The rut is upon us! Get yourself geared up and ready to roll with our hunting apparel guide.
The deer hunting season has kicked off in Australia as the deer begin to rut. This annual mating period is easily the most exciting (and productive) time of the year for deer hunters. Mature bucks will call to and court does, mark out their home range with rubs and scrapes, and clash with other bucks to establish pecking orders and keep their does - sometimes even to the death.
All this means that the deer are much more distracted than usual, giving you a unique opportunity to bag more game than in other seasons. In order to best take advantage of this year’s rut, make sure to select the best hunting clothes and hunting boots to keep you at the top of your game. Here’s what you should look out for when making your purchases...
Hunting camouflage used to mimic sticks, leaves and vegetation. Now it breaks up the human outline with contrasting patterns, mimicking the tactics of apex predators like tigers and leopards. This new technique helps you stay undetected across a variety of distances and terrains. Ridgeline mostly uses REALTREE EXCAPE camo: a truly versatile and effective camouflage pattern that mimics natural elements while appearing unstructured to disguise your form.
Camouflage provides a very real advantage against keen-eyed deer. Notoriously flighty animals, deer can spot movement from hundreds of metres away. Whether you’re using a rifle or a bow, you’ll often need to cross the sightline of an animal without being spotted during a stalk.
We recommend the Packlite Jacket as your first line of defense against being spotted. This lightweight performance rain shell is fully seam-sealed and boasts 10K/10K water resistance/breathability ratings. Plus, it’s designed to comfortably go over midlayers and/or baselayers without restricting your movement. Pair it with the Packlite Pants for the same water-defying performance on your bottom half, complete with leg zips to make getting them on over your inner layers easy. Or choose the Stealth Pants for a more athletic fit designed to make stalking a breeze. The Stealth uses a wicking finish for quick-dry comfort, plus an antibacterial finish for long-lasting wear.
Protective Outer Layers
Your outermost layer depends on your weather conditions. If the sky is threatening rain, you need waterproof protection to stay warm and dry. Good waterproof rain gear should block wind and rain, trap your body heat, and have a breathable membrane to let your sweat evaporate and pass through to keep you dry. Even if you don’t think it will rain, your outer layer should still be durable, breathable and wind resistant. The Packlite Jacket and Packlite Pants embody these qualities: perfect for both men’s hunting clothes and women’s hunting clothes.
If you want something super tough and aren’t as fussed on camo, consider the Evolution Anorak: a seriously durable, long length polyester shell jacket with 15K/10K waterproofing/breathability, fully waterproof zips and seam-taping, Velcro cuffs and removable wired hood.
Mixing and matching midlayers to your hunt and weather conditions will keep you comfortable in all scenarios. Want an option that covers all your bases? Check out the Alps Pack or the Raptor 3 in 1 Jacket for one easy purchase. Kids’ hunting clothes are also covered with the Pursuit Pack.
Otherwise, if the conditions are:
- Hot - forget the midlayers! Just wear your tee shirt and pop a lightweight, water-resistant outer jacket in your pack in case it cools down or starts to rain.
- Warm - choose a lightweight fleece, like the Micro Long Sleeve Fleece or Premium Workmans Bush Shirt, or a hoodie, like the Excape Hoodie, Antler Hoodie or Bonded Hoodie.
- Cool - opt for a midweight jacket like Gale Puffa, Ascent Half Shell or Micro Lite Puffa over your baselayers.
- Cold - put a heavier-weight insulated layer (like the Igloo Top or Hurricane Jacket) over your baselayer, then top it off with the Ascent Softshell Jacket. Consider adding Pro Hunt Fleece Pants underneath your outer layer for top-to-toes warmth.
Pro Tip: don’t choose too many hooded tops - they’ll bunch together and restrict your movement!
The baselayer is worn right next to your skin, under all the other layers. Consider it the foundation to a warm and comfortable day!
Not sure what constitutes a baselayer? Any of these would qualify:
- Micro Lite Tank | Tee | Zip Top - the Micro Lite range is made from a soft touch, lightweight knit in a sporty fit. They have an antibacterial finish to minimise body odour, wicking technology that draws sweat away from the body, and UPF40 sun protection for that merciless Aussie sun.
- 9-12 Merino Socks - there’s nothing better than merino socks. Merino wool is odour-resistant, thermo-regulating and insulating even when wet: ideal if you soak your feet in a stream.
There are 4 essential features your hunting boots need to have.
- Waterproof - hunting boots should be treated with DWR (for leather boots) or a PU laminate (for synthetic upper boots), plus have a waterproof/breathable membrane like HydroGuard or GORE-TEX.
- Mid or high cut - these cuts will protect your ankles from rolling and are far less likely to let water splash in.
- Insulated - if you’re glassing or stand hunting, an insulated lining in your boots will keep your feet nice and toasty. Ridgeline hunting boots feature 200gsm Thinsulate linings for an excellent blend of warmth, breathability and comfort.
- Grippy - a grippy, durable rubber sole will stop you from slipping in mud or on uneven terrain. All Ridgeline hunting boots have high quality Vibram cupsoles with hunting-specific tread designs.
Ridgeline boots knock all these requirements out of the park! Our favourite for the rutting season is the Aoraki, with its soft, breathable and waterproof Nubuck leather upper.
Water, snacks, rain jacket, first aid kit, gamebag, field knife...there’s a lot to carry on even a single day hunt. Selecting a quality bag is paramount to the comfort (and pain-free existence) of your back and shoulders through long hours of traversing, glassing, stalking and waiting.
We have just released the Day Hunter packs with 25L, 35L and 45L options! These packs were designed and tested by New Zealand product engineer Andy Milne, who has previously designed for Macpac and Kathmandu. Their super clean design means that all excess weight has been stripped, making the Day Hunter one of the lightest pack systems on the market. Every detail is designed for maximum function and durability. With detachable rifle scabbards, hydration bladder compatibility, water resistant rain covers, a padded airmesh harness system and much more, the Day Hunter will keep you at the top of your game all day long.