I am planning a Mule Deer hunt in Region R Wyoming for the 2013 season. Looking at hunting the last week of October. We have a Cabela's Guide Model 8 man tent and wanted to get experienced opinions on that tent choice for camping in the western edge of the Big Horns during this time of year. Plan on heating with propane heaters. Based on Google Earth, I expect we will be camped somewhere between 6k to 8k ft. We will probably drive ATVs in to camp just in case it snows a lot, we can get out. Not sure what to expect with weather during late October in this area. We are Louisiana flat landers with a little bit of mountain hunting experience, but not much. Working on this now to allow time to 'gear up'. Any info is appreciated.
I am a huge believer in my floor-less tipi with the stove.
Your tent should be fine. However you may have some condensation with the propane heater.
Depending on the road/trail and how the snow drifts, your ATVs can get snowed in as easy as a pickup. But at those elevations you may be OK as long as you don't have to go over a high pass on the way out. Tire chains, shovels, and winches should be on your list.
Weather will be mild or terrible, but likely both during the hunt.
Have fun and good luck.
You will be just fine. You will probably only need the heater in the A.M, that will help cut down on the condensation. I use a similar setup and it is fine in the teens without the heater. I only fire up the heater if I am bitter cold in the middle of the night or when we go to bed and of course when we get up.
Late October, you never know, it could be 60+ one day and 20 degrees the next. Chains for the fronts (at least) of your 4wd are a good idea. One thing you can do is buy them from a place that has a return policy. On your way up you could buy a set and return them on the way back if you don't use them. These aren't the best off road chains, but will work. I am sure there are other tire stores that have return policies if you check.
Make sure that you take a good, thick, stout tow rope or tow strap with you. Tow chains are ok but are brutal cold to handle and usually frozen if you need it. A rope gives you a little "bounce" if you have to yank on a truck to get it out rather than the "jolt" when you hit the end of a chain. I prefer a good rope over a chain. Take them both if you have them.
I have a short D handle shovel that goes in the back of the truck in the fall and doesn't come out until the spring. Do not use this shovel for camp chores, bring another one. The D handle shovel never leaves the truck! Same thing with an axe, keep it in the truck always.
At least, make sure your spare is aired up and make sure that the lowering mechanism works (I spent 8 hours with my wife one day with a new pickup where the mechanism didn't work, that's how I know about this one!). I take my spare down and throw it in the back of the bed of the pickup when I am in the boonies. There is little worse then having to pry a frozen spare out from under a muddy wet pickup! Make sure that you have some cribbing and a hi-lift jack is a good idea.
You might think about how to stabilize the propane heater. Very little flat ground on a mountain.
This is great info. Greatly appreciated. We just don't have to deal with this type of stuff in the south. Any more is welcomed.
No self respecting Louisiana hunter would consider owning a tent without a floor. Too damn many Rattlesnakes, Copperheads, Water Moccasins and Coral Snakes in those piney hills. Not to mention the 2-3" rainshowers! I grew up in N.E. Louisiana, so I feel your pain. Do not go to WY without excellent optics and a quality rangefinder that will range to at least 800 yards ("Mo is Better"). You will not be shooting that far (hopefully), but knowing the distance will help in deciding whether a stalk is feasible. Things are always further away than they look on the prairie. (Much further!) Good luck on your hunt.
I have Swaro 10X42 SLC binos, I have a Leupold 4.5-14X50mm scope on top of a 7 mm mag, and I have a leica crf 1600 on the way. I do not have a spotting scope however. I will probably have to make this first trip without a spotter.
Being prepared for the weather and terrain is my primary concern.
Thanks for info
Bring your wheel chains (std. equipment for NE LA riverbottoms, but also work great for snow); come along, if your vehicle is not winch equipped, and extra cable, chain, etc. as mentioned in a previous post, unless you can attach to another vehicle. Not as many trees in some parts of WY as there are in Ouachita and Union parish!
WY weather is like CO, in my experience. I have been there when shirt sleeves were too hot, and when the snow was knee high to a giraffe at the same time of the year. Pack clothing you can layer. The new garments are great, but expensive. Wool, poly pro, and down are old school, but still work. Avoid cotton, if you are not having summer heat, if possible. The mountaineers have the saying "cotton kills" for a reason. I just bring all the clothing I own and hope for the best (LOL)! You will hear a lot about boots, but if the weather is sloppy, the old LaCrosse Burley with the Air Bob sole will serve you well.
I think you should reconsider your decision about the spotting scope. This trip is going to be a big investment, and without a spotter, you will be missing a key component. You have some good quality optics, but nothing that will take the place of a spotting scope. Perhaps you can borrow one, or pick up one of the less expensive spotters for the interim. Burris, Leupold, Bushnell, etc. all make nice inexpensive spotters that can be had for under $250. I picked up a Burris in a silent auction last year, and it is excellent for the price. It is not a Zeiss, but will serve you well on this hunt for about 10% of what you will pay for a top of the line spotting scope.
Sell some guns and get a spotter, you won't regret it (unless you go too cheap).