I am in the planning stages of my first elk hunt. I am looking for some advice on necessary gear, and bullet selection. I have an extremely well built .308, and have no intention on getting another rifle. I do not see myself shooting any further then 400 yards. I was lucky enough to grow up in the mountains of Colorado and with an Elk reserve in my front yard, so I have an idea about the kind of terrian and weather I will be dealing with. Any advice is welcome. I am mainly looking for ideas on what kind of gear I will need. Also ant tips on getting prepared for the hunt.
Well as the first to comment I will throw out a variety of ideas. On gear a quality set of binos, that are compact enough to carry and use, and of good quality. 8 X 40 is a nice size for me. The best heavy boots you can buy will also get you around on steep hillsides and canyons. The steeper the better the quality. Wool pants for late season, gators, and waterproof gortex also for late season. Quality rain gear for you and your scope. A moderate sized day pack for your rain gear, lunch water etc. A pack frame to carry the pieces out after the kill. A good map showing the roads and access points, public and private land in your area. Succesful public land elk hunters, typically hunt away from roads (unless they have a special deal on private land or other lands where other hunters are not allowed.) They hunt all day starting before dark and ending after dark. They are not confined by the weekend. (The worst time to hunt). They are familar with their rifle and can shoot it well. Spot and stalk hunting is very successful especially when fairly open country is availabe.
I am back, more gear, GPs and of course a compass. I have the most basic of all GPS and it will mark my truck or the trailhead so I may find it in the dark and the game so I also may find it again. I usually turn mine on in the am to mark my jumpoff point, then if necessary turn it on when I need it. Preseason scouting and conditioning are also mandantory for success. Preseason scouting starts with a visit to the fish and game web site, there you look at draw sucess, harvest ratios, season etc. Use you map and Google earth to map and locate likely areas. I have killed two elk in Wyoming, the last two years in units that I have never set foot in. Both kills were areas that I had identified using Google Earth. It does you no good what so ever to have gear and no tag, or a tag where there are no elk. Check the stats closely they are your friend. A young man I recently hunted with said that you work out unitil you think you are ready, then work out somemore. I am older so fitness is done continually so that I don't get to far behind. Hiking in the hills at eleveation with a pack is the best training of all.
Mental fitness, I do not go into the season "wanting to get a shoot" or wanting to see an elk" I go to be successful and maintain that mindset until the last day. Hope this is helping !
Use a quality bullet as fast as you can make it go with that lil hummer, & you'll be ok. Not my first choice of cartrige for elk at mid range, but with quality bullets, & proper shot placement, there's no reason you won't be able to achieve your 400 yard goal. (this is asuming your using 1500 ft lbs as a general stopping point). If your shot placement is dead nutts, & conditions allow, you can extend that range. Practice, practice, practice, till there's no "i think I can" left, only "I know I can" & you'll be fine. Good luck
"Its not Rocket Surgery.....'
GOD,GUNS,&GUTTS MADE AMERICA, LETS KEEP ALL 3!winmag
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Buy the best binoculars you can afford. I do not personally like the compact ones, as a wider field of view and a bit more power is always nice. 10x42 is good; I would not go smaller than 40mm. Given the option I'd look at a Zeiss Victory, Leica Ultravid or Swarovski EL. With my Leupold binos last week when hunting in TX for deer there were things I just couldn't "see" compared to the Zeiss and Swaro carried by my hunting buddies. I never noticed such a difference on previous elk hunts, but I'll have these binos on my short list of "things to buy" before I do this again.
The Pacific Northwest approach is more or less like this. Layered clothing because if you sweat it is all over on the spot. Stay cool, never cold or warm. Bullet holder on the rifle, one is not useful without the other. Two different Bullets one for close range and one for long range sighted in for the LR Bullets and keep the rifle loaded for close range! Very light weight Binoculars in the compact 6X range that have very good color. And now that you have on your winter gear your rifle stock is too long!