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Gear to bring on first time Montana Elk hunt!

 
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  #15  
Old 08-12-2014, 06:10 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Great Falls, MT
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Re: Gear to bring on first time Montana Elk hunt!

Lots of excellent recommendations thus far. The Bob Marshall wilderness is absolutely beautiful. A few years ago, we did an 50-miler 10-day backpacking trip with my scout troop from lower Holland Lake and circled back at Salmon Lake IIRC. We under estimated it and ended up with 85 miles but as a true scout we were prepared.

As already noted; layers, layers, layers ...

Keep your noggin, hands, and feet warm and dry and you'll be OK. Yes, I do layers of face mask, gloves, and socks.

My hunting buddies nicknamed me "Eskimo Ed" so I'm probably not the best to recommend actual clothing but I'm a firm believer in layering with materials that breathe and provide you the best warmth (i.e., wool, natural or synthetic, etc ...)

Depending on the activity, hiking or sitting, I layer accordingly on the first sign of chill or perspiration. For me, the hardest to warm up are my hands.

Along with proper clothing for the environment/activities; proper conditioning, nutrition (PBJ is my go to food/snack), and hydration are instrumental to keeping you warm and make your hunt enjoyable ... and a success.

Good luck and happy safe hunting.
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  #16  
Old 08-15-2014, 09:15 PM
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Re: Gear to bring on first time Montana Elk hunt!

I am actually going on my first elk hunt this fall also. I to am learning a lot from this post. I have been "Out west" before for mulelys in WY, but this will be my first Elk. Some of the guys that have been out there before suggest making sure to have 2 base layers along-one to wear and one to hang to dry from day before. May be standard for some of you, but I never really gave it a thought.
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  #17  
Old 08-17-2014, 03:39 AM
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Join Date: May 2012
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Re: Gear to bring on first time Montana Elk hunt!

To the OP, which outfitter are you going with? Are you doing early season rifle hunt? I may run into you, we are going in on a drop camp with Mills Outdoor Adventures out of Augusta, we are going Sept 13-21st. I have never gone into the Bob, we tried to put a trip together a few years back but it ended up falling apart at the last minute. (my hunting partner wanted to wait on some special draw tags he had put in for to decide whether he wanted to do it or not and by the time we got draw results, the outfitter had filled all the slots)

I have done several back country hunts and I concur with alot of what was said in previous posts, I carry a side arm. 454 Casul just in case you have an unwanted Griz encounter. Not sure whether they supply food or not for fully guided guys, but we take Mountain House meals and jet boil. We also bring Tortillas and eat most any meal that mountain house makes like a wrap, makes it seem more like a meal for some reason. We carry filters so we can filter water to avoid carrying a large amount of water. I like to have a spare pair of boots in camp so I can switch off and keep my feet dry. I aslo carry p-chord and some pulleys for getting quartered up elk into a tree or meat pole, but if you are doing fully guided hunt I would imagine that they will take care of game retrieval and hanging meat/putting in bear box or the like. I like to keep lighters in all of my pockets in cargo pants and shirts. I use a pill bottle full of vaseline soaked cotton balls for fire starter just in case you get stuck in a storm and need to get warm it works well to get a fire going and takes up very little room and seems to work better than alot of the commercial fire starters I have tried. A good range finder, and binnoculars and knowing the drops for your rifle at the distances you plan on shooting. I sometimes bring two rifles (this year is no different) I put one on a high spot that you have a good vantage point and can take a longer poke and I carry one light rifle when I am hiking. Not practical for some due to the weight, but I like to punish myself for some reason! Plenty of layers, maybe a cow-call/bugle if you are indeed doing early season hunt, they should be in the thick of the rut. (although I have heard that with wolf pressure they have been less responsive to bugling than in years past) Good luck up there and maybe I will run into you!
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  #18  
Old 08-17-2014, 09:25 AM
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Re: Gear to bring on first time Montana Elk hunt!

Hognuts- we will be up there end of Oct and into Nov. We will be going with seven lazy P outfitters. My uncle did all the planning since I was deployed at the time. I know we will hunt muley's from their ranch for 2 days and then horseback in for 6 days of elk hunting then horseback out. Total trip will be 10 days.

Thank you everyone for the ideas and recommendations. I was shopping at the right time and hit a lot of really good sales from cabelas and other retailers. I was able to get a couple pairs of First-lite merino wool base layers, wool socks, danner insulated gore tex boots, merrel waterproof hikers (my backup pair), new 0 deg sleeping bag that only ways 3 1/2 lbs (plus I have an issued bivy sack to keep it rdy just in case), some quiet un insulated goretex (cabelas brand that are soft on the outside so they don't make hardly any noise while moving around), and some cabelas microtex shirt/pants. I started loading 165gr accubonds which I will have to get out and shoot. I have an eberlestock day pack already that I use for hunting. I have a fleece jacket that's served me well from NC/VA to Canada on a caribou hunt (my one and only other guided hunt about 5-6 years ago). I also have a thick issued fleece jacket that's served me well all over the world (good thing about deploying all the time, I get new gear to replace worn out ones!). I think my wife is getting mad because everyday when a new package arrives on the doorstep I just get the look....all married guys know the one....
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  #19  
Old 08-17-2014, 01:40 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 144
Re: Gear to bring on first time Montana Elk hunt!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greywolf18 View Post
Hognuts- we will be up there end of Oct and into Nov. We will be going with seven lazy P outfitters. My uncle did all the planning since I was deployed at the time. I know we will hunt muley's from their ranch for 2 days and then horseback in for 6 days of elk hunting then horseback out. Total trip will be 10 days.

Thank you everyone for the ideas and recommendations. I was shopping at the right time and hit a lot of really good sales from cabelas and other retailers. I was able to get a couple pairs of First-lite merino wool base layers, wool socks, danner insulated gore tex boots, merrel waterproof hikers (my backup pair), new 0 deg sleeping bag that only ways 3 1/2 lbs (plus I have an issued bivy sack to keep it rdy just in case), some quiet un insulated goretex (cabelas brand that are soft on the outside so they don't make hardly any noise while moving around), and some cabelas microtex shirt/pants. I started loading 165gr accubonds which I will have to get out and shoot. I have an eberlestock day pack already that I use for hunting. I have a fleece jacket that's served me well from NC/VA to Canada on a caribou hunt (my one and only other guided hunt about 5-6 years ago). I also have a thick issued fleece jacket that's served me well all over the world (good thing about deploying all the time, I get new gear to replace worn out ones!). I think my wife is getting mad because everyday when a new package arrives on the doorstep I just get the look....all married guys know the one....

Roger that, I have more gear than I know what to do with, but the wife has grown to understand my shooting/hunting addiction, not that I don't still manage to get "the look" from time to time, but I am pretty lucky, she takes it pretty well and I get to spend alot of range time durring the year shooting comps, and alot of time on the mountain in the fall, last few years I have hunted atleast two states. I either hunt Montana or Wyoming and then Nevada, I always tell her Nevada doesn't even count because it is just "a long weekend" usually!
She keeps telling me that I have to pick one state, but so far that hasn't happened. I usually put in in Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada. Utah is a trophy Mule deer area that my Montana hunting buddy and I keep putting in for, more or less just for bonus points at this point and we figure maybe by the time we are ready to retire we may actually pull the tag, then if I get my Wyoming tag I go there because my cousins have horses and go in the Bridger Tetons every fall, If I don't draw that one then I hunt Montana, sometimes we do a drop camp and sometimes we just stay in town and do "day hunts" I grew up up there and know quite a bit of the country around the Boulder area. (I also put in for a special bull tag up there too, but its another one of those bonus point deals, that I may actually draw before I retire, but not many tags in the unit I apply for)

Good luck to you guys up there, we are going into the White River Valley, near where the White River and the South Fork of the White River converge is my understanding. It is near the Chinese Wall and Needle falls, so I am looking forward to seeing some of that country. I will post up some pics once we get back and let you know what we saw as far as game.
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  #20  
Old 08-17-2014, 08:56 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Shasta County
Posts: 300
Re: Gear to bring on first time Montana Elk hunt!

Instead of the Vaseline cotton balls I use drier lint. I keep a plastic grocery bag full and one paper egg carton. I melt some paraffin wax in a jar and pour it into the lint as it sits in the egg carton. I pack the wax in with a wooden utensil of whatever is available. I then cut the egg carton up with the cardboard portion sticking to the outside of the wax/lint mixture. I just throw them in the bottom of my pack. They burn a good size flame for 22-25 minutes.

Sometimes I will slice a piece off to start a fire.

I tend be slightly paranoid about having extra gloves, socks, fire sources, light sources, replacement batteries and radios.

I wear enough clothes to not be cold when moving and enough to layer up and be warm all night if needed.
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  #21  
Old 08-24-2014, 10:52 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: NW MT
Posts: 2,648
Re: Gear to bring on first time Montana Elk hunt!

I grew up hunting mtns of MT.All good info, i probably have 10 pr of great boots, but in snow I always wear a great gore gaiter like OR, and I live in some piece or another of King Mtn wool good luck
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