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1.) Parker - 07/23/2013
I managed to draw my first elk tag (either/or sex) this year in Colorado. My uncles have been going with muzzleloaders to the same area for the past 10-15. Years so my dad and I will be heading out there a week or so before them. I've never gone before and have no clue what to expect so I figured I would seek out some input from you guys on equipment you've had good luck with/recommend and any tips!
Things I need:
GPS-what brands do you recommend?
Good boots-a hunting type or straight up hiking? Brands?
Some sort of game bag? What equipment do you prefer to pack one out if you connect?
Call:thinking one of those primos hoochi mamas and maybe a diaphram. Probably no bugle call.
Anything else that you wouldn't be without? Any help would be great!
2.) Ventilator - 07/23/2013
Delorme GPS is a very nice choice. It has a map overlay feature with Colorado as a very good option. It depend on if you are hunting from a spike camp or from the truck what all you may need. I just bought the TAGS Bomb pack for game bags . It comes with 6 bags and is reusable. I use the Eberlestock X2 for a pack . It makes a very good day pack and a decent bivy hunt pack. Id stay away from the hoochie mama call, unless you are a novice at elk calling. These calls get beat to death and i think elk get educated quickly. Primos or Phelps game calls have several other options. I like the primos lead cow & calf or the umakadabullcrazy . Phelps has a great selection of diaphragms. Hiking boots ,well broken in, will be a better choice. Probably uninsulated. Under Armour has some great new boots made just for this. Speed Freaks i think. Be sure to add a set of gaiters as well. Good luck.
3.) Dan-o - 07/23/2013
What time of year will you be going and what's the elevation?
4.) Swamp Fox - 07/23/2013
I'm not an elk hunter but have done a pretty reasonable amount of hunting, hiking and backpacking in some of the more rugged mountains that Virginia and NC have to offer (the most rugged in the East).

First, choose your boots carefully and give yourself plenty of time to break them in. Find out what the terrain is like, and buy quality suited for the conditions. If at all possible, buy from a shop that knows how to fit hunting and hiking boots. Ideally it would have helpful staff and an incline/decline doohickey: basically a small stage with a surface set at a significant angle so you can feel what your toes and heels are going to do in prospective new boots as you walk up and down (wearing the socks you will hunt in).

There are several good boot companies out there, including Meindl, Lowa, Vasque, Kennetrek, and Danner. They all have their pros and cons, and for many people they will feel differently. Cabelas boots made by Meindl are excellent, particularly for the money.

I wouldn't buy most "hiking" boots for a hunt because the soles and ankles are wrong most of the time. Either they're not made for stealth (usually too stiff, and mountaineering boots are worse) or they're way too soft and won't hold up, which means they're really not much of a hiking boot to begin with.

Only a very few backpacking boots are acceptable. On the other hand, if you will be packing, a pure "hunting" boot may be anywhere from a little to a lot too soft in sole and support.

So what you want in that case is a cross between a hunting boot and a backpacking boot, with some of the comfort of a hiking boot. I'll just say that all of the above brands will carry something pretty suitable but you'll have to be a smart buyer.

As far as a GPS goes: Garmin. Nuff said. Almost: While they are all I've ever had, I have had several of them and I think each one was the best I could put my hands on vs. the competition at the time. More than that, the design and support is topnotch and they won't get outdated.

For a pack, you should be fitted and buy the best you can afford. Packs marketed primarily to hunters are often not good enough for serious use IMO, until you get into the top end or at least are dealing with certain companies that build technical and semi-technical packs. So don't buy a glorified day pack just because it is camo and has a bunch of neat compartments if you intend to hike and camp out of it or haul good loads.

If you don't need to carry decent loads any distance, you will still be rewarded by choosing a pack that fits and that was designed for Western hunting rather than for the get-out-of-the-truck-and-walk-across-the-field-type hunting many "hunters packs" are made for. Packs I can recommend from personal experience or that I would strongly consider come from Gregory, Arc'teryx, Badlands (the upper end/more technical ones), Mystery Ranch and Kifaru. There are a couple of others, but those are who I'd look at first if I were in the market for a new pack.

Finally, I would advise against an external frame pack. Properly-fitted and loaded internal frame packs these days are so much better with a heavy load. The only time I ever use my external frame pack from 30 years ago is on flat ground, easy hiking and no-brainer loading. But, you will still hear people recommend externals for meat hauling, I'll bet. It's hard for me to believe there is any reason to follow that advice today, but I'll refrain from hurling insults at people who may be stuck in a time warp. Although a frame is handy and versatile, its benefits do not go to comfort or capacity any more the way they might have when I was a kid (and there were very few or no good internals). I don't care what anyone says: You don't want an external if there is any climbing or side-hilling to do, and there are many simple, pretty moderate trail ascents that will prove my point as well.

Hope that helps.

Oh, and make sure you have a knife, a compass, and toilet paper. :wink
5.) Deerminator - 07/24/2013
Can't help to much so I'm just wish'n ya the best of luck:tu: