a water bottle and hydration powder with you will ensure you stay hydrated and that your body operates optimally to give you the best odds of a successful hunt. 



Hunting is a great American pastime, and we're glad to see new hunters and experienced sportsmen and women taking to the woods again this season.  


With this list of essential gear to make your whitetail deer hunts more successful, you're on your way to filling up your freezer and mounting an impressive trophy buck on your wall.  


If you have an upcoming hunting trip, we wish you good luck. We would love to see your hunting kits, trophies, and gear; tag us on Instagram to share.