Going on my first western elk hunt - will my treestand boot hold up?

CleanShot

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Hello

I'm going on my first elk hunt in Chama shortly. I'm just going through my packing list and I had some concerns about my boots. I have Muck Boot Elites which I don't love but they are waterproof and keep scent down. That makes them good enough for treestand hunting where I don't do many miles on foot. I'm trying to decide how we if they will be adequate for elk hunting. I'm going with an outfitter but I still expect to cover ground.

Any thoughts or recommendations?

Thanks
Sam
 

Country Bumpkin

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Do NOT count on those boots. You can take them (I wouldn't) if you want, but you NEED something with laces.

I have never been anywhere near Chama, but the rigors of elk hunting don't change much from state to state. Unless that area is riddled with 4x4 roads and you will only walk 100 yards to get a shooting lane, you will need quality boots.

If your Outfitter has already explained that you will be expected to cover ground, then you need do a fair amount of research to get pointed in the right direction. The "Google Custom Search" feature in the top right of your screen will help a lot.

Here's one thread that I found using that feature.

http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f17/elk-hunting-boot-suggestions-162237/
 

StrutNut

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Blaine, MN
I have Muck boots and no way would I count on them for any mountain hunting. I agree with the above comments. There are some fantastic boots out there that will make your hunt much more enjoyable.
 

WapitiBob

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I used to guide on the East side of Brazos Peak. I would take a lace boot. If "shortly" means a Dec hunt, probably a 400gr thinsulate model. I'm not a fan of Danner but an all leather version like their "elk hunters" should do the job in that country. Cabelas will have a comparable model. Personally, I buy my boots from REI as they have a 1 year return policy, regardless of reason.
If you're walking miles, some up, some down, you need a boot that holds your foot solid. Nothing should move but your toes. Uphill your heel will want to lift, downhill your toes will want to jam the front. You'll want to trim your nail WAY back regardless. Many suggest replacing the insole. I stopped using Superfeet and Sole brands as they were too hard/slick on the surface and caused hot spots. I ended up with the Dr Scholes "athletic" type. Gel type mtl everywhere but under the arch.
 

BigGriz

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I would agree that you need a lace boot in Chama terrain. The only thing that I will add is to be careful with an all leather boot if you are really close to leaving. Most of them take some miles to break in. If you don't have time to break a pair in properly you may want to try one of the newer athletic type hiking boots. Sorry but I don't have a particular model in mind to recommend. Good luck with your hunt.
 

Country Bumpkin

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I can't believe that I'm going to say this, because I LOATHE these boots, but look at the Danner Pronghorn in 400 gram thinsulate. Keep your receipt.

Right now, you are wondering why I'd suggest a boot that I don't like. I worked at Cabela's for 3 years in the footwear department, I know boots (or at least the boots that Cabela's sells). The Danner Pronghorn is likely the number one selling boot in the Boise, ID Cabelas. I would dare to say that it might be one of the best selling boots in the NW.

So, the reason I don't like it, is that I expect a boot to last me at least 3 seasons of really hard abuse. I wear a 400 gram Miendl Perfekt Hunter and I get 3 seasons out of them. My Season starts in early to mid August (yes I wear them when it's that hot). I scout for almost a month, then Archery Elk for a month, then Rifle Deer for almost a month, then Rifle Coyotes (and hopefully a Wolf some day), Pheasants, Chuckars and Quail until the seasons close mid-late winter. I want my boots to last for 3 years, approximately 6 months of torture per year.

The reason I DO recommend that boot is for your specific situation. 1. Pronghorns will break in immediately, like within an hour of wearing them around the house. 2. They are **** Comfortable. 3. They are affordable (all things considered), at $199.99 at Cabelas (cheaper elsewhere). 4. The leather is soft enough that you can cinch them down very tightly around a pair of thin hiking socks . . . or you can wear a thick pair of cold-weather socks and wear them loosely.

Con. 1. They are soft leather, they will not last very long if you are hunting steep terrain or dragging them through brush/mudd/water/ice/snow.

There is a reason that Cabela's sells so many of them, they are affordable and comfortable right out of the box. I had once customer that I actually started to recognize. He bought one pair of insulated and one pair of non-insulated each year for the 3 years that I worked there. I asked him about it. He was in his mid 40's. He'd been there and done that with footwear. He was an electrician, so on his feet all day and moderately exposed in the elements most of the year. He explained that his feet were always comfortable, warm and dry. About the time that any one of those things changed, it was time for a new pair and overnight, his footwear situation was back up to his liking.

So, these boots won't last very long if you really abuse them, but for a short-notice hunt and footwear that won't break the bank, they will work.


Danner® 8" Pronghorn 400-gram Hunting Boots : Cabela's

Danner Pronghorn 8 Inch Waterproof Insulated Hunting Boot 45011
 

rjmarine

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montana
not sure how many miles you are planning to hike each day but i use these around the house around work and hunting . they are light and easy to hike in . i have used this same pair of timberland's for hunting from elk in montana to tahr in new zealand
and temps down to -20f . hiking from 1 to 20 miles a day . no blisters ever so they are good enough for me :D oh and i have no idea how much sent they cover up
i just try to keep the wind in my face and shoot strait gun)
now that i look at them i might have to get another pair for next yr lol
 

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ohiohunter

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HECK no to the mucks. Bumpkin is on to something there, but if it is a december hunt you'll want some insulation and probably some gaiters too keep you dry.

With that said go to an rei and try some on, I don't think they'll have danners but they will have far better boots. I've had good luck w/ lowas right out of the box break in, but it would be ideal if you could get a pair to wear around to break in.

Get some good wool socks too. Smartwool (i like the phd's) or some darn toughs are good too. Remember if your feet are miserable you will have a terrible hunt. This is a place where it doesn't pay to cut corners.

You don't need a nightforce to make a 1000yd shot, but you'll need good boots to go that extra mile... or should I say miles! And depending on your pack out your feet will thank you.
 

Rick Richard

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If your going to shoot them out of the truck window, then you will be fine. In other words...NO.

Purchase a good pair of boots that fit well and is of solid construction. I personally wear Kenetreks uninstalled Extremes.

Wear good wool socks and keep your feet dry. A tip on keeping your feet dry and therefore warm is to use antiperspirant on your feet. Yep, works great.
 

CleanShot

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Thanks for all the advice. I would up getting some Danner High Grounds with 400g insulation. Reason was really how quickly I could get them, reviews in comparison to the Pronghorns, cost, and break in time. I got them for about $140 delivered so if they last me a season or two that will give me enough time to buy and break in a nicer pair. The Pronghorns get lots of complains whereas the High Grounds seem to have generally positive reviews. It could just be a function of sales since more people buy the Pronghorns but in a pinch that's the decision I made. Had them in hand in 2 days and like you guys mentioned I can just walk in them to work and around the house for a few days to break them in.

We'll see how my decision was shortly. Thanks for the advice. I'll be researching a more solid pair like Crispi, Schnee's, etc after my return.
 

B-P-UU

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Another piece of free advice.. Bring 2 pair of serviceable boots (not the mucks.. 2 pair you can hike in). Many times, I've developed hot spots after a long day of hiking and didn't want them to turn into blisters on day 2, so rotate to a different boot. Make sure it's a different make/model so it 'wears' differently.

also, start living in those new boots once they arrive so you get used to them and they break in a bit.
 

Bravo 4

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Another piece of free advice.

Another-another piece of free advice:
If you are going to be going up and down on hills and mountains, get your boots broke in on flat ground and then do some walking up and down, you will figure out real quick there is a difference how your feet fit (move around) in your boots. I don't just look at it like breaking my boots in but breaking my feet in as well!
 

J300UM

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A pair of pronghorns will work fine in your situation. Like country bumpkin those boots aren't my favorite as I couldn't get a full season out of them but they're a good boot for the money. I would highly suggest replacing the insoles with some good ones like superfeet or something similar cuz those boots don't have a ton of arch support. Also like mentioned in a previous post get a few pair of wool socks. Don't use cotton unless you like having blisters on your feet. Good luck!
 

CleanShot

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I have tons of wool socks. I've been doing some math though and if these $400 shoes only last 3 seasons they are effect they same price as replacing the Danners every year.
 
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