I am often asked how I manage to frequently take my three year old daughter on morning hunts, and my answer is always the same - "I’m prepared". Down to every little detail, planning and preparation are key. This doesn’t necessarily have to apply to hunting with children but will help aid you in having a smooth morning in general. There’s nothing worse in my book than trying to hunt with someone who isn’t prepared and who spends the last few minutes scrambling to find their gear and make coffee while you want to be on your way out the door. Don’t be that person.
Here are a few simple tips to have your stuff together and organized if you’re someone who hunts early mornings frequently.
Get all of your camo and gear out the night before. I keep certain pieces of gear in a bag in the back seat of my truck, that way I don’t have to constantly be juggling it back and forth between the house and the truck. Obviously, if you’re one of the lucky ones who get to hunt in your backyard, this doesn’t apply to you. Layout any base layers, socks, boots, hats and gather any calls, release, backpack, etc. and have them ready to go as well. If you’re worried about scent, simply designate a scent-free tub or bag to those specific items so you can get dressed and grab everything and head out the door.
Know where your arrows and ammo are. Simple enough.
Whether you have an old-fashioned coffee pot or a Keurig, fill the coffee maker the night before along with a mug or thermos. That way you can press the button as soon as you wake up and have a hot thermos ready for you as you leave.
I always prep water bottles and some fruit the night before to keep in the refrigerator. In the morning, I’ll throw these in the cooler in the back seat of my truck along with any other muffins or granola bars I decide to bring. My daughter knows that she can grab whatever she wants from the cooler before we set out on our morning hunts, and I always have something for her in the event she starts to get grumpy and hungry.
This is probably the most time-consuming thing on my list to prepare. It’s easy to just grab some junk food and call it a morning, but then I usually end up feeling tired and hungry again within the hour. Especially for my daughter, I really like to have an option that’s filling and not loaded with sugar. Lately, I’ve been prepping breakfast sandwiches for the freezer, and it’s been one of my favorite things for a morning hunt. There are endless possibilities when it comes to breakfast sandwiches, and you can truly make it your own. I like to wrap them in parchment paper and then put them in a freezer bag and take them out the night before to thaw as needed. If I have the time, I’ll stick them in the air fryer but the microwave works just fine. Wrap it in foil and it’s ready for the truck.
Cut each biscuit in half. Layer each with a few slices of summer sausage, a large spoonful of scrambled eggs, and a slice of cheese. Place the top on the biscuit and wrap in parchment paper. Repeat.
Alternatives would be - bagels or English muffins instead of biscuits; ham, bacon, or venison breakfast sausage as meat; egg whites or fried eggs instead of scrambled; adding vegetables such as tomato, onions, or peppers.
Beka Garris (@bekagarris) was born and raised in NNJ and hunting and fishing was a huge part of her life even as a kid. She now resides in SE Ohio with her husband and three-year-old daughter. Her hobbies include hunting, fishing, gardening, and cooking. She is currently pursuing freelance writing.