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Old 05-02-2018, 07:55 PM   #51
Chris Martin
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Default I'm Going Elk Hunting in CO - Help Me With Gear Recommendations! (Video)

Iíll touch on electronics if anyone cares to read.

Iím 2 years into dropping the rhino gps and havenít looked back. Iíve had a lot better experience using my phone with onx, just make sure to download the off grid maps ahead of time. Worked in co, nm, ut and az without any hiccups.

I really like the new onx member web based map desktop section that communicates with your phone. No more having to transfer kml files back and fourth to and from google earth. I also have it on my iPad, and itís great to throw on the center console for easier navigation viewing while driving into new territory and also to help make a plan with your hunting partner.

I carry a dark energy power bank to keep my phone full for a week or more in airplane mode.

My go to lightweight camera for ldpís or scenery is the Sony RX-lll. Nothing fancy but takes great pics and pretty good video for its size. I have 2 spare batteries and it can charge from the power bank easily if needed, but have never had to.

The other must have for me now is the inreach, definitely has saved my marriage and itís great to be able to communicate between your hunting party if they also have them. It saved James and I no telling how much hunting time when his truck broke down 2 years ago, and I was able to reach my friend to come get us as he wasnít hunting too far away. Iíve had the cheaper yellow one, but my buddy had the one with gps screen built in and it was working pretty slick last year. Battery life is incredible and I hardly have to charge it during a week long trip, but it takes the same charger that my camera does if needed and can get it charged through powerbank as well. It bluetoothís to my iPhone for easy texting. I go out there to unplug, but sometimes I have to handle a little business, and itís good to get weather and hunting reports from other friends in and out of the field.

Phone skope is awesome, I have the adapter for my spotter as well as binos. However it doesnít get much action in timber elk country. Mule deer is a whole different story though.

For lights, I carry 2 Princeton tech headlamps. One in my cargo pant pocket, and one in my pack with the batteries removed in case of accidental turn on. 2 small stream light flashlight single aaaís. One in bino pouch with spare battery and spare rangefinder battery and one in pant pocket. The other light I really enjoy is the eno Christmas led lights in the backpacking section at academy. Great for tent/tarp or skinning quartering. All of these lights run off AAA.

That pretty much keeps all my electronics under 2 lbs, which has been great compared to lugging gps, camcorders and dslrís around and fighting batteries like years past. Still looking for a lightweight and tough camcorder that has good battery life that exports well to iMovie.

That being said, Iím sure you plan to film a whole lot more than I do nowadays!

Iíve always got some sort of squeak that develops on boots over time. This stuff works pretty good on most of my boots, but thereís one that they sell at Cabelas that comes in a brown tub that works best for me. Supposedly made for firefighters. I also change out my laces every season.




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Last edited by Chris Martin; 05-02-2018 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:11 PM   #52
Texans42
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Originally Posted by hopedale View Post
What do you do for food and such with jetboil?
Mountain house,paleo 2 go, hawkvitals and Heather’s choice

New company coming out eathumble that’s suppose to be good.

I highly advise trying before you go. Heather’s only has one I like.

My meals are multiple companies, example I like cold breakfasts from backcountry fuel, paleo 2go and mountain house.

Last edited by Texans42; 05-02-2018 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:28 PM   #53
Texans42
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Originally Posted by Shane View Post
On the footwear subject.... Gore-Tex for sure. Also, don't just walk and hike in your boots before you go. Try to find a place where you can do a lot of side hill hiking to make sure your boots are comfortable in that situation as well. Take a trip to a state park in rough country (Palo Duro, Big Bend, etc.) if you have time, and give your gear a test drive.

Disagree on goretex. Iíve been running non membrane boots for all my sept Southern CO and winter NM hunts last 4 years. My feet stay drier and cooler over all.

With todayís DWRís and oil you can make a boot pretty darn waterproof all while being 10x more breathable. Now if Iím hunting northern Idaho, Iíll wear membrane. The West in general isnít that wet and gaiters fix morning dew on pants and boots.

Now Later in the season Iíll switch to membrane and insulated boots.
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:54 PM   #54
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The squeak in your boot is probably the insole moving when you walk. Try replacing it with one of those gel insoles.
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:08 PM   #55
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In regards to footwear I would include a polypropylene liner sock inside my merino wool sock. This will drastically cut down on any chance of a blister developing.
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:14 PM   #56
kingranch
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85 View Post
To start.....its a trip to Colorado not a Trip to the moon. Most first timers take the advice of folks who have never been there and WAY overpack and over gear.

The HUNTING EQUIPMENT NEEDED IS BASIC

the specialty stuff has to do with camping.

I have a Cabelas Alaskan Frame Pack and fill it with the gear I need for a weeks hunt: Clothes, 1 man sleeping bag, 1 man tent, freeze dried food, GPS, paracord, knives, hatchet, iodine water tablets, etc.

I have a basic day pack I use while actually hunting, the frame is too much to carry day in/day out.

Most places you hunt you will make camp close to a truck.....on some of the units we hunt we can use ATV's which we pull trailers behind them and carry dry boxes/ice chests with additional food and camp kitchen stuff and a canvas tent/bigger tents for a more comfortable base camp. Our space allows for 1 gun/1 bow depending on what season your in.

I use Irish Setter 400 gram Vapor boots...right at 2 lbs a piece. you don't want heavy, insulated boots. I'm really big on saving weight....that will fatigue you more than anything. I carry a pack with binos/rangefinder, knives, food, water and my weapon and that's it. Everything else, leave at camp. Clothing, just basic academy realtree clothing but I do spend money on northface and underarmour base layers. Early season I use thin stuff. Don't want to wear stuff that is too warm and heavy. Wool socks are a must....cotton socks are good for starting fires and that's about it.

September hunts are generally mild but you can get rain....bring a rain suit, although I've never needed one. make sure its light weight if your gonna carry it in your pack. Frog Toggs make a decent one that weighs almost nothing.


the only thing I would recommend as a must have is a GPS. not one on your phone a GPS with replaceable batteries to keep from getting lost.


Have fun, good luck. on the first couple trips don't set your expectations too high, enjoy the mountains and get a feel for western hunting.


another cool accessory but not 100% necessary is a Jet boil. makes cooking 100x's easier.

ill leave in the morning and hunt all day. a mid day lunch/nap out on the mountain is a great treat.



One last thing if I haven't mentioned it enough already.....CUT DOWN ON WEIGHT.

Leave the spotting scopes at home. too much weight and not enough opportunities to use them. elk are always moving and the odds of you spotting one at a distance you couldn't see with bino's and getting over to it are extremely slim. A spotting scope is a great tool in a lot of areas....Colorado high country isn't one of them. A lot of areas you won't be able to see more than 100 yards in any direction anyway. Big Binoculars are another thing to leave at home. a basic 10x42 pair is plenty. if you absolutely must pack a pistol, carry a small one like a M&P shield. A heavy handgun is gonna wear you down. you don't need monster knifes or a huge bone saw....I carry a lightweight knife kit and folding saw. Honestly, you probably own all the gear already necessary to get you 90% of the way there....just a few items, like a jet boil and GPS, are all most need to complete their trip.

Colorado Hunting is amazingly simple and one of the most over-talked about and over-complicated topics around the hunting world.


One last thing....bring a zippo lighter and some firestarters. makes that campfire much, much easier to get going
This right here- pack light as u won't use most of the junk u take
And eat beanie weenies and trail mix for 7 days it works and will keep u in budget
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:34 PM   #57
txtrophy85
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Food wise I plan on 1-2 mountain houses a day plus snacks.

Normally for breakfast I’ll eat light, granola bar and a apple/banana if I’m in a base camp or just protein bar if I’m roughing it.

Mid day snack I’ll eat a ramen noodle pack or a mountain house. Afternoon snack jerky and trail mix/Vienna sausages

Dinner depending on how whooped I am I may or may not eat another mountain house. I actually enjoy the taste of them ( up there, eaten at sea level at the house they taste like azz)

Surprisingly....I don’t eat that much when I’m up there.

I carry two 16 oz bottles of water with me a day...one for drinking and one for the jet boil
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:53 PM   #58
Michael
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Martin View Post
Iíll touch on electronics if anyone cares to read.

Iím 2 years into dropping the rhino gps and havenít looked back. Iíve had a lot better experience using my phone with onx, just make sure to download the off grid maps ahead of time. Worked in co, nm, ut and az without any hiccups.

I really like the new onx member web based map desktop section that communicates with your phone. No more having to transfer kml files back and fourth to and from google earth. I also have it on my iPad, and itís great to throw on the center console for easier navigation viewing while driving into new territory and also to help make a plan with your hunting partner.

I carry a dark energy power bank to keep my phone full for a week or more in airplane mode.

My go to lightweight camera for ldpís or scenery is the Sony RX-lll. Nothing fancy but takes great pics and pretty good video for its size. I have 2 spare batteries and it can charge from the power bank easily if needed, but have never had to.

The other must have for me now is the inreach, definitely has saved my marriage and itís great to be able to communicate between your hunting party if they also have them. It saved James and I no telling how much hunting time when his truck broke down 2 years ago, and I was able to reach my friend to come get us as he wasnít hunting too far away. Iíve had the cheaper yellow one, but my buddy had the one with gps screen built in and it was working pretty slick last year. Battery life is incredible and I hardly have to charge it during a week long trip, but it takes the same charger that my camera does if needed and can get it charged through powerbank as well. It bluetoothís to my iPhone for easy texting. I go out there to unplug, but sometimes I have to handle a little business, and itís good to get weather and hunting reports from other friends in and out of the field.

Phone skope is awesome, I have the adapter for my spotter as well as binos. However it doesnít get much action in timber elk country. Mule deer is a whole different story though.

For lights, I carry 2 Princeton tech headlamps. One in my cargo pant pocket, and one in my pack with the batteries removed in case of accidental turn on. 2 small stream light flashlight single aaaís. One in bino pouch with spare battery and spare rangefinder battery and one in pant pocket. The other light I really enjoy is the eno Christmas led lights in the backpacking section at academy. Great for tent/tarp or skinning quartering. All of these lights run off AAA.

That pretty much keeps all my electronics under 2 lbs, which has been great compared to lugging gps, camcorders and dslrís around and fighting batteries like years past. Still looking for a lightweight and tough camcorder that has good battery life that exports well to iMovie.

That being said, Iím sure you plan to film a whole lot more than I do nowadays!

Iíve always got some sort of squeak that develops on boots over time. This stuff works pretty good on most of my boots, but thereís one that they sell at Cabelas that comes in a brown tub that works best for me. Supposedly made for firefighters. I also change out my laces every season.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks Chris! I'm still trying to decide what camera I'll take, but I'll definitely be attempting to video!

Thanks for all the GREAT comments!
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Old 05-03-2018, 01:37 AM   #59
Davoh
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Originally Posted by Arrowsmith View Post

If you are packing in or even camping at the trail head I would sleep in my hammock with a tarp. Getting off the ground is much more comfortable.

If you want to go more comfortable and camping at the trail head....go wall tent, cots and wood stove. Very comfortable and good rest is of paramount importance.

Hammocks are amazing for camping. I sleep better in a hammock than I do in my bed. Your feet will also feel better, because your feet will be slightly elevated.

However, hammocks require some tinkering. Underquilts and top quilts will keep you warm down to temperatures well below what you'll want to get out and go hunting in. But you have to test and tinker and adjust them frequently. Look up a book called the ultimate hang, also this youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/shugemery << that guy has a TON of good information on hammocking.
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Old 05-03-2018, 07:06 AM   #60
lunatic'hunter
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Gotta take care of your wheels. Went to Colorado back in 2014. I found a pair of slightly used Kennetrek Mountain boots at a darn good price, on Rokslide.com The previous owner had mink oiled them which made them waterproof walking in snow. Most comfortable boots I have ever slipped on. Now remember, if the word Mountain is in the description it will cost more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chew View Post
I would say start with boots. Buy early and break them in. Nothing else matters if your feet hurt or you have blisters and can't hunt.

Then concentrate on layers of comfortable and quiet clothing.

Then you're pack and miscellaneous gear.

And of course fine-tune your archery equipment.
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Old 05-03-2018, 05:41 PM   #61
Dave
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Get your pack picked out and start walking in those Lowas. Figure out the fit on the pack and get your feet toughened up.
Don't put tons of weight in the pack, you can get a good feel for how it will carry with 25 lbs and I doubt you will hunt for a day with more than that. If you have trouble with the way the pack is riding then I would be willing to help you with adjustments.
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Old 05-04-2018, 03:34 PM   #62
Still Hunter
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Lots of good advice here. I might have missed it but how are you guys setting up camp. Are you hunting out of a truck campsite and venturing out daily or are you packing all the way back in or planning on a mixture of the two with a base camp and then maybe day trips away from base camp. It helps to determine equipment recommendations knowing how you intend to camp and hunt. Also how many days do you intending to out there hunting.
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Old 05-07-2018, 12:59 PM   #63
Jamesl
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After 5 or 6 years of chasing elk I have made a few adjustments to gear.

I changed over to the Katadyn Befree water filter from the Lifestraw. I still pack a lifestraw for a back up. I used the Katadyn last year. It is easier and faster to use.

Switched over from a Rancho Safari Catquiver III to a light frame pack that I can hunt with. I wanted to have a way to carry meat off the mountain with me at all times. The catquiver was useless for that. When I killed my bull last year, my heavy/bulky frame pack was at camp 2 miles from my bull.

Better sleeping bag. I finally got tired of freezing almost every night.

Quality game bags. The old school bags are worthless.

Being in shape is a must. Get your legs and core prepared for the hunt. Cardio, weightlifting, running, rowing, rucking and running stadium stairs has been my routine the past few years. I just starting pulling a weighted tire around. It is the closet exercise that feels like being in the mountains. Get serious about this part.

And a warning, Elk hunting is addictive. I would guess it is similar to crack or heroin. I would give up deer hunting in a heartbeat if I had to choose between the two.
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Old 05-07-2018, 01:05 PM   #64
ArcoCazador
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesl View Post
After 5 or 6 years of chasing elk I have made a few adjustments to gear.

I changed over to the Katadyn Befree water filter from the Lifestraw. I still pack a lifestraw for a back up. I used the Katadyn last year. It is easier and faster to use.

Switched over from a Rancho Safari Catquiver III to a light frame pack that I can hunt with. I wanted to have a way to carry meat off the mountain with me at all times. The catquiver was useless for that. When I killed my bull last year, my heavy/bulky frame pack was at camp 2 miles from my bull.

Better sleeping bag. I finally got tired of freezing almost every night.

Quality game bags. The old school bags are worthless.

Being in shape is a must. Get your legs and core prepared for the hunt. Cardio, weightlifting, running, rowing, rucking and running stadium stairs has been my routine the past few years. I just starting pulling a weighted tire around. It is the closet exercise that feels like being in the mountains. Get serious about this part.

And a warning, Elk hunting is addictive. I would guess it is similar to crack or heroin. I would give up deer hunting in a heartbeat if I had to choose between the two.
Can you elaborate on the game bags ? I used some last year. I just grabbed whatever game bags I could find. I didnt focus on the quality of them. You recommend a brand ?

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Old 05-07-2018, 01:22 PM   #65
Texans42
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Originally Posted by ArcoCazador View Post
Can you elaborate on the game bags ? I used some last year. I just grabbed whatever game bags I could find. I didnt focus on the quality of them. You recommend a brand ?

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Synthetic like tag bags or even the knock off Black ovis ones.

I carry the bone out ones not full sized bone in. Saves you about 10 oz.
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Old 05-07-2018, 01:37 PM   #66
Jamesl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcoCazador View Post
Can you elaborate on the game bags ? I used some last year. I just grabbed whatever game bags I could find. I didnt focus on the quality of them. You recommend a brand ?

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
Going with the synthetic bags. The old school bags we used last year did not keep the flies out. We are going with the Black Ovis bags, from what I read they are similar to the TAG bags.
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:47 PM   #67
NoFence
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txtrophy85 View Post
To start.....its a trip to Colorado not a Trip to the moon. Most first timers take the advice of folks who have never been there and WAY overpack and over gear.

The HUNTING EQUIPMENT NEEDED IS BASIC

the specialty stuff has to do with camping.

I have a Cabelas Alaskan Frame Pack and fill it with the gear I need for a weeks hunt: Clothes, 1 man sleeping bag, 1 man tent, freeze dried food, GPS, paracord, knives, hatchet, iodine water tablets, etc.

I have a basic day pack I use while actually hunting, the frame is too much to carry day in/day out.

Most places you hunt you will make camp close to a truck.....on some of the units we hunt we can use ATV's which we pull trailers behind them and carry dry boxes/ice chests with additional food and camp kitchen stuff and a canvas tent/bigger tents for a more comfortable base camp. Our space allows for 1 gun/1 bow depending on what season your in.

I use Irish Setter 400 gram Vapor boots...right at 2 lbs a piece. you don't want heavy, insulated boots. I'm really big on saving weight....that will fatigue you more than anything. I carry a pack with binos/rangefinder, knives, food, water and my weapon and that's it. Everything else, leave at camp. Clothing, just basic academy realtree clothing but I do spend money on northface and underarmour base layers. Early season I use thin stuff. Don't want to wear stuff that is too warm and heavy. Wool socks are a must....cotton socks are good for starting fires and that's about it.

September hunts are generally mild but you can get rain....bring a rain suit, although I've never needed one. make sure its light weight if your gonna carry it in your pack. Frog Toggs make a decent one that weighs almost nothing.


the only thing I would recommend as a must have is a GPS. not one on your phone a GPS with replaceable batteries to keep from getting lost.


Have fun, good luck. on the first couple trips don't set your expectations too high, enjoy the mountains and get a feel for western hunting.


another cool accessory but not 100% necessary is a Jet boil. makes cooking 100x's easier.

ill leave in the morning and hunt all day. a mid day lunch/nap out on the mountain is a great treat.



One last thing if I haven't mentioned it enough already.....CUT DOWN ON WEIGHT.

Leave the spotting scopes at home. too much weight and not enough opportunities to use them. elk are always moving and the odds of you spotting one at a distance you couldn't see with bino's and getting over to it are extremely slim. A spotting scope is a great tool in a lot of areas....Colorado high country isn't one of them. A lot of areas you won't be able to see more than 100 yards in any direction anyway. Big Binoculars are another thing to leave at home. a basic 10x42 pair is plenty. if you absolutely must pack a pistol, carry a small one like a M&P shield. A heavy handgun is gonna wear you down. you don't need monster knifes or a huge bone saw....I carry a lightweight knife kit and folding saw. Honestly, you probably own all the gear already necessary to get you 90% of the way there....just a few items, like a jet boil and GPS, are all most need to complete their trip.

Colorado Hunting is amazingly simple and one of the most over-talked about and over-complicated topics around the hunting world.


One last thing....bring a zippo lighter and some firestarters. makes that campfire much, much easier to get going
Lots of good info here and some maybe not so good info.

DEFINITELY go with a GPS on your phone. It's the biggest screen you'll have, an order of magnitude cheaper, way easier to use, and one less thing to keep up with. Almost everyone is using phone GPS systems now. The most popular is probably onX. I use Backcountry Navigator.

And if you're gonna take a pistol don't take a little Shield. Your chance of needing it for a 2 legged or 4 legged animal are probably about the same. Might as well have something hefty if you're gonna bother to take one. I took a heavy gun last year and honestly didn't notice it at all other than when the cheap holster fell off my pack.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:02 PM   #68
Jamesl
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As far as a gun goes, I wouldn't want the extra weight, so I don't carry even though we see quite a few bears. I successfully reasoned with my elk partner to leave his gun with me while I started breaking down my elk on the side of a mountain in the dark. I did feel a little better having it with me while working on the elk while he made the 4 mile round trip to camp and back. But dang, pistols are sooo heavy on the mountain!

I also switched from a Havalon Piranta for an Outdoor Edge Razor Lite. The thin little Havalon blades would keep breaking. I only prefer replaceable blade knives over ones that need to be sharpened for elk hunting.

Last edited by Jamesl; 05-07-2018 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 05-08-2018, 10:59 PM   #69
Michael
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Martin View Post
Iíve always got some sort of squeak that develops on boots over time. This stuff works pretty good on most of my boots, but thereís one that they sell at Cabelas that comes in a brown tub that works best for me. Supposedly made for firefighters. I also change out my laces every season.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

This worked perfectly - eliminated the squeak - but...my right big toe presses against the front of the boot. I've been running in the boots and it hasn't caused a problem, but I'm not going to risk a blister or ingrown nail that could ruin my hunt. New boots are on the list.

I catch up with other comments on the thread. Thanks for all the great feedback!
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Old 05-08-2018, 11:15 PM   #70
JTeLarkin08
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In my opinion the most important two items when hunting OTC Public land in Colorado are.........

#1 Whiskey.. No matter if your celebrating a successful hunt or tipping back the bottle because your on day 8 and have yet to see an elk.. Getting whiskey drunk on the side of a mountain is always a good time.. (in my Colorado experience it will be because you havent seen anything in 8 days )

#2 a fishing pole.. Because when you havent seen a elk in 8 days fishing goes great with Whiskey..
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Old 05-08-2018, 11:19 PM   #71
Michael
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Originally Posted by JTeLarkin08 View Post
In my opinion the most important two items when hunting OTC Public land in Colorado are.........

#1 Whiskey.. No matter if your celebrating a successful hunt or tipping back the bottle because your on day 8 and have yet to see an elk.. Getting whiskey drunk on the side of a mountain is always a good time.. (in my Colorado experience it will be because you havent seen anything in 8 days )

#2 a fishing pole.. Because when you havent seen a elk in 8 days fishing goes great with Whiskey..





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Old 05-09-2018, 05:45 AM   #72
Pedernal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTeLarkin08 View Post
In my opinion the most important two items when hunting OTC Public land in Colorado are.........

#1 Whiskey.. No matter if your celebrating a successful hunt or tipping back the bottle because your on day 8 and have yet to see an elk.. Getting whiskey drunk on the side of a mountain is always a good time.. (in my Colorado experience it will be because you havent seen anything in 8 days )

#2 a fishing pole.. Because when you havent seen a elk in 8 days fishing goes great with Whiskey..
I like the way you think Sir
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:20 AM   #73
Capstone
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Not sure if someone already mentioned it but check out Born and Raised Outdoors' Land of the Free Series on Youtube. Truly outstanding video series. 5 states in 50 days of OTC public land Elk hunting (bow) last season. They hit CO too. Lot of good equipment ideas there.
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:16 AM   #74
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Its generally pretty warm during bow season in the mountains. They do get a freak storm every once in a while though, so be prepared if you're packing in to stay. A gps is helpful also. When I lived there I used cargo pants and long sleeve tee shirts mostly during bow season. Good comfortable running shoes or a light pair of boots on the feet with padded hiking socks. The waterproof stuff cooked my feet and wouldn't let moisture out when you sweat. Getting in shape is important. I never took more than a light pack with game bags and overnight stuff. Shoulder harness fanny pack works great. The elk you take you bag in quarters if you have to and make trips in and out. Through a quarter over your shoulder and start walking! Have fun and get out there...dont over think it. Oh and take a fishing pole!
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:21 AM   #75
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Oh and hunt the aspen bowls!
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Old 05-10-2018, 02:00 PM   #76
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Its generally pretty warm during bow season in the mountains. They do get a freak storm every once in a while though, so be prepared if you're packing in to stay. A gps is helpful also. When I lived there I used cargo pants and long sleeve tee shirts mostly during bow season. Good comfortable running shoes or a light pair of boots on the feet with padded hiking socks. The waterproof stuff cooked my feet and wouldn't let moisture out when you sweat. Getting in shape is important. I never took more than a light pack with game bags and overnight stuff. Shoulder harness fanny pack works great. The elk you take you bag in quarters if you have to and make trips in and out. Through a quarter over your shoulder and start walking! Have fun and get out there...dont over think it. Oh and take a fishing pole!
Good info, thanks!
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:24 AM   #77
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WOW! Y'all are hitting me up with some great info on this thread, via PM and on YouTube!

Although we still don't have a lot of specifics nailed down on the hunt, and I'm not ready to disclose the unit we're hunting, I did get a few details from Adam this week.

There are 4 hunters that will split into groups of 2. We'll hike the first section together, and then split about 3/4 of the way to our area and set up camp in different areas. The total hike in will be 7-10 miles (about 3/4 of that should be easy with little elevation change).

Because of the camera gear, I've decided to go with a 7200 pack. I'm guesstimating the pack-in weight will be around 50ish pounds, including food and camera gear.
I'm still evaluating between Kuiu, Kifaru or Stone Glacier. I found a pretty good deal on a Kuiu but I'm still working on some possibilities with the others, as well.

I've been hitting the conditioning pretty hard and am introducing some strength work into the equation as well. Elk101 has some pretty good info for "Workout for the Aging Hunter" (for which I solidly qualify!)

More to come! Thanks again for all the great feedback here and on the YouTube vid!
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:02 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
WOW! Y'all are hitting me up with some great info on this thread, via PM and on YouTube!

Although we still don't have a lot of specifics nailed down on the hunt, and I'm not ready to disclose the unit we're hunting, I did get a few details from Adam this week.

There are 4 hunters that will split into groups of 2. We'll hike the first section together, and then split about 3/4 of the way to our area and set up camp in different areas. The total hike in will be 7-10 miles (about 3/4 of that should be easy with little elevation change).

Because of the camera gear, I've decided to go with a 7200 pack. I'm guesstimating the pack-in weight will be around 50ish pounds, including food and camera gear.
I'm still evaluating between Kuiu, Kifaru or Stone Glacier. I found a pretty good deal on a Kuiu but I'm still working on some possibilities with the others, as well.

I've been hitting the conditioning pretty hard and am introducing some strength work into the equation as well. Elk101 has some pretty good info for "Workout for the Aging Hunter" (for which I solidly qualify!)

More to come! Thanks again for all the great feedback here and on the YouTube vid!
You own the largest hunting forum in Texas. Iím not saying if I was you I would use that for free stuff via advertising.... actually Iím lieing I would have 99% of my gear covered. At very least you should be on Experticity

Donít forget EXO on packs.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:06 AM   #79
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You own the largest hunting forum in Texas. Iím not saying if I was you I would use that for free stuff via advertising.... actually Iím lieing I would have 99% of my gear covered. At very least you should be on Experticity

Donít forget EXO on packs.
I may or may not have reached out to at least one of the companies to discuss that!
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:22 AM   #80
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I may or may not have reached out to at least one of the companies to discuss that!

Crispi boots is very pro hunting
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:35 PM   #81
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Crispi boots is very pro hunting


Cool! I think I just about have my issue resolved, but I'll check em out!


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Old 05-11-2018, 02:14 PM   #82
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You own the largest hunting forum in Texas. Iím not saying if I was you I would use that for free stuff via advertising.... actually Iím lieing I would have 99% of my gear covered. At very least you should be on Experticity

Donít forget EXO on packs.
No joke on the free gear. I would work that angle on all the gear.

I just received my EXO 5500 pack. It is put together with quality materials and 8 lbs lighter than my previous frame pack. Can't wait to put it to use, and get it bloody....elk blood.
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Old 05-11-2018, 02:16 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
WOW! Y'all are hitting me up with some great info on this thread, via PM and on YouTube!

Although we still don't have a lot of specifics nailed down on the hunt, and I'm not ready to disclose the unit we're hunting, I did get a few details from Adam this week.

There are 4 hunters that will split into groups of 2. We'll hike the first section together, and then split about 3/4 of the way to our area and set up camp in different areas. The total hike in will be 7-10 miles (about 3/4 of that should be easy with little elevation change).

Because of the camera gear, I've decided to go with a 7200 pack. I'm guesstimating the pack-in weight will be around 50ish pounds, including food and camera gear.
I'm still evaluating between Kuiu, Kifaru or Stone Glacier. I found a pretty good deal on a Kuiu but I'm still working on some possibilities with the others, as well.

I've been hitting the conditioning pretty hard and am introducing some strength work into the equation as well. Elk101 has some pretty good info for "Workout for the Aging Hunter" (for which I solidly qualify!)

More to come! Thanks again for all the great feedback here and on the YouTube vid!
Just be sure to get an accurate gps location on were you stash all that heavy camera equipment when you get tired of lugging it around.
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:46 PM   #84
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Lot of this is redundant Ö
Extra Release in your bag and in your truck- two is one, three is two
Extra "shot in" Bow String in your pack
Bowmaster Portable Bow Press G2 BMBP-G2
small Hex Key set for bow maintenance
Extra Wind Checker Bottle - I use mine non-stop- you cannot beat the wind!!
Quality folding tree saw- irreplaceable item- multiple uses
Chap Stick- Also works as an emergency candle
Eye lubrication Drops - Our Texas Bodies are not accustomed to the dry air
Paracord - misc uses & to hang meat if needed
Quality Lite rain gear (can rain & sleet at anytime in the mountains)
Waterproof/Windproof matches/Bic Lighter/ Vaseline soaked cotton for fire starter
Knife sharpener
Head lamp w/ extra replacement set batteries
GPS- Extra Batteries w/ OnX app- In Colorado you are responsible for your location at all times regardless it there is a fence or not.
Package of Dental floss- strong light weight tying needs/pack & equipment repairs
Got to have your Hunter Education Card with you when getting your Nonresident License
Good pair of Gloves
Small Bug head netÖ there are some no-see ums that appear occasionally that are all teeth
Reflective trail tacks Ė a absolute blessing in the middle of nowhere - just remove them on your trip out
Black Zip ties
Words of advice---
ē Never stop in the open, get to a small aspen, spruce or bushÖnext thing you know three bulls will appear as you are sitting there busted
ē Take the first open shot! Waiting for him to get from 50 to 30 coming in to a wallow(example), letting him go thru 3 shooting lanes in the process and then he stops at 35 and winds you!
ē Do not lose your edge tired walking back to camp to come around a corner and find a big 6X6 and a cow 14 yards off the trail on the side of a 60 degree incline slope. Hunt back to camp!
ē Donít rush down a trail coming or going, if the elk are there in the area, you can encounter one at any point along the trail
ē If you can fool the lead cow the others will follow , they trust her lead
ē Check the wind and ... then check the wind and umÖ check the windÖ it is constantly changing direction in the mountains
ē Remain still if elk come closeÖ you will be amazed how close they will come if you remain still

Good Luck!
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:34 PM   #85
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Redundancy is paramount...and expensive!

Good info. A few things I haven't seen mentioned or considered. Thanks!


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Old 05-11-2018, 09:46 PM   #86
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Glad the oil worked. Iíd watch the toe especially if you can simulate downhill with weight. Lost both big toenails on kodiak because of that. James had a great point on the game bags. I started using kuiu the past 2 years and Iím very happy with them. Iíve used one bag for a Muley, elk, and big kitty without any flaws this past year. Easy to wash and reuse. I like the big one, great to layout for a clean place to put meat and it holds a ton.

Iíve also been through several packs. After trying most, the exo 5500 is the best Iíve used bar none. 100 lb loads arenít a problem with it, though I prefer to not carry that much all at once. Elk 101 has a promo code for 10-20% off somewhere on there. I also really like the slurpy stalker for day trips. Super light and holds just enough for the essentials. Also if you havenít looked into them, I prefer the sawyer inline water filter. I just bisect the hose on my platypus 3l and mainline it in.

Some pics of both game bag and pack in action this past year.








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Old 05-13-2018, 01:38 PM   #87
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Thanks Chris! I looked at an Exo 5500 today at Adam's (and his Stone Glacier 7200) and like them both!

I'm supposed to talk to Aron with Kifaru tomorrow (thanks JT!) and hopefully I can pull the trigger and get a pack on the way!



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Old 05-14-2018, 08:38 AM   #88
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Good catching up with you this weekend Michael, best advice - find a better group of guys to go with
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:24 AM   #89
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Good catching up with you this weekend Michael, best advice - find a better group of guys to go with
LOL! Beggars can't be choosers! I enjoyed visiting with you, as well!
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:08 PM   #90
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To start.....its a trip to Colorado not a Trip to the moon. Most first timers take the advice of folks who have never been there and WAY overpack and over gear.

The HUNTING EQUIPMENT NEEDED IS BASIC

the specialty stuff has to do with camping.

I have a Cabelas Alaskan Frame Pack and fill it with the gear I need for a weeks hunt: Clothes, 1 man sleeping bag, 1 man tent, freeze dried food, GPS, paracord, knives, hatchet, iodine water tablets, etc.

I have a basic day pack I use while actually hunting, the frame is too much to carry day in/day out.

Most places you hunt you will make camp close to a truck.....on some of the units we hunt we can use ATV's which we pull trailers behind them and carry dry boxes/ice chests with additional food and camp kitchen stuff and a canvas tent/bigger tents for a more comfortable base camp. Our space allows for 1 gun/1 bow depending on what season your in.

I use Irish Setter 400 gram Vapor boots...right at 2 lbs a piece. you don't want heavy, insulated boots. I'm really big on saving weight....that will fatigue you more than anything. I carry a pack with binos/rangefinder, knives, food, water and my weapon and that's it. Everything else, leave at camp. Clothing, just basic academy realtree clothing but I do spend money on northface and underarmour base layers. Early season I use thin stuff. Don't want to wear stuff that is too warm and heavy. Wool socks are a must....cotton socks are good for starting fires and that's about it.

September hunts are generally mild but you can get rain....bring a rain suit, although I've never needed one. make sure its light weight if your gonna carry it in your pack. Frog Toggs make a decent one that weighs almost nothing.


the only thing I would recommend as a must have is a GPS. not one on your phone a GPS with replaceable batteries to keep from getting lost.


Have fun, good luck. on the first couple trips don't set your expectations too high, enjoy the mountains and get a feel for western hunting.


another cool accessory but not 100% necessary is a Jet boil. makes cooking 100x's easier.

ill leave in the morning and hunt all day. a mid day lunch/nap out on the mountain is a great treat.



One last thing if I haven't mentioned it enough already.....CUT DOWN ON WEIGHT.

Leave the spotting scopes at home. too much weight and not enough opportunities to use them. elk are always moving and the odds of you spotting one at a distance you couldn't see with bino's and getting over to it are extremely slim. A spotting scope is a great tool in a lot of areas....Colorado high country isn't one of them. A lot of areas you won't be able to see more than 100 yards in any direction anyway. Big Binoculars are another thing to leave at home. a basic 10x42 pair is plenty. if you absolutely must pack a pistol, carry a small one like a M&P shield. A heavy handgun is gonna wear you down. you don't need monster knifes or a huge bone saw....I carry a lightweight knife kit and folding saw. Honestly, you probably own all the gear already necessary to get you 90% of the way there....just a few items, like a jet boil and GPS, are all most need to complete their trip.

Colorado Hunting is amazingly simple and one of the most over-talked about and over-complicated topics around the hunting world.


One last thing....bring a zippo lighter and some firestarters. makes that campfire much, much easier to get going
x2 keep it as simple as possible, try to acclimate for a day or two, if you go over 10,000 ft the first day there is a chance of getting alt sick.calling in a bull is a lot like turkey hunting, learn elk speak, have fun .I hunted in CO for 25 yrs enjoyed all of them except the first one when I got alt sick.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:13 PM   #91
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All I got is Good Luck! Man this is going to be fun to follow. Dream hunt!
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:15 PM   #92
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One word ... No two ... "Good shoes"
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:55 AM   #93
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x2 keep it as simple as possible, try to acclimate for a day or two, if you go over 10,000 ft the first day there is a chance of getting alt sick.calling in a bull is a lot like turkey hunting, learn elk speak, have fun .I hunted in CO for 25 yrs enjoyed all of them except the first one when I got alt sick.


As luck would have it, I have a couple of meetings in Denver next week for work. Since my bride won't be in town for the weekend, anyway, I'm probably going to stay over until Memorial Day and go hike and scout our hunting area for a couple of days! I'm pretty excited about that! I may even get Courtney to come up for the weekend and hike with me.

I'm also going to try to drop by Kifaru's shop and visit with Aron Snyder about packs. Should be a fun trip!


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Old 05-16-2018, 08:35 AM   #94
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As luck would have it, I have a couple of meetings in Denver next week for work. Since my bride won't be in town for the weekend, anyway, I'm probably going to stay over until Memorial Day and go hike and scout our hunting area for a couple of days! I'm pretty excited about that! I may even get Courtney to come up for the weekend and hike with me.

I'm also going to try to drop by Kifaru's shop and visit with Aron Snyder about packs. Should be a fun trip!


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He has tents and sleeping bags also.

Iíve been running the TUT now for two years, roughly 21 nights in it from Idaho, CO, and NM.

I donít run thier sleeping bag as I run an EE quilt, and get I also Mountain hardware at cost(have three bags from them) but the kifaru long zipper and ability to build a wide is very nice.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:18 PM   #95
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Trade those old legs and back in for a pair 20 years younger
Right!!!
Don't overload yourself carrying to much crap.Second day I unloaded half my pack,Third day unloaded half of that. And the rest of the week a fanny pack and water bladder.
Should of listen to Glen the first day....

DON'T Play Around with Altitude Sickness
Never thought about it much until a buddy went on a DYI pack in trip a few years ago.Guy in his group didn't make it back down the mountain.He said symptoms came on quick. They couldn't get him down to a safe altitude quick enough.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:23 PM   #96
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Right!!!
Don't overload yourself carrying to much crap.Second day I unloaded half my pack,Third day unloaded half of that. And the rest of the week a fanny pack and water bladder.
Should of listen to Glen the first day....

DON'T Play Around with Altitude Sickness
Never thought about it much until a buddy went on a DYI pack in trip a few years ago.Guy in his group didn't make it back down the mountain.He said symptoms came on quick. They couldn't get him down to a safe altitude quick enough.
Diamox (ive used) And I hear cialis works well too
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:42 PM   #97
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In my opinion the most important two items when hunting OTC Public land in Colorado are.........

#1 Whiskey.. No matter if your celebrating a successful hunt or tipping back the bottle because your on day 8 and have yet to see an elk.. Getting whiskey drunk on the side of a mountain is always a good time.. (in my Colorado experience it will be because you havent seen anything in 8 days )

#2 a fishing pole.. Because when you havent seen a elk in 8 days fishing goes great with Whiskey..
This man is very true, I have been there soooooo many times. And a fishing pole may be your only entertainment.( other then the whiskey). Walk stadium stairs as much as you possibly can. If your hunting out of a truck type camp, your normal hunting acc. will work( gps Is very important) . If your back packing it gets much harder, walk the the stadium stairs daily.( because whiskey is going to heavy to pack enough to pass the time) why again the fishing pole is important.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:04 PM   #98
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As luck would have it, I have a couple of meetings in Denver next week for work. Since my bride won't be in town for the weekend, anyway, I'm probably going to stay over until Memorial Day and go hike and scout our hunting area for a couple of days! I'm pretty excited about that! I may even get Courtney to come up for the weekend and hike with me.

I'm also going to try to drop by Kifaru's shop and visit with Aron Snyder about packs. Should be a fun trip!


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Getting to spend time in the area you plan to hunt is incredibly helpful. Especially if youíve not seen it before. Donít forget your gps and take good notes.


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Old 05-17-2018, 11:21 AM   #99
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Getting to spend time in the area you plan to hunt is incredibly helpful. Especially if youíve not seen it before. Donít forget your gps and take good notes.


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Evaluating GPS units now. Is it better to run a dedicated GPS or use phone. I'm also interested in Inreach communications type devices. Garmin just announced a Inreach Mini. The others in my group are running Rhinos, but I think those can only communicate between other Rhino units.
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:42 AM   #100
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Evaluating GPS units now. Is it better to run a dedicated GPS or use phone. I'm also interested in Inreach communications type devices. Garmin just announced a Inreach Mini. The others in my group are running Rhinos, but I think those can only communicate between other Rhino units.
I just use Gaia GPS app on my phone. One less thing to carry.
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