Deer hunting, regardless of where it’s done or how, has some universal components. And perhaps the foremost is the inevitable hunger brought on by sitting in a tree stand, hiding in a ground blind, or still-hunting for hours in frigid temps. Staving off this hunger with a strategically selected snack is largely a matter of personal preference, expedience, and tradition. But there are a few key elements to consider when grabbing some goodies for a long day in the woods.
When selecting your snack, choose a compact food that will maintain its integrity at the bottom of your pack without ending up crushed into a gelatinous mass of jelly or a powdered pile of crumbs. Some hunters might not mind a little physical damage to their food, but for those who do, consider packing it in a small plastic container instead.
Noisy packaging can ruin an ambush by signaling to every woodland creature around where you are. You want your snack to be easy to reach and quiet to unwrap. If your favorite munchies come in a foil wrapper or some equally clamorous container, do a little planning ahead and shuck them before you head into the field, packing them instead in a quiet-to-open sandwich bag.
Although we always advocate maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle to stay at the top of our hunting game, when you’re considering what food to pack for a day’s hunt, you may want to leave the rabbit food back at camp. When you’re burning tons of calories trying to stay warm and energized, you’ll find that calorie-rich foods can be a godsend. Plus, the more calories per bite, the less food you’ll have to pack and the less weight you’ll need to carry.
Miniature candy bars pack easily, have high calorie counts for their size, and give you a shot of energy from the loads of sugar and carbohydrates. Plus, they’re usually heavily discounted following Halloween and they’re delicious. The downside? It does take a little willpower to eat them only when you’re hungry—not when you’re bored.
High in fats and proteins
High-protein and -fat foods like nut butters or jerky will stick with you longer than carbohydrate-rich foods. The former can be purchased in small, single-serving plastic pouches that can be tucked in a pocket and slurped on conveniently. The latter can be sat on, near-frozen, and crushed under piles of gear, and still be a delicious pick-me-up that staves off hunger and boredom (you’ll be chewing on it for a while) during slow times in the stand.