I wanted to just report on some of the gear I used on this past weekends Utah elk opener....with success
I've hunted this area 1/2 dozen times before in the Fishlake National Forest for Blue Grouse with some neighbors while their sons chase spike elk. My son is 9 and he had yet to see an elk except in pictures or up the Lagoon amusement park zoo north of Salt Lake City. The elev tops 11,000 plus, can snow, rain get quite windy and be down right uncomfortable if one is not prepared. It can also be a darn right comfortable hunt with beautiful fall colors. This year the weather man scarred alot of hunters from even going; at least the typical number of elk camps were not prevelant.
The ridge I was heading to tops out around 11,6..something. I knew of an area on the ridge which has a meadow around 1100 yards long and if I picked a spot somewhere in the middle I could poetntially get a longish shot. The elk decided to not play and gave me a 225 yd cake shot
I tried out some Sitka gear clothing, Cabelas rain gear and Alaska Guide Series Headlamp, Eberlestock J107 backpack, and my new Russell Sheep Hunter Moccassin boots.
We had troubles getting upto camp. The pop-up tent camper "popped" up at about 70 mph on the highway. What a mess trying to get it back down. We were out in a freezing driving sleet with no city lights around. I quickly grabbed my Cabelas Alaska Guide headlamp,
Cabela's Alaskan Guide Series® Headlamps
switched on the green LED lights and made it possible for of us to see what was needed to get the top back down. Thus we got to bed about 1:30 am and then our alarms also had trouble, which meant we were running behind schedule to "slowly" hike up the mountain and not get sweaty. Well, we started hiking about 6:15, legal shooting light was just after 7 am and I had a two hour hike ahead. Added to the fact that this 49 year old was trying to keep up with a 16, 18 and 24 year old set of brothers = sweat. Last year I tried the Sitka Mountain pants. Seemed fine then. This year I added the Mountain Shirt and Timberline Vest all over a UnderArmour Coldgear mock longsleeve top and a UA Coldgear bottom. I was highly impressed because even though I could feel that I was sweating in the 19 degree wind, I never got chilled even when I got to my spot. The elk were impatient and I ended up shooting my spike about 15 minutes after setting up. At first the sun was out, the sky was bluebird blue but that ended a couple hours later and it started snowing, sideways, while I was finishing the quartering duties. To keep from letting the wind and snow get the better of me, I dawned my new Cabelas Space Rain Ultra Pack Rainwear. Cabela's Space Rain Ultra Pack Rainwear
This stuff is fantastic, at 8oz for top and bottom each and the size of a soda can.
The brothers showed up along with their dad, my 9 yr old son and the 24 yr old's wife. Everybody took a body part except my son. I was able to "tightly" insert both rib cages into the main bag of my Eberlestock J107 J107 Dragonfly type Just One
along with all the gear I hauled up the mountain and my rifle. I'll insert a picture when I get it from the 16 yr old. I insert a 100 oz Camelback bladder into the bladder Cabela's -- CamelBak® OMEGA™ HydroTanium™ Hydration Reservoirs
. I then place all my shooting stuff into the removable top bag and attach a TAC READY LRF case RIFLES ONLY -- Combat Arms Training
atop the top bag via some ALICE clips. I also carried "tacticals" RIFLES ONLY -- Combat Arms Training
but never got to use them on this trip.
The cats meow was my Russell Sheep Hunter Mocassin boots. Sheep Hunter - Hunting Boots, Outdoor Gear, Custom Made Boots, Hunt Boot, Hunters Boot, Hiking Boot, Tracking Boots
Money well spent though it took me sending them back 3 times to get it right but at no cost to me.