By Buddy Blouin
Though it will vary depending on where you live, when the leaves start to change and eventually fall down, it means several things: cooler weather, bonfires, football, and hunting season. Anyone that's been a part of the military community understands the importance of having the right great to get the job done. There’s nothing quite like being out in nature, taking it all in, and stalking an animal that can provide for you and your family. But having the right hunting gear can be the difference between simply spending time outdoors and putting food on your table.

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The 12 Must-Have Hunting Gear Items for Military & Veterans

Don’t get it twisted. There’s more to a hunt than the kill. A sereneness and reconnection that can only come from being out in the woods, marsh, plains, mountains, etc., can’t really be described. It can only be felt throughout the experience. But having a hot meal and a freezer full of meat is inevitably the goal of any hunt, and making sure that your trip is a success starts with having the right tools in place. Here are the 12 best pieces of hunting gear you’ll need this season:

1. Sitka Hunting Gear

Sitka hunting gear has established itself as an absolute force in the world of hunting. The Sitka GORE OPTIFADE Concealment Waterfowl Timber Delta Wading Jacket is a great example of the quality brought by the company. Featuring 100% waterproof, windproof, and breathable protection, this is a piece of must-have duck hunting gear for anyone hunting waterfowl.

2. Gogogo Rangefinder

Knowing the distance of your target is imperative for the perfect shot. The Gogogo Sport Vpro Laser Rangefinder helps you accurately gauge any distance up to 650 yards.

3. MOPHOTO 5 in 1 Ghillie Suit

The MOPHOTO 5 in 1 Ghillie Suit, 3D Camouflage Hunting Apparel offers plenty of advantages as hunting equipment, but its function is much more than stalking prey. There are obvious recreational and tactical benefits, and MOPHOTO delivers an affordable, durable product that fits all sizes.

4. Garmin inReach Mini 2 Satellite Communicator

Garmin continues to set the standard for innovative technology for outdoorsmen, and the Garmin inReach Mini 2 Satellite Communicator is no exception. Being miles from civilization with no cellphone service is a dream in many ways, but staying in communication with fellow hunters in case you are lost or in an emergency is critical. This device is perfect for getting messages out even under less-than-ideal conditions.

5. MT Military Army Large Rucksack

The MT Military Army Large Rucksack is a highly rated backpack built for durability and flexibility. It features a detachable tactical assault backpack, hydration pack, and padded shoulder straps/waist belt. The internal metal frame and Multicam camo help you blend in and endure even the harshest environments.

6. FCNB Survival Kit

You’ll save plenty of trips to the hunting store with the Survival Kit 34 in 1. This kit has a little bit of everything, including a tactical pen, survival bracelet, emergency blanket, paracord, fire starter, hooks, and more, all inside a waterproof box, perfect for trekking.

7. Huncho Rain Poncho

The Huncho Rain Poncho doesn’t just protect you from water on the outside; it also protects from moisture on the inside. This breathable poncho option eliminates the heat others may trap in, providing a cooler experience while keeping you dry when you're exposed to the elements. A great addition to any hunting rain gear collection.

8. Steiner Military Binoculars

In addition to brighter pictures and better contrast, high-quality multicoated optics offer sharper contours and more natural color definition. For judging height and distance, Steiner Military Binoculars have a ranging reticle. Flexible silicone lens mounts allow the Floating Prism System to absorb shock, impact, and vibration.

9. GLORYFIRE Duck Call Lanyard

Duck hunting gear requires many essentials, but the GLORYFIRE Duck Call Lanyard will have you covered for holding all of your calls. The military-grade nylon 550-lb. paracord is perfect for durability, and the lanyard is designed to hold up to 11 calls at a time.

10. SHE Outdoor Camo Utility Waterproof Rubber Boots

Skip the hunting stores, ladies. The SHE Outdoor Camo Utility Waterproof Rubber Boots are affordable footwear built to conquer the outdoors. 100% waterproof and nicely insulated, this lightweight option is perfect to wear as turkey hunting gear, deer hunting gear, or anything else that may require you to come in contact with wet terrain.

11. Nomad Men's Pursuit Convertible Turkey Vest

Nomad hunting gear provides durability and affordability to hunters, and the Nomad Men's Pursuit Convertible Turkey Vest is a perfect choice for any turkey hunter. A solid camo look and machine-washable material mean you can blend in while outdoors and spend less time cleaning your gear when you return home.

12. Trophy Ridge® React Pro Bow Sight

If you’re looking for a new sight for your bow, the Trophy Ridge® React Pro Bow Sight deserves your attention. This sight has plenty of great features to help you increase your accuracy, including 9.5-oz. lightweight but durable stainless steel, a 5-pin bow sight with React Technology for fast pin setting, no-slop windage and elevation brackets, and much more. Your bow hunting gear isn’t complete without this sight.

Why Is Hunting Gear So Expensive?

From durable materials to branding, you can spend a lot of time going back and forth on the reasons hunting gear costs a pretty penny. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend an arm and a leg on your purchase. One great way to save is to determine the hunting equipment you need and distinguish it from the hunting equipment you want. Having the latest and greatest is also going to help you have a better hunt, but if you have older equipment that's still in good condition and working properly, upgrading may not be necessary. Still, with so many ways to get outdoors and so many pieces of hunting gear to assess, this list is a great place to get started. However you decide to upgrade, practice safety, remember to enjoy the process, and best of luck on a successful hunt.

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