Maine Deer Hunting: 10 Things To Always Pack

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You may have read our previous articles, Maine Deer Hunting Season and Maine Deer Hunting Tips. If you haven’t check those out for some helpful links and things to remember when hunting in our neck of the woods. Mix some expert advice and some common sense and you get today’s post. Ten things to always pack when deer hunting Maine. 




Northern Maine is literally millions of acres of forests. It’s a place that’s both great for deer and great for getting lost. Don’t hit the woods without a means of navigating back. Chances are pretty good that your phone won’t work. Batteries will die in your GPS unit. Pack a compass.

First aid kit

Nothing extravagant here. Just a small pack with the basics – gauze, tape, ibuprofen, needle and thread (you know, in case you rip your jacket…or your arm). That kind of stuff. You can make your own or buy these pre-packaged.

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If you do end up lost, you’ll want something to signal for help. Few things are more reliable than a decent whistle.

Fire starter

Whether you’re lost or just want to make a multi-day backwoods deer hunting excursion out of your trip (yep, some hunters do), being able to reliably start a fire is key to a great outing. In my pack, I carry one small waterproof container with cotton balls dipped in Vaseline and another with strike anywhere matches. Around each container, I roll lengths of tape – duct tape on one, electrical tape on the other. Never know when tape might come in handy.


Whether it’s for gutting a monster buck or a survival situation, a good knife is a critical component of any deer hunter’s field gear. And by “good knife” I mean something better than some cheap piece you find at the local discount store. Get something made by a brand you recognize. Something sturdy enough to split branches into kindling and sharp enough to make short work out of quartering out your trophy buck. Fixed blade models should also come with good, sturdy sheaths.

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Comfortable boots

Remember what I said about millions of acres? Now add in some mountains. North Maine is some amazing country, but damn can it be hard on your feet. A good pair of boots is about as essential as a good shooting firearm when it comes to deer hunting in this country.

Rattling antlers

I recently interviewed a very successful local deer hunter to get some insight into the keys to his success. One of the things he said he always takes with him to the deer woods is his rattling antlers. He’s had great success with them even outside of the rut. He uses real antlers coupled with grunts and wheezes (which he does with his own voice). It’s quite often the last little nudge needed to get a deer within range.

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Any chance you have to spot deer before they spot you puts you in the driver’s seat. Thus, a good pair of binoculars (plus a good shoulder strap to carry them for quick access) is something every deer hunter needs in his arsenal.

T-handle saw

They make these sweet t-handle limb saws that are maybe 6 inches long. I discovered them a number of years ago and haven’t been without one since. They’re as great for cutting limbs or smaller pieces of firewood as they are at cutting through the pelvic bone or rib cage of a monster buck. It’s one of those little conveniences that is well worth adding to your field pack.

550 cord

Anyone who’s ever been in the military knows the value of 550 cord (otherwise known as paracord). This small diameter cord is exceptionally strong for its size. Fifty, or even a hundred feet of it doesn’t take up much space in your pack and it’s handy to have for when you need to drag or pack out a deer or rig up a shelter. It also makes for a handy haul line to get your gear up into a treestand. Tie a carabiner or quick-release hook at one end and a loop at the other for easy rigging. 

These ten things, plus a trusty bow or rifle and you’re ready to set off in search of giant Maine whitetails.

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Hunting lodge in Northern Maine

Camp Katahdin is a luxury hunting retreat in Northern Maine.  We have three rental properties on 400+ acres of beautiful Katahdin area land. Our 15 person Hunting Lodge is set in the most beautiful hunting grounds in the Katahdin area.  Step out the door and walk, ATV, or snowmobile to prime hunting locations.  

We offer independent and guided hunts for all seasons, whitetail deer is one of our favorites. We are also commercially zoned for Pheasant hunting – that means, no license needed, 7 days a week hunts.  

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