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What Deer Pros Keep in Hunting Packs

What do the deer hunting TV show hosts ALWAYS keep in their deer hunting packs? We asked them and came up with some interesting answers.

Like most outdoor TV personalities, Melissa Bachman carries scent-elimination spray in her deer hunting backpack. But she also carries the breakfast of champions — a Diet Mountain Dew and some Pop Tarts. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Bachman)

What do the hunting show hosts on Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel and MyOutdoorTV shows keep in their deer hunting packs?

When we posed that question to a number of them, there was a listing of some of the usual things that you might expect — pull ropes, GPS units, limb saws, flashlights, hunting knives, extra batteries, SDHC film cards, etc.

Take Mark Drury, for example, legendary host of several shows on Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel, including the award winning THIRTEEN.

"I keep a wind checker in my pack," said Drury. "I also have a brush clipper, a saw, a Nikon rangefinder, Nikon 10x42 binoculars, and a Tru-Fire bow release. There's also my hunting tags, a screw-in bow holder, a pull-up rope, an extra treestand harness tether, and my Outdoors Edge hunting knife. That's everything that's in my pack."

(Jeff Phillips photo)

Or what about Matt Bullins, host of Whitetail Fix on Sportsman Channel, as another example, what does he always keep in his deer hunting pack?

"First, I've always got some Wildlife Research Center Scent Killer Gold Spray," said Bullins. "And of course, some Wildlife Research Center Scent Killer Gold Field Wipes too."

Ok, again, pretty standard fare there, something that nearly every single one of our hunting show hosts keeps handy in their pack.

But the next item got our attention: "I've got a Cirrus Wind Indicator," said Bullins, noting an item that uses puffs of vapor (1,000 per cartridge) to help hunters keep close tabs on the slightest shifts in wind direction and currents in the woods and how it might be dispersing their scent stream.

Then there was Jim Shockey, the legendary big game hunter from British Columbia, Canada and host of a variety of different shows on Outdoor Channel and My Outdoors TV including the ground breaking show UNCHARTED.

What does the cowboy-hat wearing Shockey keep handy in his deer hunting pack?

"Twizzlers," he said with the slightest hint of a grin.

Mike Stroff, who appears on Savage Outdoors on Sportsman Channel, has a couple of items that interestingly enough didn't appear on other lists.

"I keep a compass in my pack," said Stroff. "And I keep a Thermacell (mosquito repelling unit) in the pack too."

Ditto for Rob Fickling, who appears on Beyond the Divide on Sportsman Channel, who had a couple of items that no one else mentioned.

"I keep a meat bag in my pack," said Fickling, the only one of our show hosts to mention such an item. "And I keep some chocolate, some water, and a snakebite bandage."

Then there is Melissa Bachman, host of Winchester Deadly Passion on Sportsman Channel, who serves up another example of usual and not so usual stuff.

Again, some pretty standard-issue whitetail hunting gear to start off with; a large set of rattling horns, a grunt tube, a neck gaiter, a wind puffer, and a knife.

(Jeff Phillips photo)

But there also were a few interesting items Bachman doesn't go into the woods without.

"I have a Diet Mountain Dew and some snacks, Pop Tarts usually, in my pack," said Bachman. "I also keep a few Therma Care Heat Wraps in my pack (too). And of course, I have my lucky Winchester hat that I always wear."

For Bill Gorman, host of the L.L. Bean Guide to the Outdoors on Outdoor Channel, he keeps such things as his hunting license, a knife, a flashlight, a spare bow release, and a Leatherman multi-tool in his pack.

But living in and hunting a lot in the Northern U.S., he also keeps some items handy that can help keep him warm if it gets chillier than expected.

"I keep a Primaloft vest and jacket in my pack, along with a wool hat, some extra wool socks and some extra gloves," said Gorman. "And I also keep a lighter in my pack."

Out West in Arizona, Steve West of Outdoor Channel's Steve's Outdoors Adventures, keeps some mule deer hunting items in his pack.

"I keep a (Garmin) InReach (GPS) handy, along with a camera," said West. "There's also a high protein snack and a candy bar, two bottles of water, some shop paper towels, my Havalon knives, an extra base layer shirt, a long rain jacket, some jungle cord, and some extra ammo."

Staying out West in Colorado, Trevon Stoltzfus, co-host of Outback Outdoors on Sportsman Channel, keeps standard whitetail and mule deer hunting gear in his pack.

But there's also an unusual item or two.

"I keep a Canon 6D camera with a 24-105mm lens in my pack," said Stoltzfus, who also is a well-known western bowhunting outdoor writer. "And there's a Havalon knife, an external charger for my Iphone and some Wilderness Athlete Energy & Focus (drink mix) packets."

But this item is what really caught our attention: "I also keep my YETI Rambler, the 26-ounce bottle, filled with coffee," said Stoltzfus.

Did he say 26-ounces of coffee? Well, there's no word from Trevon if he also has an empty bottle of some sort in his hunting pack.

You know, to answer Mother Nature's call when his bladder gets full after the 26 ounces are consumed.

Speaking of Mother Nature's call, how about what Ralph Cianciarulo, who has been a mainstay on The Choice and Archer's Choice programs, keeps handy in his pack?

"I always keep some toilet paper and some Wet Ones wipes in my pack," grinned Ralph. "Because you just never know when Mother Nature might call."

Well played, Ralph, well played.

For Outdoor Channel's Mossy Oak's Hunting the Country co-host Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland, one must have item in his hunting pack is a bit old school in this era of Smartphones, Kindles, and other electronic gadgets.

What is this item in Strickland's pack? A good book to read, something that must undoubtedly have one of Strickland's grade school teachers smiling from ear to ear somewhere.

Finally, there's one item mentioned – this one from Dan Braman of Sportsman Channel's show Wildlifers – that was quite interesting, showing the high level of confidence he typically carries into the field.

"I always keep a knife-sharpening stone in my pack," said Braman.

Why? Because like most all of the deer hunting hosts listed above, Braman rarely comes out of the woods empty handed, especially during #DeerWeek.

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