Bear Basics: Top 5 Day Pack Picks
By Scott Titley, Team Harvester Outdoors
It’s a beautiful sunny day in May and you’re heading to your bear baits. You climb up into your tree stand, take a peak around your bait site and start to picture a big bruin walking to your barrels sniffing at your beaver hanging from the tree. You can picture the perfect scenario, the perfect shot, and a quick painless harvest of a great animal. Now what? Do you have everything you need? I’m going to share my top 5 picks of the best things do have in your Black bear day pack.
Let’s start out plain and simple. Hydration is more important that most people think. There’s a reason why professional athletes drink litres of water every day. Water is fuel. On a normal day, you should be 2-3 litres. When you are hunting you should have half of that on you and the other half in your truck waiting for you. Being hydrated is only going to have a positive impact on your hunting experience. Hydrated muscles mean stronger muscles, less cramping, and more energy in the field when you need it. That being said, if you over hydrate you better have a big Gatorade bottle in your pack. Like most of the items I’m going to mention, I have the philosophy that I rather have a little extra weight in my bag, than be wishing that I did.
2. Medical Aid
This is something that is commonly overlooked when it comes to hunting, until it’s needed. Be the person that’s prepared for the not so great times in the bush. The day might never come, but if it does and you’re prepared, you’ll thank yourself. Carry a decent compact first aid kit in your pack and know how to use every item in it. Having a tourniquet and not knowing how to use it, won’t help you or your buddy much.
3. Good Light Source
A good light source could be the difference between tracking down an animal safely and getting lost in the bush with a very angry black bear. I can speak from personal experience that when you’re tracking a black bear in the pitch black of night, a great light source vs an OK light source can make a huge difference. A couple cheaper headlamps / flash lights are great to have in the pack as back-ups, but spend a few bucks and buy at least one good, dependable, light source.
4. A Quality Knife.
You’ve successfully harvested an absolute stud of a black bear. It tips the scales at 500lbs. Tape measure stretched out tail to nose it’s a towering 7 foot mark. Now what? You need to break down this beast of an animal. The sun is going down, it’s getting late, but thanks to your good quality light source and your quality knife you can make quick work of this animal. Whether you’re field dressing an animal or butchering it in your shop, there are plenty of quality knives on the market. Some have stood the test of time, others are new to the market and are great quality. It comes down to personal preference and choice. Choose a knife within your budget and learn how to use it properly. Your life in the bush will be much easier.
Its 2020, use technology to your advantage. There’s a handful a great apps you can download on your phone to help yourself out during your adventures. IHunter , navionics, Canadatopomaps, Google maps, are a few examples of apps that can make your life much easier. I personally like to use the IHunter app for marking my tree stand, game trails, ground blinds, as well as turning the “track me” feature on makes finding your truck a breeze. Technology has come so far and has been specifically designed to make the hunters life easier and safer. Use this technology to your advantage. Keep in mind though, as great as technology can be, at the end of the day you need to find your way out of the bush. Apps make this easy, but don’t forget, technology can always fail. Mark trails. Know how to use a compass, read game trails and know your directions. Technology makes life easy, but never depend on it completely.
These are a handful of the things I always carry in my pack whenever I head out for my next adventure. You don’t need top of the line equipment that breaks the bank, but having quality items in your pack will make your life easier. I would rather have a few extra lbs in my pack, then be in the bush wishing that I did.
Stay safe out there.
Team Harvester Outdoors