Whether you’re sitting in a deer stand or hiking to track a Mule deer, you need snacks to keep you going. The best deer hunting snacks provide sustained energy for long days outside - and they minimize noise so you don’t accidentally spook any animals that may be near.
Even though you may be using less energy in a deer stand than when you are tracking, you still need to be focused throughout the day. Your hunting snacks also need to be there for you to stave off any muscle soreness from hiking to your location, keep you alert, and be enjoyable to eat!
We know what you ultimately decide to pack in your kit is a personal choice and likely dependent on what you already enjoy eating. But, as hunters who’ve dedicated a lot of time to creating some of the best collagen supplements around, we’re passionate about finding better fuel options for our bodies.
And we’ve put together our favorite, quiet snacks for hunting. Plus we shared some tips that will help you choose the best ones for you.
How to choose the best snacks for deer hunting
There are various types of deer hunting in the United States. So, depending on where you are located or where you are hunting, the activity level may vary. The snacks you bring to a deer stand may be different from those you bring on an extended mountain trek.
No matter the approach, though, there are a few things that all deer hunting snacks should have in common:
- They should be easy to access and store.
- They should not create a mess.
- They should be quiet while eating and unpackaging.
- They should be portable and lightweight.
- They should be nutritious and provide lasting energy.
Unfortunately, many of the most portable snacks make a lot of mess and noise. To compile the list below, we took all of these factors into account.
We particularly paid attention to their overall nutritional value and how they can better your hunting experience.
After all, carrying the extra weight of a pack through the woods, no matter the distance, can be a jarring experience for your body. Many hunters may get muscle cramps after sitting in a stand all day and then have knee pain from walking too much.
In many northern climates, deer hunting occurs during Autumn. That means cold mornings and nights. As those temperatures change, you may feel your joints cramping or swelling, especially if you have a condition like arthritis.
Although you may often have knee pain, and some of your hunting buddies may as well, knee pain when hiking should not be considered normal. Sure, joint changes are a part of aging, but joint pain can be mitigated with specific lifestyle changes pending the cause.
Joint pain may be also more prevalent if hunting season is your most active time of the year.
The good news is, while nutrient-dense foods cannot completely eliminate some of these aches and pains, there are certain hunting snacks you can bring that may reduce some of the symptoms of knee and joint pain.
7 High-energy, low-noise deer hunting snacks
You may recognize some of the snacks we listed below and others might be new to you. Read on to find out our favorite deer hunting snacks and sports nutrition supplements.
1. Jerky or meat sticks
Jerky and meat snacks are classic trail snacks for hunting. Nothing quite beats homemade venison jerky either. If you have some leftover jerky or meat sticks you made from the last deer you got, having it along can help keep you focused and in the game.
If you don’t have any venison jerky or summer sausage of your own, then you can grab your favorite type of jerky before your trip.
Let’s address one thing now: many jerkies are high in sodium.
Typically, you need to be mindful of your consumption throughout the day, but hunting is a bit different. Your hike to the deer stand and a day of being active will have you swearing, and your sodium levels will need to be replenished. Jerky is also high in protein which can help you feel full longer, while minimizing your need to snack continuously.
Since a lot of jerky comes in a plastic bag, it can be noisy. Opting for meat sticks or an option like Epic Provisions Bars may be a little less noisy since they have easy-to-tear packages. Plus, these are single serving packets, making them a bit more accessible in your pack.
2. Protein bars
Protein bars are another excellent deer hunting snack.
They are highly portable, and they come in many varieties, letting you choose the flavors you like most. Many protein bars come in convenient packaging, and depending on the brand, some may make more noise than others when you open them.
If you want a low waste and low noise power bar idea, consider making your energy or granola bars at home. This allows you to control the ingredients going into the bars and will enable you to wrap them with packaging that makes less noise than the classic plastic.
For example, homemade power bars can be wrapped in reusable beeswax wraps that do not crinkle when you open them.
Granola bars and protein bars often provide lasting energy, and some even have a kick of caffeine added to them.
3. Liquid collagen shots
Notice a trend here? That’s right, another good deer hunting snack that’s packed with protein.
Instead of jerky or bars, some hunters prefer getting a quick hit of energy without getting a full feeling. Or, you may want a low-calorie snack that will both power your hunting trip and help you lose weight. Though there is always something like a goo energy packet, a liquid collagen shot is going to provide more sustainable energy and be more nutritious.
If you are someone that struggles with joint pain when you are hunting, then adding a high-quality liquid collagen snack to your pack is a must! Much like other types of protein, collagen protein can provide you with lasting energy and help you feel full longer.
Collagen is the protein that helps keep many of your connective tissues healthy and functioning. That’s part of the reason why your skin wrinkles or your joints start to feel achy as you get older. Using collagen for joints is relatively common and is often recommended by medical professionals and dieticians.
While there are benefits to other types of protein on the market, if you look at collagen protein vs. whey protein, there are several differences. For instance, most whey protein comes in powdered form, and while you can get collagen in a powder, Frog Fuel liquid collagen comes in convenient, ready-made, single-serve pouches.
Not all collagen is created equal either. While there are foods high in collagen, it is much harder for your body to actually break down, process, and absorb the amino acids needed to create new collagen in the body.
Frog Fuel, a veteran-owned company, produces a liquid nano-hydrolyzed collagen supplement so that you can get the most out of every serving. Our formula provides an easy-to-eat and easy-to-digest protein supplement that can be completely absorbed by your body in just 15 minutes.
We mentioned we’re hunters, too. And while we created our single-serving collagen protein shots for all on-the-go athletes, they also make some of the best snacks for deer hunting. All you have to do is tear off the top and drink it. No mess, no noise, and very little weight to add to your pack.
4. Nuts and seeds
Trail mix, nuts, and seeds are a classic deer hunting snack. You can easily find pre-made trail mix in most major grocery stores that come packaged in resealable bags.
To personalize your nut and seed collection, we recommend checking out the bulk food section of your grocery store. That way, you can mix and match the types of nuts, seeds, candies, and even dried fruits you add to your mix. Or you can simply pack some almonds if you prefer specific types of nuts over others.
Most nuts and seeds are a good source of healthy fats and protein.
They also have high levels of fiber, minerals, and vitamins - and provide sustainable energy. These are good deer hunting snacks with that salty crunch many of us crave.
And they are not as loud to eat as potato chips.
Fruit of all kinds is a great snack no matter your location. Pack some bananas, oranges, apples, grapes, or mixed berries. These provide natural sugars combined with the fruit fibers to give energy but help your body process them more efficiently.
If fresh fruit isn’t a feasible option for the length of your trip, consider bringing along dried fruit or fruit leathers. Fruit leathers are a fun treat and may remind you of your childhood fruit roll-up days.
You can find dried fruit in bulk, much like nuts and seeds, but it is also accessible pre-packaged. To minimize noise with trail mix, dried fruits, or nuts and seeds, we recommend buying them in bulk and bringing your own containers. Consider something like a Stasher silicone bag as they do not crinkle as plastic does, and they seal much like a Ziplock bag.
Any type of fruit is perfect for a quick and natural pick-me-up when you’re outside. It gives you a quick kick of sugar and provides fast energy when you’re feeling burnt out or tired.
A traditional hunting snack, pemmican, was introduced by the Native Americans. Pemmican is dried meat that has been pounded into a coarse powder, mixed with fats, and sometimes berries of some kind.
Finding pemmican prepackaged is few and far between, but it is possible to make it at home. Traditionally the base meat in pemmican is bison, but it is also sometimes made with other wild game such as caribou or deer.
What’s nice about pemmican is that it is extremely portable, lightweight, and relatively nonperishable, similar to jerky. It has a unique texture and can have different flavors, pending the types of berries you include.
It is a very calorie-dense protein snack, which means you won’t have to eat much of it to feel full. A good deer hunting snack indeed!
7. Nut butter
Even if you already packed some trail mix, nut butter can still be a nice treat. Though packing an entire jar of peanut butter or almond butter doesn’t seem realistic. There are single-serve nut butter pouches on the market that make them incredibly accessible for activities like hunting.
You can simply enjoy the nut butter alone or pair it with other snacks you’ve brought along, like apple slices or bananas.
Most nut butter is very calorie-dense and contains healthy fats, making it a great hunting snack. Single-serve nut butters come pre-packaged in plastic pouches, so it is easy to rip off one corner and simply squeeze the nut butter out, making them an accessible and quiet snack for hunting.
(Frog) Fuel your hunt
The deer hunting snacks you choose to bring should be easy to access, quiet, portable, and nutritious.
It is tempting to go for comfort foods, especially on a chilly morning in the deer stand, but choosing nutritious snacks that support your sport is often a better choice.
As we mentioned for many of the snack options above, single-serve packaging can make snacking easier. And being protein-packed will ensure you stay full, longer, with other added benefits like weight loss support, joint support, and more (depending on the type of protein you choose).
For your collagen protein snacks, Frog Fuel makes individually-packaged liquid collagen protein packs, including ones with added caffeine for those early morning hunting trips. Check out our options today and try some out before hunting season hits!