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  1. #1
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    Looking to gear up! Need some feedback please...

    Gearing up for my First every "Western Big Game" hunt. It's an early season Archery Colorado "opportunity hunt" for Elk in the High Country around Crested Butte Unit 55. Also, there is a slim chance that I could draw for a Limited Draw Mule Deer Non-Resident Archery Tag.

    It's not a DIY hunt but I am hunting with a friend of mine who works for a local Outfitter. Staying in a lodge of some kind and hiking out daily.

    I would appreciate ANY advise on gear and accessories. Like: backpack, water containers, clothing, and misc items.

    Note: on clothing; I've been researching Sitka, kuiu, and some other brand in similar price range. MAIN issue or gripe is I cant order complete "layering" system of either because some random item is sold out!! - frustrating. Surely someone can suggest some type of mix match system of layering?

    HELP!?

    Thanks...

  2. #2
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    I just bought Russel outdoor gear this past year on a great discount. Mossy Oak Brush Pattern. I believe they still have most everything at Cabela's on sale. The pants are more bibs for the heavier stuff though, just as an FYI. Its a lot cheaper than Sitka or Kuiu, but they are all great brands.

    As far as packs, I have a Horn Hunter mainbeam with hydration pack. We hike roughly 10-15 miles depending on the day and I have packed parts of deer out with it as well. You can also strap your bow or rifle to it with no issues. My dad has two Eberlestock pack loves both of them, but since I haven't used them I can't vouch for them but I have heard good things. I would recommend a water bladder. Less noisy than plastic bottles and you can fit a bunch in there.

    I think the most important thing you can invest in is good optics, 8 or 10 power, and a great pair of boots as you will be using both a lot. If you can swing it, take two pairs of boots, but if not, invest in a boot dryer if the place you are staying at has electricity. Can be a lifesaver if your boots start to leak or you feet sweat too much.

    Make sure you can fling some arrows at longer distances as well and Good Luck! I wish I had a buddy willing to take me on a high country hunt!
    Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me.
    Genesis 27:3 (NKJV)

  3. #3
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    Are you planning to make this hunt a routine or just once or twice?
    http://www.solooutdoor.com/ Contact me for used optic specials!

  4. #4
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    If your looking for some great mountain hunting clothing look at Core4element, you can order it all on line and get the complete layering system that won't break the bank. There is no middle man so they pass on the savings to the customer. I have been wearing the stuff for a year and have not been disappointed. www.core4element.com
    Shoot STR8

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  6. #5
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    tdcour and RUTTIN Thanks for the heads ups!

    hardstalk I have hunted in my homestate of Texas for years with a Bow and put a lot of Critters to Sleep. This is the my Virgin run for Western Game. I am familiar with the area around Crested Butte 'cause of Skiing and summer hiking trips(with wife!). My Friend the guide suggested putting this trip together for a couple of reasons 1) see whats it about(physical, demanding,etc.) 2) not gonna break bank 3) experience harvesting a NON trophy Elk with Bow 4) acquire Points to use in better units(for Elk)....It just so happens that this same unit has over the years produced Monster Muleys and according CO F&G takes 6 non-res points to draw rifle. So, long story infinite, YES I think ill be hunting the area more than a couple of times for the Muleys. Thanks!

  7. #6
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    First of all, I would start with getting some merino wool base layers and good boots. I use smart wool long underwear and quarter zip long sleeve tee, plus a micro weight t-shirt. Merino socks too- I just got a couple merino liner socks which I like to wear with lightweight merino hiking socks. There's lots of info and opinions on this forum about boots so I won't get into it here. If I were to get one Kuiu brand product, it would probably be the attack pant since they built the company on the Toray fabric, but I actually don't own it. Then I would get a nice mid layer to go over your base layer like a button up (First Lite Chugach workshirt, Cabela's microtex, etc.), quarter zip (Sitka Traverse zip t, Sitka Ascent Jacket, etc.), or light fleece. A down jacket over that is always a nice insulating layer if you need it, since it's light and compressible.

    Hope that helps as an idea. You don't have to get a whole system from all the same vendor. Anything from companies like Core4element, Sitka, Kuiu, Kryptec, First Lite, etc. will probably work great. Mixing and matching with backpacking-type companies can also complement hunting specific gear nicely. I have some Marmot, Patagonia, REI and North Face stuff that works really well.

    Also, when considering a pack, you have to decide how much you plan on carrying, especially if you aren't going to be spiking out. If you don't need to carry your camp with you, you can get away with carrying a significantly smaller and more convenient pack. On day hunts, I typically only carry my after-the-shot stuff like knives and saws, flashlight/headlamp, a few methods of starting a fire, extra ammo, water, lunch, and the all important toilet paper. My pack for this type of hunt is just a simple fanny pack hybrid type thing from Crooked Horn Outfitters or a small daypack. If you need to be packing a spotter or plan on packing out elk quarters, you may need something larger with some type of frame in it. However, I always knew if I shot an elk I'd be going to get horses to pack it out, but not everyone has that option, so you'll have to consider how you'll be getting your animal out if you are successful.
    Can't spell scum without U&M... Go 'Cats!

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  9. #7
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    I am a strong advocate for Kuiu. Don't worry if you can't get everything, buy what you can and supplement with Core4element. Really love the merino wool, and you won't be sorry you bought it. Today's pack frames from Kuiu, Kifaru, Mystery Ranch, Eberlestock and others are worth the money. Don't buy lots of gear, just start with high quality and you will save over time. I have lots of mid-priced gear that I never use anymore.
    llp

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  11. #8
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    I agree with llp. I would recommend high-quality stuff, particularly boots, pack and glass. I relocated from Texas a few years ago as my wife is from Montana and I went through this process. I have a Mystery Ranch Nice Crew Cab for a pack, Schnee's Beartooth for boots, Vortex 10 x 42 bino's, polypropolene and/or merino base layer (in my opinion brand is not that important), Kryptek outer layer (have built-in knee pads which you will really appreciate particularly as an archery hunter), merino wool socks (again brand not that important although you can't go wrong with Smartwool). I've mixed and matched over the years but if you can get a system all in one place for a good deal not a bad way to go. All of the brands mentioned above are good. Most important thing is layering. Archery season in Montana last year was pretty warm so you outside of early morning, I was usually wearing one or two layers. By mid-morning we would be shedding a later. Best of luck and enjoy the hunt. After deer hunting in Texas for most of my life and experiencing archery elk here in Montana I am hooked. It is an awesome thing to call a rutting bull within bow range.
    Last edited by jzfrench; 03-18-2013 at 10:52 AM.

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  13. #9
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    Think about the things that are going to be very important comfort wise and you will use the most. My opinion, optics (Vortex Viper HD) love 'em.....pack Eblerlestock J34. Spend your $ on things that will be essential. My opinion, pack and optics are what you will use the ALL DAY of each day hunting.

    Boots are important as well. Need to upgrade those....so I have no advice.
    Last edited by nickpaolini81; 04-06-2013 at 11:09 AM.

  14. #10
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    Absolutely HIGH Quality, as the guys here have said! I have some Sitka, but have switched to Russell due to the price. Linton Outdoors in Idaho has an excellent comparison of both lines on their website. As for packs, sounds like you won't be needing to pack out anything, so I'd hunt with a fanny/lumbar pack. Take a look at the Nimrod Packs series Pinnacle, it's a superb system. I use it both for rifle & bow when hunting out of a base camp. You can easily mix&match base layers & should have no trouble putting that together. Base camp hunting really takes the worry out of what to haul with you! Get top of the line boots and raingear. Eberlestock sells a great 3-liter hydration bladder which fits nicely in my Nimrod lumbar. The only complaint I have with any pack maker is they all have a method of carrying these short compounds, but I hunt with a Border Bows Griffon GL 66-inch longbow. I'd REALLY like to stow my bow and switch to trekking poles on nasty downhills! Oh, and a Havalon Piranta knife-those things are amazing!!!

 

 

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