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Hunting Gear Checklist for Big Game

Submitted by:  Backcountry Press Outdoor News 
Revised and posted on: 08/18/18

Disclaimer:  The views expressed on this site are that of the authors and not necessarily that of TBC Press
A high quality pack frame will be useful for transporting your personal gear, and is a must for packing a bear hide.  A hide may weigh over 100 lbs., and the skull will add 25 lbs. 

The appropriate equipment will make this part of a successful hunt much easier. Along with whatever personal hunting, fishing or camping equipment you bring, you should also take the items listed below on your big game hunt.

Your  Personal Identification
Hunting or Fishing Licenses / Tags / Stamps
Firearm Safety Card
Camping / Wilderness Permits
Flashlight & extra batteries

  • Rifle which is either 30-06 or larger that will shoot at least a 180 grain bullit
  • Sharp, six-inch hunting knife 
  • Sharpening stone and / or sharping device 
  • Properly sharpened hatchet, or ax 
  • 100 feet of strong 1/4-inch nylon rope 
  • Several pieces of paper towels or wiping cloth 
  • Bone saw 
  • Cheesecloth or meat bags & A ground cloth 
  • Heavy duty Grambel and Pulley Hoist
  • Pack board(s) or metal framed backpack(s) 
  • Topographic Maps & GPS system
  • Waxed "fish boxes"  for shipping meat
  • Packing tape
  • A leak-proof container for shipping the hide and skull
  • 10 lbs fine ground non iodized salt (Refer to Field Care for salting hides)
  • A supply of black pepper (liberal application of pepper will help to discourage flies)

From the list above, other than your weapon, a knife may be all that needs to be carried into the field if you will be hunting close to camp or your vehicle. Otherwise, you will need to pack your gear along.

For more gear information from Dan Lewis (Backcountry Custom Taxidermy) see:

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Your guide or outfitter will usually supply most the equipment and the field care of your trophy (always check what is included and what you should bring), however, for those that hunt alone or with partners and no guide or outfitter, this article is for you!

Perhaps the most important consideration when hunting large game is the animal's size. For instance - An adult moose can weigh from 600 to 1800 pounds, and once down, it will not be easily moved.  

Big game hunting is an exciting sport, with plenty of cross-country traveling by plane, on foot or on horseback. Common among the big game animals in North America are moose,elk, deer, caribou, buffalo, big horn sheep, mountain lion and bears. 

Big game hunting needs some amount of seriousness. Planning is necessary due to the risks involved like high altitude, cold weather, exhaustion and fatigue, and attacks from wild animals.

The Hunting Gear Checklist for Big Game is compiled from Alaska hunter and taxidermist Dan Lewis. Some of the necessary hunting equipment needed in the field to transport and preserve your trophy is listed below. 

Hunting Gear Checklist for Big Game