Gear Bag

Over the years the most common questions asked by hunters are what to bring on the hunt and what’s provided and what’s not provided (anything from hunting gear to camp supplies). Believe me, when packing for a hunt, it is very easy to over pack and everybody is guilty of over packing.

The list below should keep you from over packing and bringing unnecessary gear on a 10 to 12 hour trek across the mid-west on your week long get away with mother nature.

Remember the gear list is a reminder of things not to forget when packing for your hunt. Let's start on the hunting end of it and what Xtreme Hunts provides. Both lists are suggested for Illinois and Kansas deer hunters.

For more information on our deer hunts please visit our About Us Page

1. Transportation to and from deer camp to the properties you are hunting. Some hunters like to follow the guide to the property in their own vehicle, most properties range from 5 -15 minutes form camp.

2. All pre-hung ladder / loc-on tree stands, box blinds, pop up blinds and tree stand accessories, bow hook and pull up rope. Well marked tree stand routes for both daylight hours and morning hours with orange ribbon and bright eye reflective thumb tacks set at 15 yards apart to find your way in and out of the stand location.

3. Which ever type of tree stand you enjoy hunting from Xtreme Hunts has the right stand for you, from being comfortable to being in the best location to harvest a trophy Whitetail. 85% of our stands are doubled railed ladder stands set at 17-20 foot with shooting rails for our hunters that enjoy hunting from the security of a Ladder stand, we also offer Box Blinds and Tripod stands for a comfortable all day hunting experience.

4. We also make use of loc-on tree stands for the little hide away places that you can not get a ladder stand to rest properly. The ladder sticks we incorporate are 20 foot ladder sticks, loc-on tree stands are set at 17 foot right beside the sticks to make it safe and very easy to ascend and descend from the loc-on stand.

5. Seat cushions, blind chairs, food plots, trail camera pictures, side by sides ATV’s and deer carts for retrieving downed game and the famous meat pole to cape your trophy.

6. Xtreme Hunts applies for all your deer permits and license required to legally hunt in Illinois and Kansas.

Things to think about when packing

Normally when a hunter ask me what hunting gear to bring my first response to him or her is bring everything you take in the woods with you when deer hunting your home state, whether you are hunting with a Firearm or Archery equipment, this normally sums up just about all his or her question on hunting gear, as hunters you know what gear makes you successful and UN-successful, there are a few shocking things that over the years hunters forget while packing for there deer hunt. Remember the gear list is just a reminder list for both location with Xtreme Hunts in Pike County Illinois and Southeast Kansas.


Temperatures in Illinois and Kansas can fluctuate from week to week and never the same as the previous year in the same time frame.

My advise to hunters packing clothing for the hunt is about 10 days before your scheduled hunt is to start checking the weather for the location you are hunting.

New Canton, Illinois Zip Code 62356.
Hepler, Kansas Zip Code 66746

  1. Do not forget your deer Permits.
  2. Safety Restraint Harness
  3. Extra flash light with batteries
  4. Extra bow hook and pull up rope
  5. Two pair of rubber boots insulated, boot dryer, hand and feet warmers
  6. Three sets of camo outfits with a warm and moveable jacket, 2 sets of street clothes and rain gear.
  7. Scent free products: field spray, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, scent free soap, shampoo and deodorant
  8. Insulated bibs or outer garments if hunting cold weather.
  9.  Grunt call, estrus call and a rattle bag/rattling horns if hunting the rut
  10. Range finder and 10X40 binoculars
  11. A sizeable ice-cooler
  12. Some hunters bring a video camera to record their hunting experience.
  13. {Decoy} if you are bow hunting the rut and, decoying bucks can be really exciting.
  14. Hunters also bring a cell power pack for charging phones in the stand.
  15. Street shoes and bedroom slippers to hang out in camp.
  16. Please bring a bow or gun case to transport your weapon, all weapons must be cased while being transported in a vehicle both Illinois and Kansas.

Climber Tree Stands

Xtreme Hunts already has tree stands set for your hunting experience, one thing we strongly recommend if you have room in your vehicle and know how to operate in a safe manner is a climbing tree stand, when chasing whitetail bucks in the rut they can some times roam just out side of our stand sets, so going into stealth mode with a climber can seal the deal when bow hunting. Some hunters will bring climbers and set them beside our stand location just because most climbers are comfortable and they can sit longer if not all day in the rut.

Firearm Hunters Illinois / Kansas

Firearm hunters can pull some of the gear off the list from above, normally there are only a few things on the firearm gear list.

  1. Do not forget your deer permit
  2. Safety restraint harness
  3. Extra bullets and shooting sticks
  4. Blaze orange is required to hunt in both Illinois and Kansas cap / vest with no less then 200″ square inches, example above.
  5. Sticky targets for zeroing in your firearm.
  6. Hunters that are box blind or pop up blind hunting will sometimes bring a heater buddy that use’s the little green camping style propane tanks.
  7. If you do not want to invest in a heater buddy, past clients invested in a heater body suit and loved them to maximize there time for all day hunting from a ladder stand or blind hunting in frigid temperatures.
  8. Box blind hunters may have a comfortable blind chair they use when hunting all day.


Below you will find what we provide in our deer camps, Meals / Amenity’s. Accommodations starts Sunday noon to Friday noon, check in time for bow hunters are Sunday’s at 10:00am and noon time for firearm hunters the day before firearm season opens.

Let me start off with deer camp, notice I said deer camp and not a million dollar log cabin style hunting lodge. This is where Xtreme Hunts is a little different then most outfitters, we believe that serious deer hunters come to eat, sleep, and hunt but really do not want nor care to pay for the huge lodging experience – cost other outfitter offer on there deer hunts. Xtreme Hunts would rather focus all our efforts and your hard earned money on the deer hunt itself by utilizing a deer camp Vs a big deer lodge. When managing a deer camp Vs a lodge style hunt, we can run less hunters across more hunting ground with very low hunting pressure and a lower cost to you the deer hunter, this providing a better hunting experience and lets face the facts most hunters come to hunt and lodging / camp is just a place to get refueled for the next hunt outing so why pay for the extra bells and whistles.

Some camps in Illinois offer WiFi and Satellite TV while other more remote camps just have TV on a antenna with very few channels and no WiFi, most phone service works well in Illinois except Verizon trust me its not every where like they claim.

All deer camps are supplied with bath towels, toiletries, bedding sheets with blankets and pillows. I would recommend bringing a sleeping bag.
Silverware, dinner plates, coffee mugs, coffee maker, paper towels, pots pans, barbecue grill just in case we need to cook up some back straps
washer and dryer, we do recommend you bring a small bottle of your favorite scent free laundry detergent and dryer sheets.

Meals in Illinois

Below is our meal routine for the week. Meals start with dinner Sunday evening and end with lunch on Friday at noon.


Milk for cold cereal, orange juice, coffee, assortment of muffins, cereal bars, oatmeal, honey buns, pop tarts, etc.


Consist of sandwiches and chips – Ham, Turkey and Roast Beef with American and Pepper Jack Cheese with a assortment of Corn Chips, BBQ chips, Cheetos and regular potato Chips.


A catered dinner after the evenings hunt is provided and normally consist of but not limited to: boaster chicken, breaded pork chops, lasagna with garlic bread, salad, chicken burrito’s smothered in white gravy, corn, cheese mashed potatoes, green beans, dinner rolls and normally a desert to go with dinner, there is a big variety of meals that’s catered in. Most outfitters in the Pike County area have there meals catered in from the same caterer as Xtreme Hunts.

Xtreme Hunts provides the coffee and water on our Illinois hunts.

Not provided

We encourage all hunters to bring there own beverages, soda, Gatorade, etc. if you like to have something to munch on while you are on stand like trail mix, apples, oranges, etc, we also ask that you bring that with you as well, there is a local grocery story in town that has all the extra things you may need.

Extra Costs

Outfitters and hidden cost, this is a question that ranks up there regularly with deer hunters trying to get a total cost of the hunt, but some hunters are to afraid to ask when inquiring hunt information over the phone and just cross their finger the hidden cost plague does not happen to them. We believe the only way to offer a honest hunting experience is to be up front with the hunters looking to book a hunt of a life time and lets get right down to it, trust is somethings in everybody’s vocabulary, without trust between the outfitter and client there is no bond, true fact:  trusting and bonding with your outfitter / guide means all the difference when going on a hunt of a life time. Below are the only extra hunt cost on your deer hunt in Illinois or Kansas with Xtreme Hunts. This is our promise to you.

1. Trophy Care

Quartering of game is included in the hunt price, once the animal is quartered its up to the hunter to keep iced at the hunters cost. If you plan on having your trophy mounted then removal of the cape and antlers off the carcass for transport home cost extra, its illegal to transport brain matter or bones across state lines. The hunter can cape his own trophy at no cost or Xtreme Hunts uses a professional Taxidermist in town to cape your trophy for $80.00 packaged and ready for your travels home.

2. Processing

Some hunters ask about deer processing, deer processing is optional and is totally up the the hunter. The local deer processor will cut steaks, butterfly cut tenderloins, roast, package deer burger in 1 -2 pounds packets, vacuum pack and freeze the deer meat for transporting home. If you plan on having this done the deer processing cost is $80.00 Again this cost is completely optional to the hunter and something to take into consideration when calculating the final cost of the hunt.

3. Trophy fees

Xtreme Hunts does not impose trophy fees, we do implement a penalty fee for bucks harvested below the 140 minimum. Legal bucks are 4 year old bucks and older or bucks scoring 140″ Pope & Young or better. We highly enforce a $1000.00 penalty fee on buck shot below the 140′ minimum.

4. Tipping

Questions revolving around how do I tip my guide and the cook. The normal rule of thumb is minimum of 10% and most often 15% of the hunt cost. I have always said, tip a guide like you would tip a good waitress, if the guide did his job and worked hard for you then tip him accordingly, like a waitress part of a guides annual income is based on tips.

5. Extra nights lodging in Illinois or Kansas

If you plan on staying an extra night
there is a extra cost per night per hunter
Illinois $40.00 per hunter lodging only / No Meals
Kansas $60.00 per hunter lodging only / No Meals

6. Illinois Deer permits and license

Xtreme Hunts applies for all permits.
Permits and license are not included in the hunt cost.

Non-Resident Archery Deer Permit: Combo Either Sex & Antlerless $421.28

Non-Resident Firearm Deer Permit: Combo Either Sex & Antlerless $334.15
Firearm Either Sex permit only $308.53

Non-Resident Yearly Hunting License $57.75 / Recommended for all archery hunters
Non-Resident 5 Day Hunting License $37.75 / Recommended for firearm hunters

Non-Resident Electronic Habitat Stamp $5.50 / Required for all hunters

7. Kansas Deer permits and license

Permits and license are not included in the hunt cost.

Non-Resident combo Either Sex & Antlerless deer permit: $454.49 (includes convenience fees) Firearm / Archery
Non-Resident yearly hunting License $100.50 / Required for all hunters. Total for all Kansas permits and License $554.54

Unlike Illinois our Kansas hunt we feel is a true hunting lodge experience, hunters have rated the accommodations, western style meals and the service 5 Star. From the minute you walk in the door you will not only feel at home but the class and heart of Ms. Marti and a true hunting lodge experience. I promise you will not want to leave Kansas.

Below you will find what we provide at our hunting lodge in Kansas, Meals / Amenity’s.

Accommodations starts Sunday noon to Friday noon, check in time for bow hunters are Sunday’s at 10:00am and noon time for firearm hunters the day before firearm season opens.


Our Kansas lodge is a 135 year old historic Ice House remodeled into a spacious and beautiful hunting lodge. Trust me if you bring your spouse as a non-hunting guest she will not want to go home. The lodge is set in a traditional Kansas Western style theme providing all the amenity’s of home and that Kansas hospitality from Marti Kiser, lodge owner and your host, don’t worry about the food, Ms. Marti will make sure you eat western style cooking and have enough food for even the biggest appetite. A fully equipped kitchen is on site along with a washer and dryer for your convenience and a barbecue grill for grilling some back straps.

Comforts of home

We offer 2 hunters to a room with each room having there own personal facility’s, shower, toilet and vanity, bath towels, bed sheets, blankets and pillows. We encourage hunters to bring a sleeping bag, each room is equipped with your personal 24″ flat screen with Direct TV and WiFi for the business man or the hunter that just wants a few minutes of personal time to surf the internet. If its privacy you want, we got you covered in our Kansas lodging.


Kansas Meals

Lodging starts Sunday noon to Friday noon. Meals start Sunday evening and end with brunch on Friday at noon so make sure you grab lunch before you arrive to check in on your hunt.


Coffee, assortment of muffins, cereal bars, honey buns, pop tarts, etc.


A hot brunch will be served at 10:30-11:00am, lunch meat for sandwiches are also provided for hunters wanting to stay in the field all day and hunt.


A full course western style dinner fit for a King will be ready for you after the evening hunt, if you are nice to Ms.Marti she will make you her famous meat loaf known all over the county, plus there is always some kind of home made fabulous desert prepared for that final touch to a wonderful and satisfying meal.

One of the biggest questions asked is how do I tip my guide and the cook. The normal rule of thumb is minimum of 10% and most often 15% of the hunt cost. I have always said, tip a guide like you would tip a good waitress, if the guide does his job and works hard for you then tip him accordingly, like a waitress part of a guides annual income is based on tips.

Special Notes for Kansas Lodging

The Ice House Lodge provides Coffee, Sweet and Unsweetened TeaThe Ice House does not provide bottled water, please bring enough bottled water to last your entire hunt.


When buying your scent free laundry detergent, please make sure the detergent is made safe for High Efficient washers, the letters {HE} will be printed on the bottle. Dead Down Wind products makes a special detergent just for high efficient washers and most stores carry this special laundry detergent.

Hunters arriving early before there scheduled hunt dates are subjected to a $120.00 a day for meals & lodging charge, hunters that wish to stay over till the following morning after their hunt ends on Friday at noon will be charged $60.00 for their night stay. {Lodging only}

Non-Hunters are charged $120.00 a day for meals & lodging when space is available.

Not provided

We encourage all hunters to bring there own beverages, soda, Gatorade, bottled water etc. if you like to have something to munch on while you are on stand like trail mix, apples, oranges, etc, we also ask that you bring that with you as well.

Kansas area information

When driving to Xtreme Hunts in Kansas make sure to stop in either Ft. Scott or Pittsburgh Kansas. The Ice House Lodge is located in Hepler Ks, in the middle of no where, there are no local stores to buy gas or supplies for your hunt, Please stop in either one of these towns to do your final shopping before getting to the lodge.

Fully Guided Turkey Hunts

Turkey hunts are probably the easiest trip to pack a gear bag for when preparing to leave. Below is a list of things to put in your gear bag.

  1. Do not forget your Turkey permit
  2. Do not forget your hunting License
  3. As funny as this may sound and falls in the same category as not forgetting your turkey permit, do not forget to pack your gun or bow. Trust me it has happened several times.
  4. Extra ammunition, please don’t show up on the hunt with only 3 shot shells, I promise you will miss at least one time while turkey hunting, the two long beards shown above a Veteran turkey hunter missed 2 times before tagging out.
  5. Two sets of breathable camo clothes, light camo jacket, face mask, camo gloves and rain gear.
  6. Two pairs of boots, we recommend one pair to be rubber for the morning dew and a pair of light weight leather for the afternoon hunt, don’t forget a boot dryer.
  7. A comfortable seat cushion to seat long periods of time on the ground if you are not hunting and ground blind set up or a fold-able low profile camo chair.
  8. Fold-able hand saw with a little pair of hand held limb trimmers.
  9. Tick and insect repellent and zip ties for attaching carcass tag.
  10. Some fully guided hunters like to bring decoys and their own calls to assist on decoying and calling or to just sitting around camp and get some pointers on how to operate a turkey call.
  11. Bring a size-able cooler if you plan on taking  your turkey to a taxidermist back home.
  12. Please bring a bow or gun case to transport your weapon, all weapons must be cased while being transported in a vehicle.

 Semi Guided Turkey Hunts

The same list applies to the semi guided turkey hunters as the fully guided hunters above with a few extra things in your gear bag.

  1. We do have some blinds already to hunt for our semi guided hunters but there are times the property we designate for your hunt that will not have any ground blinds set, if you plan on using blinds bring a pop up blind with chairs.
  2. Decoys and turkey calls.
  3. When a hunter ask me what hunting gear to bring! my first response to him or her is bring everything you take in the woods with you when turkey hunting your home state.

Turkey Hunting Tips

  1. Listen to your guide.
  2. Patients kills turkeys – Do not over call or run & gun turkeys.
  3. Remember that turkeys do not have a time schedule, leave enough time in your hunt to put your tag on his leg.
  4. If I can give you just one tip for turkey hunting it would be, Please pattern your shotgun before you arrive. A lot of hunters come and miss turkeys, when I ask them if they patterned their shotgun before they came on the hunt, there response is no, I am shooting a shotgun I did not think I would miss!

Waterfowl shot guns and waterfowl ammunition are not made for turkey hunting.  We owe it to the game we hunt whether its deer or turkey to make sure we are efficient with the weapon of choice. Please pattern your shotgun before coming to Kansas turkey hunting.

If you have any further question on what to bring or provided on the hunt contact Tony May at the phone number or email address below. Thank you for booking your hunt with Xtreme Hunts, we are looking forward to sharing a camp with you.