Ask Eastmans' Q&A

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BERT PRICE
I saw one of your shows where you were using a handheld water filtration system. Could you please tell me which one exactly you use? I have been looking for one and with all the choices out there, I’m overloaded.

Bert,
I use an MSR Sweetwater filtration system. You can pick one up on www.backcountry.com for about $80. It works well, and is both durable and easy to use.
Guy Eastman

RANDALL KERNEN
For elk, which is the best choice for broadhead size – 1.25” or a 1” cut for better penetration? What about FOC; how important is it? What should it be for long-range broadhead shooting? Minimum arrow weight for elk?

Randall,
When it comes to picking a good broadhead for elk hunting, the cutting diameter isn’t something that is high on my list of criteria that must be met. I look first for a head that is super tough, razor sharp, accurate, and fairly quiet in flight.

For the record, this last fall I used a Rocky Mountain Blitz 100-grain head that had a 1-1/8” cutting diameter, but I would have still used it if it had a 1” or a 1-¼” diameter, because I liked the previously mentioned attribute so well. Unless you are shooting a lighter than usual draw weight, I don’t think that worrying about using a smaller diameter cut for better penetration is worth fretting over. However, if you are shooting a light setup or a traditional bow, you might consider a good two-blade for better penetration. Ask Eastmans'

Yes, FOC is very important for good downrange broadhead accuracy (see David Long’s article on page 49 and Darin Cooper’s Easton Tech Tip on p. 59). Everyone has different goals for different reasons, but my personal goal for overall arrow weight for elk is 400-420 grains. This last fall my arrow setup was right at 400 grains and I have had no penetration issues with a draw weight of 70 lbs. and a draw length of 28 inches. Nate Simmons

MATT BURESH
Archery elk season generally opens the last weekend in August in most states. Given I am are hunting OTC units on a DIY public land hunt, should I hunt opening weekend to beat the competition or should I hunt closer to the rut knowing other hunters have already pressured the elk?

Matt ,
Generally in the West, the rut is barely a thought in an elk’s mind on the opener, but continues to build and get more intense through the last week in September, which is when many of the seasons close. If you go early, you get the jump on many people but calling can be fairly ineffective and hunting can be poor at times. Later in September, there is quite a bit more elk action but you have many more people to contend with at that time for that reason. It’s really just a matter of choice. Mid September is a great time to hunt, as it’s a compromise between the two.
Ryan Hatfield

KELLY LANCE
Hi, What temperature rating do you recommend in a down bag for fall archery? 40? 30? I sleep cool. I don’t know if I’ll backpack in, but I have to change something. I think I eventually want a 15-degree bag, but it’s probably overkill for the fall. Thanks, Kelly

Kelly,
I use a 30-degree Western Mountaineering Megalite. The bag is only 1 lb., 8 oz and compresses extremely small, which is very important when going lightweight into the backcountry. The bag performs great during fall archery hunts in August and September. If you are looking for a bag that will perform in October as well, I would recommed a 15-degree bag. Hope this helps. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
David Long

TY ABERT
I’m interested in the Janssen’s Hardcore Hunt Pack, but I’m trying to lighten my load by going with a lighter pack. Could you tell me how much the Hardcore Hunt Pack weighs? Also, could you suggest any other fairly lightweight packs inside the 3000 to 4500 cubic-inch range that could still handle the weight of half a boned-out deer, as well as 30 pounds worth of gear?

Ty,
I know what you mean about backpack base weight being a concern. I think the Janssen’s pack weighs in right at 6 lbs., 5 oz. One of the lightest new packs we have tested lately is the Blacks Creek Barbarian Featherlight. This pack is super versatile and carries either a bow or rifle. It sports a max of 4500 cubic inches but can be reduced for smaller loads, and weighs in at only 5 lbs. dry. Nate tested this pack on an Idaho elk hunt and was very impressed with the product. You can check it out at: www.blacks-creek.com.
Guy Eastman

DARREN THOMSON
I have a question on the peanut butter/bacon/honey sandwiches you use. I tried them this summer while doing an overnight conditioning hike and they are actually pretty tasty. How many days worth of those do you actually pack for lunches? Would they even last in a pack for eight days?

Darren ,
It’s funny you ask about how long the sandwiches will last. As it turns out, I just downed a 12-day old one on the last hunt and I’m still alive. I wouldn’t really recommend doing that very often, but I do think that if you toast the bread and cook the bacon on the welldone side and keep them in Ziploc bags, you should be fine for eight days. Good luck and let me know how it goes.
Nate Simmons