$600 in Gift Cards for what?

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Hello,

I havent been home for many birthdays, Christmas's, or hunting seasons so I've been hoarding any gift given to me and have $600 saved up in Bass Pro Gift Cards.

The big question is what should I invest in? Im going Elk hunting in CO 4th season unit 444. Ive been kicking around a spotting scope, or a new scope for the gun. What would you suggest next?

My load out:
Savage 30-06 Model 111
Bushnell 3x12 Scope ($~125? at walmart)
Nikon 1000 Range Finder
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42 Binos
Garmin 530HCx Radio/GPS
Huntmaps Chip/App for Colorado
Basic cold weather jacket and bibs(camo)
Basic hunt pack
Couple hunting knives and game bags
Camel Bak
Waterproof hunting boots

Pretty basic setup, I don't have a lot of money this year with the addition of my best hunting buddy my son. But I have a little to spend in addition to my gift cards.

So spotting scope, new scope( it works fine not fancy), or something else?

Thanks,
Pat
 

kansasdad

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Your list above does not include tent or sleeping bag/pad. You can't go hard all week without some fairly quality shut eye.
 

Mudranger1

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I'll be your trip advisor for $600 ....if you have Kansasdad's recommendation I would say your list is fine...try it out then change/upgrade later when you come back. don't forget water filters of some type
 

SFC B

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I would go with the best boots you can get or the Vortex Viper 4-16-44 (what I got last year and somewhere around the $500 or under mark). Boots will last a while and the optics are good enough to serve on whatever platform you may choose. My 2p worth.
 

Jwill

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A couple thoughts: gaiters so your pants/boots don't end up full of snow, some good gloves, good wool socks, merino base layer, some game bags, sunglasses...
 
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Thanks everyone so far with the great replies.

I failed to mention I'll be staying with a few of my dads friends in their big tent, I've got a decent sleeping bag and they have a wood stove to heat it at night. I've got gaiters as well.

The clothing suggestion is a good one for sure. I'll have to check out what's out there and see what they've got. Unfortunately living in the people's republic of Kalifornia I'm not sure how great the selection of good quality cold weather gear but hopefully it's decent.
 

Speeddmn

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Thanks everyone so far with the great replies.

I failed to mention I'll be staying with a few of my dads friends in their big tent, I've got a decent sleeping bag and they have a wood stove to heat it at night. I've got gaiters as well.

The clothing suggestion is a good one for sure. I'll have to check out what's out there and see what they've got. Unfortunately living in the people's republic of Kalifornia I'm not sure how great the selection of good quality cold weather gear but hopefully it's decent.

The interwebs is full of great clothing sales!
 

1_pointer

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You don't really list it, but the 3 things I sink my money into first are boots, backpack, sleeping bag in that order. Unfortunately, the better options of either of those are often not sold at places like Bass Pro or Cableas. But, if you are happy with those three items, I'd suggest upgrading the riflescope.
 
Joined
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You don't really list it, but the 3 things I sink my money into first are boots, backpack, sleeping bag in that order. Unfortunately, the better options of either of those are often not sold at places like Bass Pro or Cableas. But, if you are happy with those three items, I'd suggest upgrading the riflescope.

I agree! Thanks to this forum, and Randy's show I've learned about the excellent mystery ranch backpacks. I've fallen head over heels for that setup and torn between a met calf or Long bow. It's on my list next year( going to take a lot of honey-dos and sucking up to the wife). I've got a 0 degree bag I've used for months in Afghanistan and it's still in good shape. Not a good backpack camping bag but decent for this year. Like many of us we have to decide where to prioritize my gear.

Thanks a lot!
Pat
 

belly-deep

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I'd probably replace the Bushnell scope on your rifle with a VX-1 or VX-2 3-9X40 and spend the rest on clothes or a good pack frame.

Spotting scopes are not a huge deal if you're after a meat elk. They can come in handy from time to time, but if you're after cows or raghorns, decent binos will pick up their tan forms at quite a distance. Heck, I've spotted a number of elk at long range with my naked eye.
 

jeremys4

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I would gear up with all the warmest dryest gear nothing sucks more than being cold and wet.
 
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deer_shooter

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Id look at merino base layers and socks, the best boots you can find and if the cards are burning a hole in your pocket a scope or bino upgrade of the leupold or vortex variety.
 
Joined
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I'd probably replace the Bushnell scope on your rifle with a VX-1 or VX-2 3-9X40 and spend the rest on clothes or a good pack frame.

Spotting scopes are not a huge deal if you're after a meat elk. They can come in handy from time to time, but if you're after cows or raghorns, decent binos will pick up their tan forms at quite a distance. Heck, I've spotted a number of elk at long range with my naked eye.

Im embarassed to ask this dumb question but I will. When you stated going after meat elk the glass wont matter as much, is it pretty common for the cows and calves to go low and the bulls stay high in the winter time(early Nov?).

Pretty new and still absorbing the tactics and lifestyles of the rich and wild.
 

Mudranger1

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Im embarassed to ask this dumb question but I will. When you stated going after meat elk the glass wont matter as much, is it pretty common for the cows and calves to go low and the bulls stay high in the winter time(early Nov?).

Pretty new and still absorbing the tactics and lifestyles of the rich and wild.

never hunted 4th season but I think what he is referring to is, if you are not picky about antler size then you shouldn't need a spotter. The elk stand out and if you have a decent pair of binos or like he said good eyes you can find elk. and if horn size isn't a priority just make your way to them.
 

belly-deep

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never hunted 4th season but I think what he is referring to is, if you are not picky about antler size then you shouldn't need a spotter. The elk stand out and if you have a decent pair of binos or like he said good eyes you can find elk. and if horn size isn't a priority just make your way to them.

Precisely. To kill a big bull, you usually have to sift through A TON of country, mostly thick. That's where the spotter comes in.

Cows and young bulls hang around in the open more.

Just a general rule. There's always exceptions, but I generally wouldn't go to the trouble of carrying a spotter around on a meat hunt.
 
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