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Thread: Good starter gear for new blacktail hunter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Comox Valley
    Posts
    9

    Good starter gear for new blacktail hunter

    Hey everyone,

    brand new hunter here from VI. Going to start off with hunting blacktail around the island. I'm looking for some recommendations on what basic gear I should get. I already have a .223 rifle, dressing knife, and gut hook. I figure I should get some binos as well. Any other recommendations for the beginner? I don't need super fancy stuff.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    727

    Re: Good starter gear for new blacktail hunter

    Good Bino's, day pack, good boots and good rain gear.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,255

    Re: Good starter gear for new blacktail hunter

    If your plan is to sit and glass big cutblocks, invest in some good rubber rain gear. If your plan is to stalk the timber, gets some quiet clothing that keeps you warm when wet " combibation of wool/Fleece ".

    Dont waste a penny on camoflage gear unless you plan on bowhunting.

    I understand its expensive when you are starting, and you can get by with less expensive rain gear, and boots, but get the best binoculars you can afford. You cant shoot what you cant find and cheapo 100 bushnells will fail and fog up on you.
    Last edited by Ron.C; 09-19-2019 at 11:19 AM.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Comox Valley
    Posts
    9

    Re: Good starter gear for new blacktail hunter

    Definitely agree on the raingear, especially for the Island. No need for camouflage for rifle hunting? I was gonna grab some old army surplus so I don't ruin the stuff I have issued to me

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Tent city Victoria
    Posts
    3,079

    Re: Good starter gear for new blacktail hunter

    Solid earth tones work fine. Greys, greens etc. Avoid blue.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,255

    Re: Good starter gear for new blacktail hunter

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin13 View Post
    Definitely agree on the raingear, especially for the Island. No need for camouflage for rifle hunting? I was gonna grab some old army surplus so I don't ruin the stuff I have issued to me
    Its more important to watch the wind and be careful how you move then to worry about camo.
    I think most camo now adays for big game hunting is hype and im sure that industry make millions. In hind sight, I wasted allot of money early in my hunting career on all the wrong gear.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Comox Valley
    Posts
    9

    Re: Good starter gear for new blacktail hunter

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin13 View Post
    Definitely agree on the raingear, especially for the Island. No need for camouflage for rifle hunting? I was gonna grab some old army surplus so I don't ruin the stuff I have issued to me
    I remember reading something about avoiding blue, attracts the deer's attention more than other colours

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Kelowna
    Posts
    303

    Re: Good starter gear for new blacktail hunter

    As a beginner myself, I definitely recommend good boots and binos. I started with cheap amazon $50 bushnell binos and crappy tire boots. After my first season last year frustrated with wiping the fog off my eyepiece EVERY few seconds, I bought a pair of Vortex Diamondback 8x42 on sale for a couple hundred – Cabelas has the 10x42 for 299 right now... or try to find a good pair that's used - most hunters upgrade - lot's of deals to be had. CGN is a good source.

    I was able to return my CT boots within a year, at least their exchange warranty is great, and upgraded to another pair after the soles were crumbling. The new pair's soles chipped away after one use, I was able to return and get a refund, and went to Atmosphere and got some Solomon Gore-tex hiking boots on sale for a couple hundred, at about $80 off, the 4D, I highly recommend them: waterproof and tough. Hiked rock, slash, cut blocks. Didn't even break a shoe string. I also got some gore-tex gaiters which I wish I got last year. Hunting pants always get soaked beneath the knees, this kept my pants dry from the knee down.

    Then rain poncho is really all you need if you have some good wool layers. I use merino or merino blend for base layers, then synthetic or fleece (no cotton), then synthetic shells (jacket + pants), with rain poncho for when it pours. Make sure you get a poncho that has a big enough hole for your head with a cap, some are pretty tight, and can rip. Deer didn't seem to be concerned with sound of rain coming off my poncho when glassing them.

    I'd love to get sitka, or first light geared up - but that will be when I have an extra couple grand to burn...
    ~
    Wherever there is Animal Worship there is Human Sacrifice. That is, both symbolically and literally, a real truth of historical experience.
    G. K. Chesterton

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Terrace
    Posts
    147

    Re: Good starter gear for new blacktail hunter

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron.C View Post
    If your plan is to sit and glass big cutblocks, invest in some good rubber rain gear. If your plan is to stalk the timber, gets some quiet clothing that keeps you warm when wet " combibation of wool/Fleece ".

    Dont waste a penny on camoflage gear unless you plan on bowhunting.

    I understand its expensive when you are starting, and you can get by with less expensive rain gear, and boots, but get the best binoculars you can afford. You cant shoot what you cant find and cheapo 100 bushnells will fail and fog up on you.
    Camouflage is not necessary even for bowhunting. My favourite still hunting attire is an old Pendelton paid wool shirt and a pair of Khaki cargo pants and a crushable wool fedora. I like the full brim hats, keeps rain off the back of your neck, especially as I can't stand wearing a hooded jacket.

    Totally agree on the importance of good binos! a good pair of mid range Nikons will serve you well and you may never feel the need to "upgrade". I have heard many good things about Vortex optics as well. I spent the first few years of my bowhunting career without binos and was caught flat footed by many deer that "appeared" out of no where.

    Good footwear is incredibly important but is greatly determined by your style of hunting. I have a pair of heavy Hanwags for backpacking around for goats and caribou, but will slip into a pair of rubber gum boots for stalking coastal blacktail. I have even worn Chuck Taylors for stalking in the spring.

    What works for one may not work for you and vice versa. I love hunting with my back quiver, lots of guys cant stand them. I love old wool shirts and jackets, others swear by nothing but Kuiu or Sitka. Some guys swear up and down there is no dicernable difference in a pair of $400 binos and a $2000 pair, I love my Leica's and have zero buyers remorse. Most important is to just get out there, put some miles on and sort out what works best for you.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    3,081

    Re: Good starter gear for new blacktail hunter

    I grew up on northern Vancouver Island and started hunting there carrying my own rifle in 1968.

    Basic equipment was a rain gear, a knife, compass, my iron sighted 303 Ross rifle and a pair of caulk boots.

    I never owned a pair of binos until 1978.

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