Unlocking A Superior Shooting Experience: Must-Have Shooting & Hunting Accessories for 2024

As hunters and shooters, we all aspire to make the most of our experiences. To achieve this, we must equip ourselves with the most effective and innovative tools. 

While I’m not one to believe that the gear makes the shooter, I think using the best gear allows the shooter to operate at their highest level. 

That’s why I’ve collected some of the top shooting and hunting accessories for 2024.

Let’s get on with it!

Top 5 Shooting Accessories

  1. A New Gun
  2. Upgraded Trigger
  3. Aftermarket Scope
  4. Electronic Hearing Protection
  5. Spotting Scope

What new year would be complete without a new gun? You may need a new pistol for self-defense, an air gun to eliminate varmints like squirrels, or a rifle to plink at the range. Whatever your reason, you should know I support you! Remember to always follow the common-sense gun safety rules while handling your weapon.

Sometimes, your new or old gun needs an upgrade. The ejector could malfunction too often, or the trigger isn’t as smooth as you’d like. On a conservation snow goose hunt earlier this year, I wanted a magazine tube extension on my shotgun (yes, it’s legal for that type of hunt) after seeing what the guide was doing with his. I also fired a buddy’s long-range rifle, with a crisp trigger that made my stock trigger feel clunky, so that’s just another thing on my list of “I wish I had…”

I’ll never forget when I bought a new rifle and scope combo, thinking I was saving money at 18 years old. I went to my local gun range excited to shoot my new gun and nearly gave myself a black eye because I had to be so close to the scope to see anything. It didn’t take long for me to have a new scope mounted in place of the one that came with the gun, and I no longer had to worry about getting a black eye. Getting a new high-quality scope is a game-changer for hunters and long-range shooters. 

I used to work in heavy equipment, where hearing protection was a must unless you enjoyed being deaf. I love listening to my wife, daughter, and nature, so I always wear earplugs when operating heavy equipment, the lawn mower, or a tractor. I also always wear hearing protection when shooting. My brother came over to shoot with some electronic hearing protection last year, and it was terrific. It took some time to get used to talking at the range without yelling, but after that outing, I knew I needed a pair or two because they’re way more comfortable than the foam earplugs I’ve been using for years, and I don’t have to yell to be heard.

I never realized how convenient a spotting scope is until I forgot to bring it to the range. A buddy and I were sighting in our rifles and punching paper one day, but we needed help to see where we were hitting despite him having a high-powered scope. The next time at the range, I brought the spotting scope, and we had no problem seeing where the 223 bullets were punching the paper from 200-300 yards away.

Top 5 Hunting Accessories

Most of my shooting takes place to keep my skills sharp for hunting season, and I’m constantly looking for the best deals on new gear during the off-season. The hunting gear listed below are the items I find hard to pass up, even when I already have it at home.

  1. Comfortable Backpack
  2. Field Dressing Knives
  3. Knife Sharpener
  4. High-Quality Tent
  5. Comfortable Boots

I’ve always hunted with a backpack. I’ve used the cheap ones when that was all I could afford, but now I look for one that’s user-friendly and comfortable. I need my backpack to hold most of my hunting gear, allow for easy access to the gear, and be comfortable while I carry it. I have yet to find the perfect backpack, but that doesn’t keep me from trying out a new one every few years.

I grew up deer and duck hunting, and my dad and I have always processed our harvests. My first elk hunt revealed the need for high-quality field dressing knives. I had one good knife, but it dulled before we finished (I didn’t sharpen it before the trip, like a goober.) Thankfully, my dad was on the trip with me and brought his knives to help me pack out my elk. To me, a good field dressing knife is made of high-quality steel that holds an edge, has a gut hook to make skinning easier, and feels good in my hand in various positions. It helps if it looks cool, but that’s not my main concern.

Having a knife sharpener on my first elk hunt would have helped tremendously. We do most of our wild game processing in my parent’s garage, where they have an electric knife sharpener. Just like the story of two lumberjacks cutting wood, where one regularly stops to sharpen his axe and the other just keeps plugging away, keeping a sharp knife, when field dressing and processing wild game is critical to the efficiency of the process and a good knife sharpener keeps the process moving smoothly. 

Every year, my dad and I put in for our state’s draw hunts, hoping that we get to hunt a place few other hunters can access. One year, I drew a hunt at a campground that’s typically closed to hunting, but we had to share it with a few other hunters. I stepped out of our cargo trailer my dad had converted to a camper, to see an incredible canvas tent in a nearby campsite. I’d only seen these tents on TV, so I was amazed at how spacious they were, and they even had a stove to keep them warm. It sure beat the socks off of my 5-man tent back home! While this tent was a little overkill for this short hunting trip, it would have been necessary for an extended backcountry hunting trip. Getting your rest will allow you to stay sharp and be the best hunter you can be, and that all starts with where you’re sleeping!

I used to hike in tennis shoes, thinking they were more comfortable than boots. However, after purchasing a good pair of comfortable boots, they are my go-to footwear for hunting and hiking. Having a comfortable pair of hunting boots is essential to hiking over the next ridge and harvesting the animal of a lifetime.

Parting Shots

All of the items above won’t be cheap; I recommend taking your time and purchasing them during a sale to help save money. I didn’t buy all the items at once. It’s taken me years to accumulate all the gear I need to head to the range or the field. Stay safe out there, and always remember to enjoy the adventure!

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