Bowhunter by Fall - Gear Essentials

View as a Webpage

Bowhunter by Fall - May

Catching Up - Essential Gear and Hunter Education

Hello prospective hunters. Since our last email we hope that you’ve had a chance to daydream about spending time in the field as a new bowhunter. This month, let's start with our most important responsibilities and work through essentials in becoming a successful, legal and safe bowhunter. 

In the next installment we will follow up with advice on selecting the right bow, arrows, and beginning to shoot and working on accuracy. 

Take Hunter Education

Hunter Education

First things first, successful completion of Hunter Education is required for every hunter (including out-of-state hunters) born on or after Sept. 2, 1971. The safety of patrons and protection of wildlife are two of the most important aspects of hunting. The Classroom, Online and Field Courses all cover the core standards in Firearm, Hunting and Outdoor Safety, Hunting Responsibilities and Wildlife Conservation. For help deciding which course is right for you, please visit TPWD’s Hunter Education Page.

Hunting License, Stamps & Permits

The Great Outdoors Are Calling. It's Time to Renew Your License. Buy Online Now.

A hunting license is required of a person (resident or nonresident) of any age, to hunt any animal including birds, frogs, turtles, or larger game species in Texas. Did you know that you can purchase a license on-line? Learn more about hunting licenses and the few exempt situations, including hog hunts on private property, that are explained here. Do not forget the often overlooked archery endorsement, an extra $7 stamp, required of all bowhunters. 

Bowhunting Gear Essentials

gear video link

Bowhunting gear essentials are the necessities for your bowhunting experiences. We realize your journey may not always require you to use each essential, but it is to your advantage to be well prepared in the event of the unexpected. 

Watch this short video that walks you through some gear basics. When finished, read below for more specifics on those essential items.

boy with deer

Basic Field Dressing Equipment
It’s important to always be prepared for a successful hunt with a field dressing kit. A sharp knife and rubber gloves are essential. A bone saw may be helpful in certain instances. Read more here with a pep talk that helps you recognize it is not that hard once you overcome the initial hesitation that many new hunters may feel. Cost: $40+ 

Personal First Aid Kit and Toiletries

Provides the ability to treat scratches, blisters, and other minor injuries. If nature calls, be prepared. Cost: $8+

outdoor annual app

Outdoor Annual - summary of Texas hunting, fishing & boating regulations
This year the Outdoor Annual will not make it to print in book form. Utilize the online version or download the mobile app at no cost. Do some homework before hitting the field to be sure you know your seasons and legal harvests.

We encourage you to develop a solid plan and schedule your activities so that you do not have to rely on an open fire, however, it’s a good idea to be prepared to build one in the event of an emergency. 

rain lilly

Extra Clothing and Rain Gear
Weather conditions in the outdoors can change at any moment. It is important to have the clothing you need to deal with various weather conditions (i.e., cold, heat, rain).

Water and Food

Burning lots of energy in the outdoors is a given, and while we know heat and humidity can make you more thirsty, it’s also important to drink plenty of fluids in cold weather conditions. Some trail food and water are necessities to ensure your health and safety.

gps crop

Map and/or GPS
The deeper you venture into the woods, the more important it becomes to have a map and GPS available to help find your way through unfamiliar territory. There are a variety of navigation apps available, and since cell service can sometimes be an issue, try to find one that doesn’t require it. As a back-up, it’s always a great idea to have an accessible map and compass. GPS Cost: $75+

Signaling Device
3 whistle blasts for “HELP”!

trail marker

Trail Markers or Trail Marking Ribbon
Reflective tacks and flagging tape make it easy for bow hunters to retrace their steps while stalking game by day or night.  When you are finished with your trail on public lands, please remember to remove these markers or tape. Cost: $1+

Spare Release-Aid

A release-aid allows for the cleanest release of the bowstring when firing. Carry a spare release just in the event your primary release isn’t working properly. Cost: $20+

binoculars cropped

Binoculars and Range Finders
Judging the distance of your shot is critical for a successful bow hunt. A rangefinder or extra homework at your hunting spot takes the guess work out of it. Before purchasing online, we recommend visiting your local outdoor retailer to find the pair that best fits your budget and hunting needs. Cost: $90+, or free with homework 

Bow Tools
For quick repairs and minor adjustments,these typically include Allen (hex) wrenches and a multi-tool. Cost: $10+

axis deer

Hunting Backpack Select something that is durable, comfortable to carry and water resistant to pack all of the above into. Here is another source of suggested items to pack inside your backpack, from our friends at Bowhunter360.

A few more items to include in your pack are:

  • Insect repellent
  • Utility knife
  • Portable phone charger
  • Flashlight with spare batteries

shopping list

There are a lot of items to add to your shopping list, or add them to your gift list for a birthday or upcoming holiday. To make it easier, we have created a shopping list to download and take with you, or share with a loved one. 

Next month we will help with selecting the right archery equipment, finding a mentor and beginning to practice. Begin thinking who in your network already enjoys archery. They may prove very useful in getting ready for this fall!

Do you have a friend who you would like to share this campaign with? Share this link with them, and we will catch them up to speed. 

If you haven't yet, please take our 3 minute survey to tell us a little about yourself. Your responses will help us make the information more relevant to you! 

TPWD's Community Archery Team
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
(512)389-4361 (office)