Tips for clothing

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by mike33, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. mike33

    mike33 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  2. mtelkhntr78

    mtelkhntr78 Well-Known Member

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    Mike,
    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!

    Matt
     

  3. mike33

    mike33 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Matt, very good information.
    Mike
     
  4. boxcarbonz

    boxcarbonz Member

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    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!

    Good luck Mike
     
  5. mike33

    mike33 Well-Known Member

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    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.
    Mike
     
  6. Randyd

    Randyd Member

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    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.
     
  7. mike33

    mike33 Well-Known Member

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    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.
    Mike
     
  8. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    Howdy Mike33 !

    How you are going to hunt has a huge bearing on what type clothes to buy ,for example if you're hunting off of a horse you'd need different clothing than if you are backpacking in.
    If you are stationary -sitting and glassing for long periods of time you will need a lot of insulating layers -if you are moving through thick timber carrying a backpack/rifle etc. you will still need less cloths.

    This is just my opinion -no cotton ! -if you work up the slightest sweat the cotton will stay damp all day.
    There are many high performance clothes out there and over time i have used most of them.
    I have started using what is considered mountain climbing type pants look at mammut -cloudveil -arbourwear they have what's known as a gusseted crotch = spandex sewn in to keep the pant from binding.If your pants bind and hinder your every uphill step -you will be a tired pilgrim come sundown !
    For boots i'd look at cabelas "meindl's" or lowa banff in 6-7" height and get a lightweight set of gaiters -montbell- has some nice lightweight gaiters.I have found that the tall boots wear me out compared to a lower cut boot.Wear the gaiters on the inside of your pants..
    Stick with wool -smart wool or silk baselayers these natural fibers have evolved over thousands of years and man made materials cannot compete with them as an overall performance layer.
    The problem with synthetics is the body odor they hold after a couple of days in the field ,with wool or silk you can get by for a few days without too much stink.

    Let us know how you think you'll be hunting then i'll blather on some more.
    -Mike
     
  9. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I don't think anyone mentioned it but get something for your neck, I always wear a silk scarf doubled around and knotted. It keeps your neck warm and the breeze out and as I walk I loosen it up or take it off when I get warm.
    I wear regular gor-tex hiking boots with good socks and good gaiters, it makes for good traction and light walking.
    Wool is king for the outer layer, I usually go out in allot of layers that I can open and close to regulate body temp. And never forget the wool beanie.
     
  10. mike33

    mike33 Well-Known Member

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    Okey, i went to cabela's today in hamburg pa. Got out the door but very expensive:) like a kid in a candy store. So far i got a 7 in 1 parka item # Jk-931552 had to order they had it on sale for 300.00 last night. They did not have winter items out in store. So i will have to buy bibs later. Any way i did get 3 pairs of heavyweight socks " in genius ", Danner elk hunter boots, Silk series heavy weight 8 gauge base layer, and a wind shear 111 vest, along a lot of misc. items. Very fun day, wife even enjoyed.
    Mike
     
  11. mike33

    mike33 Well-Known Member

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    BTW, i just picked up a 300 saum what do you guys think of it for elk. Been shooting the 180 accur bond but i picked up a box of 165 barnes tripple shock yesterday. I shoot 1/4 bores back here in md on whitetail and does fine but thought i would get something a little heavier for elk. If this works it will stay as my elk gun. Would appreciate opinions on the 300 saum i got a good deal on it even though i know the ultra would of been better.
    Mike
     
  12. yotefever

    yotefever Well-Known Member

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    I like a zippered fleece turtleneck top so I can open the neck when walking or just cold and windy. If not real cold just a polyester zippered top, thin material but not polypro, it holds body odor.
     
  13. mtelkhntr78

    mtelkhntr78 Well-Known Member

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    Mike, the 300SAUM will handle an elk just fine. I would opt for the 180gr over the 165 if you are still undecided. Thats not to say the 165 wont do the job, but Elk are tough critters that never cease to amaze me and something with a bit extra punch sure can make a difference. The reality of it is go with the bullet you are more comfortable with shooting. I will take an accurate shot with a 165gr bullet over any poorly placed bullet. The last bull I killed was with a 165 Barnes and I wasnt upset with the performance of the bullet at all.
    BTW I think you will like those boots. I love mine!

    Is it me or is hunting season not coming fast enough?
     
  14. linksmechanic

    linksmechanic Well-Known Member

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    If your going to back pack in and camp look for a boot with more support like the kenetrek and lowa. they are more money than danners but they are designed to pack a heavy load and do really well with a load while crossing rocky or unstable terrain. I will never go back to danners after using these type of boots. Plus they are completely waterproof and come in uninsulated,400 and 1000 gram options. I haved used the 400 gram in 10 degree weather with a heavy sock.