Going to Co. this fall for elk first week of Nov. Never been there before could someone give me some advise on clothing. Elevation is 6-8k was told 20's in am then warming up thru day on average. Want to buy neccessary but to many options at cabela's Lol. What would be recomended for a rookie.
I alwasy like to start at the ground up when it comes to Elk hunting clothing.
Boots- I would look for a good thinsulate boot. 400 gram is usually sufficent for most Elk hunting applications but if its really cold and/or you will be sitting alot I would edge towards the 600-1000 gram style boot. Cabelas has a boot called the "Elk Hunter" made by Danner. They are waterproof, reasonablly light, and have good traction. I had a pair for years and I loved them, plus they got good reviews on the customer reviews. Not to mention the name alone means they have to be good for elk hunting right?Ha!
Socks- I like to use a good wool sock with a liner underneath. Two pairs of socks will last a week so long as you swap out liners daily. The liner will help pull that moisture away from your feet. Thats generally where my feet got wet, was from my own sweat, so keeping them dry is imperative.
Base layer- For a long time I just used cotton long underwear but have since graduated to Sitka base layers. The cotton kept me warm just fine but after a couple days of use got a bit ripe. So that meant bringing multiple pairs and that just meant more weight and more space taken up. The Sitka base layer has some anti-microbial stuff that keeps it stink free so you can use one layer all week.
Outerwear- Wool! You cannot go wrong with wool. Its warm as anything, quiet and will keep you warm even when wet. It can be a bit pricey but its worth it. I bought some of the Columbia Rag Wool bibs and jacket from cabelas and it served me well. Plus it is much more moderately priced because it is recycled wool. The only problem is that it can be a bit bulky so you wont be running any marathons, but I have never got cold in the stuff. I am giving Sitka outerwear a try this year. Heard nothing but good things and I am want something that will be a bit lighter. Rest assured the wool is coming with me just in case becasue I know it will work.
I hope this helps get you started if you have any other questions or want me to expand on somthing let me know. Have fun this fall! In my opinion Elk hunting is the pinacle of big game hunting in North America, you will have a great time!
I have chased these critters for going on 23 years and better than 30 hunts this season and have had quite a few new guys join us for a hunt over the years with the same questions. I always start with the same answer; When you are in the Colorado Rockies and you don't like the weather, wait a half hour it will change. DO NOT TAKE YOUR CLOTHING FOR GRANTED; YOUR LIFE MAY DEPEND ON IT!
Start with a minimum 1000 gr boot. Trust me; on those morning and evening stands in Nov. your feet will still go numb. I have been very impressed with Danner Pronghorn socks. They are a Merlino blend and do wick the moisture better than any sock I have ever used. At times I change them during the day from heavy weight (morning & evening) to medium weight for the day. Don't skimp $$ on your footwear & socks or you WILL have a miserable hunt.
I don't know your camp arrangements; so I'm not sure if you can afford to pack heavy or light. But, I always tell guys to be prepared for the worst. You can go from hunting a bluebird day in a shirt and vest, to 2 1/2 feet of snow overnight. Plan out a good layer system for your clothing. I can literally go in one day, from hunting a motionless sub zero morning stand for 4 or 5 hrs to actively stalking the timber, which produces a lot of body moisture, back to an evening stand till dark and never return to camp to change clothes.
TORSO: Make sure everything, except your base layer, you buy for your upper body is blaze orange. So if you need to get idown to your lighter layers you are within the laws. Cabelas makes a Guide chamois shirt I swear by; it is vented in the rear and under the arms and has loops and pockets for many elk hunting essentials and, comes in blaze orange. Another great addition is the Cabelas guide vest that has a sewn in pack in the rear--works great to keep those outer layers not used. They also carry some great parkas.
LOWER: Nothing beats good old army surplus BDU's--lot's of pockets--While youre at Cabelas dont forget a pair of bibs.
BASE: Good old polypropelene long johns are great and cheap, but you do need a change for every day in the field. I do agree with mtelk Sitka is great stuff, but I do change mine out.
On a side note: buy and learn to use a GPS. For elk hunting, I have somany stories and accounts of how practical these things have come into play. I don't let anybody hunt with us unless they have one. And, a fanny pack with some essential survival tools.
Elk hunting is an extreme sport. I don't care if youre at 6K feet or 10K feet, 60 degree or -10 degree weather, man or woman. Over the years I have witnessed, heard and read so many stories of elk hunts gone wrong because of lack of planning, preparedness and ignorance. Be prepared for the worst the COlorado Rockies can dish out and you will have the best hunt of the year!
Thank you boxcarbonz, really appreiate the effort of your post. I was on that field of thinking. Going to cabelas which is around 3 hour drive in few weeks. Already planned to spend around 1,500.00 which is not really that many items. I had my hunting cabin broke in to last late muzzloader season loosing my good jacket and bibs so i was going to have to replace anyway. i was looking at the following items: Danner boots, extreme parka and bibs, un sure about socks until you spoke of the danners, under-armour underlayment, and backpack. Im going to a private deal where you are taken out and picked up my buddy whom booked me said i wouldnt need gps, but im thinking about buying 1 anyway.
I have been elk hunting in Colorado for the last seven years. Initially I bought all of my clothing from Cabela's through their catalog and I have never regretted my selections. I prefer Danner boots, I bought some of Cabela's good quality socks, polypropelene underwear, I really like their parka and don't forget the rain gear. Layering is the key to staying comfortable and safe. I have experienced both rain and snow on many of my hunting days. One year my buddy and I hunted in December, we checked our temperature gauges on our Ford trucks and both temperature gauges indicated that it was -28 degrees farenheit, then a week later we were hunting in our T shirts. The conditions can change quickly for both bad and good so be prepared for the worst.
Thanks, im going to cabela's hopefully next weekend i had in mind a pair of Danner boots. i know it will be an expensive day but i had to any way. Last winter some sob broke in to my hunting cabin and stole my bibs and coat. Now i have good excuse to go shopping.