5 Gun Accessories Every Deer Hunter Should Own

5 Gun Accessories Every Deer Hunter Should Own

Gramps killed more deer than you’ll ever see without a bipod or hearing protection. You don’t need anything besides an accurate rifle and iron sights to take down America’s favorite big game animal.

The accessories on this list might not be strictly necessary, but they sure are useful—and they’re worth considering as we get ready for the hunting season.

Bipod

The history of bipods is difficult to track down, likely because the concept is so intuitive. It probably took Chinese soldiers all of five minutes to realize their hand cannons were more accurate when steadied on two sticks, and the technology progressed from there.

These days, deer hunters enjoy a host of options that improve on the two-stick technology. You can find bipods for standing, sitting, and prone positions at a variety of price points. Swagger bipods bend and sway for almost unlimited flexibility in the field, and KDC bipods are designed to be the lightest on the market.

Hunters should select the bipod that will be most useful in the likeliest hunting scenario. If you plan to camp out in a tree stand and wait out the season, you probably don’t need one. For medium-range shots in flat country, a sitting bipod might help you see over shrubs or tall grasses. If you spot-and-stalk in hilly terrain, a lightweight prone bipod will almost definitely come in handy.

For that last scenario, I like the Spartan Javelin Lite Bipod. Spartan’s quick-detach system means you can keep it strapped to your pack and out of the way until you need to use it. It only weighs about five ounces and offers 15 degrees of cant and 30 degrees of pan. The legs are not adjustable, but the “standard” (7.2 inches) or “long” (8.7 inches) options should cover the majority of shots in the field.

Sling

Guns aren’t heavy until you’ve been carrying one all day without a sling.

Slings are most useful if you’re covering lots of ground, but they can come in handy even on the walk to the tree stand. A sling keeps your hands free to use a flashlight, tie your boots, or quietly push past a branch.

If you think you’ll need to take a standing shot without shooting sticks, a sling can also help pull the stock into your shoulder and steady your aim. Known as the “hasty sling” technique, the shooter wraps his or her non-dominant arm in the sling and creates a tension that steadies the rifle. Texas Parks & Wildlife has published a pretty good tutorial, which you can check out here.

I’m partial to the Rifle Sling from FHF Gear. The fully adjustable sling is constructed from Cordura fabric and HANK (Neoprene-coated Nylon) for durability and weather resistance, and the closed cell foam shoulder pad is extremely comfortable.

Whitetail hunters don’t often find themselves carrying a large pack, but if you do, FHF’s Rifle Sling also comes with a propriety quick-detach system that lets you attach your rifle to your pack.

Magnification Throw Lever

We’ve all been there. A deer walks out at 45 yards when you look down and realize the Hubble Telescope on your rifle is set at 18x. The thin layer of moisture on the scope’s magnification ring makes it impossible to turn with gloves, and you have a minor heart attack trying to adjust it down to 3x as you watch the deer move out of your shooting lane.

Life is too short to spend it panicking about scope adjustments. That’s why I recommend a magnification throw lever. Made by a variety of companies, a throw lever attaches to your scope’s magnification ring and allows for easy adjustment even with heavy winter gloves.

Some scopes come with aggressively textured adjustment controls, and in that case, you might not need one. But if your scope only has shallow grooves on the controls or is tough to turn without gloves, invest in a throw lever and have a heart attack about something else.

Lens Caps

Lens caps keep rain and dirt off your scope’s lenses so you can see what you’re aiming at. For further explanation, refer to the previous sentence. Many scopes come with lens caps. If yours didn’t, you can buy them from Vortex here (just be sure you order the correct size for your objective lens).

Hearing Protection

Hearing protection isn’t a gun accessory, per se, but only gun hunters need it, so I’m including it on this list.

Gramps didn’t use hearing protection, but now he’s paying for it. Hearing loss ain’t no joke, and as hearing doctor Grace Sturdivant explained recently on the MeatEater podcast, it’s been linked to even worse diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Older hunters had a good excuse to leave their hearing protection at home (they wanted to hear the deer!), but modern technology has rendered that excuse obsolete. Electronic ear muffs can be found for less than $50, and good quality, less obtrusive electronic earbuds run in the $100 to $150 range.

If you’re looking to make an investment in your health (how I justify most gun purchases), custom-fit ear pro from companies like OtoPro offer top-of-the-line hearing protection designed exactly for your ears. They’ll cost you about $275, but they’ll last for years, and you won’t deal with muffling or discomfort.

All these products allow you to hear everything when you’re out in the field while protecting your ears from the concussion of a rifle or shotgun. That ringing in your ears might go away after a few hours, but it means you’ve permanently damaged your hearing. Do that enough times, and that ringing will be there to stay.

Last Shot

You don’t need any of these products to successfully hunt whitetail, but why not make your life a little easier? Hunting can be difficult, and I don’t know about you, but I need all the help I can get.

Shop

Vanguard MeatEater Edition Rifle
Save this product
Weatherby
$999.00
Steve and the MeatEater Crew designed this rifle in partnership with Weatherby to create one of the best hunting guns on the market.
Tipton Ultra Gun Vise
Save this product
American Outdoor Brands
$204.99
The Tipton® Ultra Gun Vise features a completely modular interchangeable design to allow virtually any shape firearm or crossbow to be cleaned and worked on with ease.
Razor HD LHT 3-15x42 Riflescope
Save this product
Vortex Optics
$1299.99
"The LHT has become my go-to scope for nearly every hunt. It’s lightweight for easy backcountry carry, yet has the glass quality and exposed turrets for precision shooting from sunup to sundown." - Janis Putelis
Deadshot Boxed Combo Shooting Bag - Unfilled
Save this product
Caldwell
$24.99
Whether you have minutes or seconds to set up for your next shot, the DeadShot® Shooting Bags are the answer.
Orange Peel Sight In - 16" 12 Pack
Save this product
Caldwell
$24.99
Orange Peels let you see hits on and off the target with dual-color flake-off technology that makes your hits look like colorful explosions. The orange background and black target make target acquisition through the scope easy, even at long distances.
Get the latest in your inbox
Subscribe to our newsletters to receive regular emails with hand-picked content, gear recommendations, and special deals.
Our picks for the week's best content and gear
For the whitetail obsessed, with Mark Kenyon
Redefining our connection to food, with Danielle Prewett
Your one-stop for everything waterfowl, with Sean Weaver
Get out on the water with the MeatEater Fishing crew
Technical hunting apparel
Purpose-built accessories for hunting and fishing
Quality elk, turkey, waterfowl, and deer calls
Save this article