Elk Hunting Checklist - The Gear YOU Need to hunt elk

Elk Hunting Checklist

by Ruben Sanchez on 02-11-2015 in Hunting Articles

Elk Hunting ChecklistWelcome to our official elk hunting checklist, the definitive guide on all the equipment you'll need on your next elk hunt. This checklist can also be used to get a general idea of what equipment you'll need for any hunting trip but you should remember that we geared it more towards what an elk hunter would need. Our checklist is broken down into different sections to make it easier to read and understand. If you're going to use an elk hunting outfitter you'll want to check with them what hunting equipment you need to provide on your own.


Legal Requirements


  • Hunter Safety Course - Many states require a hunter to take part in a hunter safety course before they can be issued a hunting license.
  • State Hunting License - You'll need a valid hunting license in the state you plan to hunt elk in.
  • Elk Permit/Tag - Along with a state hunting license you'll need an elk tag/permit.
  • State Issued Identification - You should always carry a state issued driver's license or state ID.
  • Blaze Orange (per state requirement) - Many states require a hunter to have on specific amount of hunter orange. See your state's hunting laws.


General Hunting Equipment

  • 2-Way Radio(s) - If you're with a partner this is a useful way to communicate or if you're solo can be used in an emergency situation.
  • Ammunition/Arrows - Depending on your hunting preference you'll need ammo or arrows that are sufficient for hunting elk.
  • Backpack - Your hunting backpack should be able to carry everything you need.
  • Binoculars - Unless your superman you'll need these to view areas from a distance.
  • Compass - Knowing which way is North, South, East and West is important when hunting.
  • Digital Camera - You'll need a camera to take pictures of your harvested elk and capture memorable moments on your elk hunting trip.
  • Flashlight - Useful to see at night or in well shaded areas.
  • Hand Sanitizer - This is useful to sanitize your hands when you need to during your elk hunt.
  • Insect Repellant - Very useful during those non-winter months.
  • Knife (hunting quality) - Every hunter needs quality, all-purpose hunting knife.
  • Knife Sharpener - Useful to sharpen your hunting knife in the field if you need to.
  • GPS (bring extra batteries) - This is the easiest way to not get lost in the woods, but you should always carry a topographic or aerial map as back-up.
  • Local Topographical and/or Aerial Maps - It's important that you know the area you're going to be hunting in. By using maps you can locate areas elk my populate or get your bearings if you're lost.
  • Poncho - If it starts raining on your elk hunt you'll be soaked without one of these.
  • Rangefinder - Useful for figuring out how far away an elk is to properly adjust your shot placement.
  • Scent Cover/Reduction - This is used to cover up the human scent on your cloths and equipment. Check out our elk hunting tips for more information on scent reduction .
  • Toilet Paper - Do we really need to tell you why you need this?
  • Wind Indicator - This is useful along with your range finder to help take the most accurate shot on an elk.


Elk Specific Hunting Equipment

  • Elk Call/Bugle - This is a device used to attract elk by mimicking their sounds and noises.
  • Elk Scent/Attractants - This is usually a spray or power substance used to attract elk to a specific area.
  • Elk Decoy - These are used to attract elk to a specific area by fooling them that it's a real elk.


Hunting Safety & Survival Equipment

  • 50' of Nylon Cord - There are endless reasons why you could need this nylon cord on your hunting trip.
  • Chemical Hand Warmers - This is essential equipment if you're hunting elk during the winter months.
  • First Aid Kit - You should purchase a first aid kit that is designed for hunting or outdoors.
  • Fire Starter or Waterproof Matches - Hunting or not anyone who goes into the woods should have the ability to create a fire on demand.
  • Portable Water Storage - You should have some type of portable water storage device.
  • Signaling Device - This can be a mirror, flare or laser point and is used to signal people your location.
  • Blanket (heat reflectively style) - When the cold weather is involved these can help keep you warm during those winter nights.
  • Water Purification Tablets - Water can be teaming with tons of bacteria in the wild, these can ensure clean, safe drinking water.


Please remember that is a generalized elk hunting checklist and some other items that you may need could not be listed. If this is your first elk hunting trip you might want to consider using an elk hunting outfitter or being along someone who has experience in the field. Some of the worst hunting accidents happen to people who are ill prepared or uninformed. If you don't see something in this checklist that you feel should be included please contact us and let us know!