Cam - You sound exactly like what my first guide said, or rather what he said his father said. Hunt the area where you're presently at, not where you wish you were somewhere else. Yes, you've pegged me good. I like to really cover a lot of territory.
wapiti13 You're right, I don't need a 18# rifle to shoot long range. However, I sure can shoot a whole lot better and a whole lot more accurately with a heavier rifle. Actually my "target" rifle was indeed designed to hunt with on foot. I know this because AI's have a beautifully designed biathalon strap. It works so incredibly well that I can carry my 18# AWM for literaly miles and I forget it's even there. The absolutely best way to carry a rifle that I've seen in my entire life of hunting.
You're right, that wool does absorb a lot of water. Wool Isn't great in a massive downpour, Goretex is much better. Wool is great, however, for those "Seattle Days" when it's just kinda leakin rain in a sort of blowing fog. The problem I have with fleece is that it has absolutely no wind resistance what-so-ever. Man I feel like I'm naked in a blowing wind with fleece on; hence the need for a goretex cover and hence all the associated noise that goes with goretex.
No I didn't get an elk
rost495 Yes, yes, I'll try REALLY hard to sit still, it's just hard for me ya know. I've found that gaiters and rain pants are really noisy; especially when they get kinda frozen with snow and ice around your boots. Looks like yer shore carrying a lot of clothing: wool as a backup, under armour, fleece, suede set of rain gear, gaiters. Heck yer just a walking REI store of clothing. Again, the thing I like about wool is that I don't need to take an REI store's worth of clothing with me for every different weather condition that I can encounter in a day. I just throw on the wool in the morning, and maybe take off or put on and extra piece - depending upon termperature changes - and I'm good to go for just about any situation except a truly heavy rain.
Maybe if I were to have a caddy with a golf cart full of guns: AI for long range, 375 HH for brush, a 12guage with 00 buck for those running shots. My caddy would just hand me the right gun for the shot I'm presented with.
I'd change that number to 99% of elk in 1% of woods. My guide told me of some little "groups" of elk where he'd find something like 100 elk lying really close to each other in about the space of a 4000 square foot house.
Victor - great story. Don't feel bad that you didn't get the big one. I was in your exact same situation where I had shots on cows this past season, and DIDN'T take the shot. And I came home with NOTHING. So don't feel too bad, your story could easily have gone the other way.
Hey Jim-- good talking to u this last yr. at ITRC.
Why not switch to a custom single shot pistol? It's not the longest range rig in the world but it'll get u across some canyons/valleys, and is pretty portable for sure.
We've learned over the years now to spot west and north-facing slopes even in mid-day, as they often produce bedded animals that are always passed up by other hunters. This is how we got our elk 2 yrs. ago.
Hey what's the story on those biathalon slings-- where do u get them??
When looking for a guide/outfitter to hunt longrange, we must ask questions as to their experince in this type of hunting. One post made comment that the 18# rifle was too heavy for Idaho(which it is in Idaho) but not in Montana. I have hunted several times with an outfitter in Idaho who has great success and is a great guide and hunter. He has a great area to hunt black bear in the early spring in a long range setting out to 1000 yds and more if desired. Also elk and deer in the fall. You won't be able to walk him down, and he is great company and a second generation outfitter in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness Area. The wool clothing is heavy when wet, but can save the day if things go bad. I like a rifle that 12- 14# to carry afoot. If you have an interest in hunting you can contact him at 208-756-3231 Richie Outfitting. I can send pic of the game and country.The spring hunt is good to get a first time look at the area. A 7 day hunt is about $1800.00
I've used scotch tape for the last 35 years - must confess I've never tested it at the range (I will now) - but I'm sure the air in front of the bullet rips it out and the bullet never touches it - duck tape sounds like a bad idea.
[ QUOTE ] saran wrap held in place with a rubber band.
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That sounds like a better idea than scotch tape. Put a little extra on the barrel and after you shoot, you can cover it again. GREAT TIP!
My 43 LB 50 BMG was too heavy, so I got a 32 lb 50 BMG [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
I'll be hunting elk next year with my semi-custom 338 RUM (Savage/Kirby/Lilja) which will be feather weight - 18-20 lbs [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
I lost 60 lbs in the last year and since i've been running I just can't sympothize with the under 10 lb croud [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
We almost always walk to fresh sign (need snow - usually not a problem in Mt) then split up.
Great post VIC!
I like to pack in the first day ( 10 - 15 miles off the road) and set up camp. I've been skunked on many elk hunts passing up spikes and cows [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
I gotta say I always got a kick out of the guys that paid me good money to hunt elk, then came to camp and tried to tell me or my guides how to do it. I don't use wool any more, cotton either. Too heavy, holds too much water, too bulky. Polar fleece is the only way to go. My jacket has a windstopper membrane. I ski in it on all but the worst days, then a goretex shell goes over. I use the same stuff year-round because it works. I always carry survival stuff, but it is carefully selected for its' usefullness and weight. I have learned to use ultra-light equipment and can now go out for 3 days fully equiped with a pack that weighs just under 20 lbs. My day pack weighs little, makes a good rest for my rifle, and could save my life if necessary. Rain gear is tougher, and compromises must be made. Again, I go for light weight and low bulk. My rain suit is an integral part of my layering system. I don't carry duplicate anything. I currently use a Marmot Precip shell and pants. These will soon be replaced by ultra-light goretex stuff. I have learned to move slowly and quietly in a rain suit, and to be paitent and sit still and watch when conditions make sneaking impossible. Horse back I still use an oilskin slicker and Filson oilskin type clothing over modern synthetics. I like light rifles too for chasing elk. I would suggest leaving that 18 pounder at home and check out some of the 6 - 10 lb rifles that are very capable of sub MOA accuracy. There's a time to cover a lot of ground; when you can't find elk where you expect to, but a decent guide should have a good handle on where and how to hunt his country. A whole book could be written in answer to your "random thoughts", but it sounds like you had a good time and that is what it is all about. I started looking forward to next year just as soon as I got last years' elk off the horses. I've been doing a little testing with this beautiful little french walnut stocked Kimber .300 WSM that I picked up this winter... but I guess thats another story. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]