High energy snacks can keep your the mind of a hunter sharp and focused when in the field hunting. Long sits can be brutal on an empty stomach and the last thing you want to do is lose concentration at the critical moment.
When considering food to take hunting, opt for snacks rather than full meals.
Whether perched on a tree stand or on the move in the bush, there are a few things to consider when looking for a good hunting snack.
Easy to store and access.
Require no prep and leave behind no mess.
Not weigh too much or take up too much space in the hunting pack
Be absolutely quiet while eating. (Sorry, crunchy potato chips.)
Most importantly, hunting snacks need to be nutrient dense, healthy, and full of flavor. We've compiled our list of healthy hunting snacks perfect for the hunter.
The Best Hunting Snacks
1. Homemade Jerky
There’s no better hunting snack than homemade jerky from the bounty of your own hunt. It’s a great reminder of the joy of hunting and why you’re out there in the first place. Whether it’s elk jerky, deer jerky, venison jerky, or another protein, homemade jerky from the current or previous season is a tried and true winner.
Homemade beef jerky is a great way to use up your bounty from deer season or elk hunting.
2. Beef Jerky
Homemade jerky is delicious, but sometimes making your own jerky can be a pain. That’s where old fashioned style beef jerky comes into play. We’re not talking about that new, soft jerky that’s in the stores. We’re talking old-school, tough jerky.
Beef jerky gives the body what it needs — protein!
We might be biased, but our jerky is a favorite among hunters across the country. This is old-fashioned jerky. The kind of jerky you grew up eating.
“I’ve ordered the Carne Seca Limón con Chile several times and the Hatch Green Chile twice and these might be my favorite jerky in the world. The flavors are excellent. I like that they are both low carb but they have a sweet taste. I also like that they are dry. I put them in my pack for hunting, fishing and camping! I’d highly recommend it!”
—Warren M. from Morgantown, West Virginia
3. Summer Sausage
Summer sausage is a great alternative to traditional jerky. It is a cured meat that was developed in Europe before refrigeration. The name says it all. It’s a type of meat snack that is perfect for hunting in summer and fall months. There are many types of summer sausage such as salami, pepperoni, and chorizo. Traditional German style summer sausage is the most popular. It is slightly softer and less dry than other dried meat snacks. It’s a great source of protein and fat.
4. Trail Mix
Trail mix is the unofficial king of hunting snacks. A favorite of hunters, backpackers, and hikers for generations, trail mix is a staple of the outdoor lifestyle. Trail mix is versatile, nutritious, and delicious. You can either buy trail mix in store or make it at home. Grab a sealable plastic bag and add your favorite ingredients. Common additions to trail mix include almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried fruits, dried cherries, chocolate chips, cereal, pretzels, and coconut chips. You can customize trail mix to suit your tastes.
Good old raisins and peanuts, GORP is a simplified version of trail mix. You can easily make this at home and save money. Simply purchase all the ingredients and mix them in a ziplock bag. It's as easy as that. It’s one of the best cheap hunting snacks and also one of the most reliable.
6. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds will keep you busy while on the deer hunting stand. You can crunch away on the seeds and keep your mind occupied while waiting for the big moment. We recommend disposing of the seeds in a bag or bottle, rather than spit them out on the ground. Spitting sunflower seeds can leave a scent that alerts deer.
Cashews, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, brazil nuts, and the list goes on. Nuts are full of protein and monounsaturated fats. This means they will keep you full and fueled out in the field. They are also lightweight, easy to pack, and easy to eat. You can purchase pre-packaged nuts in the store or make your own.
8. Protein Bar
You’ll burn a lot of calories when out on a hunt and it’s important to eat sufficient protein. Protein bars deliver when it comes to protein. They can be a little pricey when compared to the other snacks on the list, but they offer a lot of benefits too. Try to find protein bars that are not loaded with sugar.
Cliff bars are a very popular protein bar.
Fresh fruit checks all the boxes for a great hunting snack—no mess, simple to pack, and full of flavor and nutrition. Plus, fruit is nature’s original snack. Make sure to bring more durable fruit options such as apples, pears, and oranges. More delicate fruits can easily crush in your pack.
10. Dried Fruit
If fresh, whole fruit sounds a bit too delicate for your rugged hunting trip, dried fruit can also work. Dried fruit is a great way to get the flavor and nutrition of fruit without the risk of spoilage. Be careful, though, as some dried fruits are loaded with sugar. You can also mix dried fruit with nuts or your trail mix.
11. Snack Crackers
We all have our snack cracker of choice. Something cheesy? Check. Something salty? Absolutely. Something with a little spice? Yes, please. These can be a good option as a treestand snack, just make sure to find an option that doesn’t crunch too loud.
12. String Cheese
String cheese offers a great balance of protein and calcium in a 100 calorie package. It’s great for on-the-go snacking and can fit in almost any small pocket. Add three or four to your pack for a hunt and curb your any cravings.
13. Chocolate Covered Peanuts
Sweet and salty is a classic flavor combination. There’s a reason why M&Ms and Snickers Bars are so popular. This flavor combination tickles your taste buds. It is also fun to eat.
14. Meat Sticks
Don’t forget beef sticks. Individually-wrapped beef sticks are a great source of protein. They are also highly portable. Simply unwrap and start snacking. Our beef sticks are made with 100% beef. They are all-natural, high in protein, and loaded with flavor.
"Coming from Wisconsin, I know beef sticks, you don't grow up here without trying everyone you find when you walk into a butcher shop. When Deer hunting comes around Wisconsin sells out of all beef sticks and jerky, it is the best thing to eat when out in the woods. The peppered beef sticks are very tasty, great flavor and easy to put in a coat pocket to travel. I'll buy this again hands down."
-Steve H, German Town, Wisconsin
15. Nut Butters
Nut butters, especially those made from macadamia nuts, are a fantastic option for hunting because of the high-fat content. It will keep you full for much longer than snacks that are filled with empty carbohydrates. The problem is that you can’t easily pack a jar of nut butter or keep some in your pocket. You need nut butter packs that are portable, easy to eat without utensils, and packed with nutrition.
Shop: Your local grocery store.
16. Oatmeal Packets
If you have access to boiling water, you can have a warm snack ready to eat. The protein and fiber in oatmeal will keep you full. You can also make oatmeal with cold water.
One of the oldest hunting snacks on the planet, Pemmican is a Native American snack that is made with a mixture of tallow, dried meat, and dried berries. It is high in calories and provides a lot of fuel. It won’t melt like chocolate and doesn’t need to be cooked. A little goes a long way when it comes to Pemmican.
You won't be able to purchase Pemmican in a store, but you can easily make it at home following our recipe.
Here is a guide to Make Pemmican At Home.
18. Granola Bar
Looking for some crunch in a bar? Look no further than a granola bar. These offer a healthy blend of fiber, protein, and carbohydrates. While they can have high amounts of sugar, granola bars are much better for you than candy bars.
19. Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
There’s a reason peanut butter & jelly sandwiches have been a kid and adult favorite for so long. They are delicious and nutritious. You can easily make a large batch, wrap them in foil, and pack them for long hunts. It will take you straight back to your childhood.
20. Energy Bar
There’s no shortage of bars on the market. Energy bars are slightly different from protein bars and granola bars in that they’re made with specific ingredients to give you energy. They’re good for quick boosts of energy.
Don’t forget plenty of fluids. Coffee and tea will keep you energized and warm, but water and sports drinks will keep you hydrated.
Hunting season is one of the best times of year. Make sure you’re ready with your hunting snacks. This list proves there’s no shortage of options. Don’t forget to stock up on beef jerky for your next hunting trip. There’s nothing better than delicious jerky for the treestand.