Hunting season is coming…what’s in my backpack?

The open field coursing (OFC) season is starting in a few weeks and with the weather cooling down that means we can start bringing the dogs out free coursing for conditioning. This also means cleaning out/repacking the backpack from last season! So what will I be packing this season?

Small first aid kit – super important for your dogs, especially in this sport where you might be miles away from your car (where you should have a full first aid kit): Skin stapler, gauze, cast padding, splint, vetrap, elasticon, tweezers or hemostats, saline flush (eyes or wounds), surgical glue, thermometer, instant ice pack, benadryl, hydrogen peroxide, hydrocortisone cream.

Binoculars – I love my Crooked Horn Outfitters Bino System! Takes the weight off of my neck and distributes it across my shoulders instead.

Nutri-Cal – high calorie dietary supplement to use after very long courses

K-9 Super Fuel (pre-mixed) – we mix this up the morning of and bring one liter into the field with us. This helps with a speedy recovery after courses. 

Water (lots of it, about 5-6 liters!)

Human: Geiger hydration pack – this is the best hydration pack we have found! It works off of a pump system, which creates pressure so you can squirt the dogs down, or squirt water directly into the bowl (no suction needed). It’s great in the field and especially when you’re on the line!

Canine: Platypus bottles – these are wonderful because they are collapsible and very lightweight. They are also very hardy and will last us at least a couple seasons!

Collapsible water bowl – easy access, I just clip it onto the outside of my backpack

Slip leads – I use the short, quick release ones. The short lead allows for me to have more control over the dog on the line.

Coursing blankets – yellow, pink, and blue (and an off color such as green or orange). I always carry extras just in case one gets lost or ripped. 

Walkie talkies


Garbage bags (for game).

Snacks (both human and canine!) – super important when you’re walking 6-10 miles a day!

Do you have similar things in your pack? Any suggestions on what else to add to my pack for this season?


10 thoughts on “Hunting season is coming…what’s in my backpack?

  1. I like using the watertight whitewater rafting bags as bunny body bags. No chance of ripping or leakage into your pack. I budget 2 liters of water per dog & human when I am packing. A lightweight net hammock makes a good emergency stretcher if you need to pack out a dog that takes more than one person to carry.

    • Great ideas, thanks! I will definitely have to try the new bags and the hammock, there have been times when we’ve had to carry dogs out of the field and a “stretcher” would have been helpful!

  2. We hit lots of new areas and always carry a gps, both to make sure we don’t lost and second to mark jacks. They are also useful during hunts, in the event the huntmaster doesn’t have one, you can make sure the same ground doesn’t walked twice. One other item that may be useful from time to time is a small caliber pistol, as much as we dread it the truth of the matter is that coyotes can and do get caught, and sometimes drastic measures are required.

  3. Where did you get your slip lead? I’ve a homemade one, which works fine, but is a bit fiddley. I notice that Black Dog trading no longer sells them.

    I also second the GPS, and in the last month we’ve dealt with two separate coyote affairs (and vet bills), and I’am glad I carry a pistol for putting the poor things out of their misery after the dogs have played with them and we’ve finally been able to call them off.

    Doug (Borzoi, of all things)

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