Aldo Leopold, the godfather of wildlife ecology, warned us about over commercialization in the hunting industry decades ago. “Then came the gadgeteer, otherwise known as the sporting-goods dealer,” Leopold wrote. “He has draped the American outdoorsman with an infinity of contraptions, all offered as aids to self-reliance, hardihood, woodcraft, or marksmanship, but too often functioning as substitutes for them. Gadgets fill the pockets, they dangle from neck and belt. The overflow fills the auto-trunk and also the trailer. Each item of outdoor equipment grows lighter and often better, but the aggregate poundage becomes tonnage.”
Leupold was mostly right about his prediction. No gear item can replace skill or experience in the deer woods. But then again, Leopold never had the opportunity to sit comfortably in a lightweight treestand, not shivering beneath a Gore-Tex suit and synthetic base layers.
The right gear can make deer hunting more fun. So instead of stuffing useless gadgets under the tree for the deer hunter on your list, buy them the gear they’ll actually need—and save some money while doing it. Here’s our guide to the best deals on deer hunting gear right now.
CenterPoint Patriot 415 Crossbow Package for $278.00 (Was $347)
CenterPoint makes excellent crossbows for the money. In 2019, their Amped crossbow won the Great Buy Award in our Annual Crossbow Test. This package comes with everything you need to start crossbow hunting right out of the box, besides broadheads.
Wicked Tree Gear Wicked Tough Hand Saw for $29 (Save $10)
This is the ultimate stocking stuff for a deer hunter. These handy saws chew through branches quickly and easily fit into any hunter’s pack.
Leupold VX-6 HD Rifle Scope for $1299 (Save 5%)
Leupold makes the ideal riflescopes for deer hunters. They are reliable, durable, and made with quality glass. You can’t do much better than a VX-6 in 1-6X24mm if you’re hunting in the big woods, or 2-12X42mm if you’re hunting a combination of woods and fields.
5.11 Tactical Response XR2 Flashlight for $95 (Was $109)
The woods is never darker, or lonelier, than when you’re trying to follow a blood trail through the dark. In these cases, a headlamp—even a very good one—simply won’t cut it. A handy, ultra-bright flashlight like this one is the only tool for the job.
Sig Sauer KILO2200BDX Rangefinder for $279 (Save $50)
This is one of the baddest rangefinders on the market. It ranges game up to 1,000 yards and utilizes an applied ballistics calculator that can be paired with a BDX cable scope. In other words, set this rangefinder up for your specific rifle and load, and it will take the math out of long-range shooting
Vortex Viper HD Binoculars for $299 (Was $499)
Vortex Vipers have become an iconic hunting binocular for western big-game hunters and Midwestern deer hunters alike. You won’t find a better deal on them than this one. Buy one pair for your hunting buddy, and one pair for yourself.
Primal Treestands Life Link for $19.98 (Was $27.74)
Most treestand accidents happen while climbing into, or out of the stand. This piece of kit could save your hunting buddies life. The system allows you to be tethered to the tree from the moment you leave the ground. Simply clip your safety harness into the carabiner and slide the prussic knot up with you as you climb. Every treestand setup should have one.