Caribou Gear Tarp

DIY Elk Hunt Info Overload

montejello

New member
Joined
Oct 25, 2015
Messages
19
Hello folks,

Everyone has been a wealth of information whenever I ask questions on this forums and am here yet again. My wife and I just finished our first hunt together for Javelina in AZ and she had a great time. I am now trying to work on our big trip/project for either 2017 or 2018, a DIY Elk hunt in Colorado or somewhere else with over the counter draw on public lands. We are both new hunters; first year hunting together and second time hunting ever for me. We live in AZ so we wont mind a nice road trip!

At first I've read through all the articles and such I could find on the net and simply overloaded myself with information that I am now spinning my wheels. The most basic stuff is getting our equipment together ($$$). It will be at least 3 (wife, father in law, and I) if not 4 people going on this trip for rifle hunt.

I'm quite literally lost on what to look at or how to go about it. Ive read primers, RMEF, and a bunch of other stuff. If anyone would have a few spare moments so I could pick your brain about such trips and the logistics I would greatly appreciate it.

Also, anyone suggest any good packs? My budget since I have to get two of them (wife and I) is about $250-300 each. Ive read a lot of reviews suggesting the Badlands 2200. But any input is greatly appreciated.

Thank you again,
Montejello
 

twsnow18

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2013
Messages
1,651
Location
Boise, Idaho
Find Randy's YouTube channel and watch every video. That'll tell you all you need to know.

Check the classifieds on different hunting forums. Can get used eberlestocks, KUIU, badlands, tenzings and other decent packs in that price range. Now is the time people are dumping stuff.
 

Badger_55

Active member
Joined
Feb 21, 2016
Messages
254
I have an eberlestock pack thats 3100cc... love it! It has everything I need for a solid day pack to a short couple day hunt. Comfortable when its loaded down with meat as well!
 

genesis273

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2009
Messages
1,611
Location
North Carolina
Buying everything you need (quality equipment) can get very expensive. I have little that I've bought brand new. Alot of hunters will switch out every year, and most of their equipment that they're selling is in great shape. You can save hundreds of dollars if get a list of exactly what you want, and take your time and look around on numerous sites. They all have sections they list these items. Some sites have more than others. But you need to constantly check them because items go extremely quick.
 

neffa3

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Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
5,322
Location
Wenatchee
Rokslide.com has the best used gear classifieds I've found. You should be able to pick up a higher mid-grade or a lower-high grade pack for that price. I also concur about Randy's youtube channel. You can also give CO fish and game a call, they actually have "hunt consultants" available to talk you though planning a hunt in CO.
 

SteveE

New member
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
437
Location
Montana
If you have not tried the Eblerstock packs with rifle scabbards I would highly recommend them. I honestly don't know how people hunt without them. I've used the Just One for 8 or 9 years and have zero problems. Eblerstock is bulletproof! Add in the hands free rifle scabbard and it's an easy choice.
I'm about to order the gunrunner for spring bear and single day hunts.
Boots, optics and pack - in that order.
The x-1 pack would make a great wife pack
 

Cheaha

Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
63
Location
Magnolia Springs, AL
I am fairly new to DIY Western hunting too. I did a six day wilderness backpacking elk trip in Colorado last October. I learned some quick lessons.

I would not get too worked up about making a gear mistake as most gear will be fine as long as it is comfortable and of quality materials. Just don't go overboard.

For instance, I hauled in way too much stuff. My pack with my rifle was seventy pounds. When I got home I made a list of all the things I carried and never touched, twenty-one items!

Here is a somewhat embarrassing sampling of what I am talking about: I carried 29 cartridges (nine in a wallet case and twenty in a box), considering I never fired my rifle I'd say it was overkill; I carried fishing equipment, but never used it; I bought the family-sized freeze dried meals, single servings would have been better; I carried a small bipod and a heavy super blaster rifle, but in the wilderness I hunted, it was totally unnecessary as a shot of more than two hundred yards was unlikely. The list goes on.

Lesson here was that if you have something that you think would be nice to have, but it is only a "maybe" in terms of everyday use, leave it in the truck. You can hike out and get it if you decide you really want it. I should have known to leave the extra box of ammo in the truck.

My point is that just because you have a massive pack capable of hauling a lot of gear, you don't have to fill it up!

You can find nice packs in your price range. My pack worked out great for me and I only spent $180. Instead of recommending you buy one like it, I would suggest you try out lots of different packs and be sure you get one that fits properly to your body. One person's favorite pack could be totally wrong for you. Same goes for boots, probably even more so.

If you have the opportunity, scout the area prior to your trip. Not necessarily to find elk, but to get a sense of the terrain. Had I done this I would have known to bring a lighter rifle.

Finally, be physically fit and prepared. That is the one thing I did get right, and the trip was better for it.

Above all, just remember to enjoy the experience and, barring an accident or some other tragedy, you are going to have fun!
 

dwm4375

Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
114
I'm also a novice when it comes to western hunting. I managed to get an antelope in 2014, and then hunted elk unsuccessfully the following week. My advice would be to buy an OTC or leftover elk tag and go hunting. Do some research, but don't worry if you don't have it 100% figured out. Make your measure of success to stay safe, have fun, enjoy the outdoors, and learn something. Take a notepad and write down everything that comes to mind - gear to bring, gear to leave, new places to look, etc. Each time you'll be better prepared and have better odds of getting an animal.
 

Gut Shot

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2015
Messages
579
Location
Banks of the Big Muddy
I know people on this board are serious about their packs but I've done several Colorado elk hunts and a couple of Alaska hunts with a military issue ALICE pack and never had any problems. My advice is to spend good money on a sleeping bag and binocular.
 

elkjim

New member
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
7
Location
New Mexico
The question is, what kind of hunting do you plan to do? Are you going to camp out of your truck and hike all day ending back at your camp? Then you need a good day pack or fanny pack. Is it a back country hunt and you are going to pack your entire camp into the woods and hunt from there? You need a pack that is made to do that, and you may want a day pack too. There are lots of good quality packs out there, but you need to know how you are going to use it and it needs to fit you well.
 

Corax

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
744
Location
Texas
I agree that the first thing to do is watch Big Fin's videos. The Colorado Dept of WIldlife website also has a section called Elk Hunting University.

Figuring out where to spend and where to save takes some work. I try not to buy the high-end stuff the first time I hear about it. I currently use Caribou Gear game bags, but hunted for years with garage sale pillow cases. Army surplus or thrift store wool pants work fine. Also note that most of the animals (including elk) taken on Fresh Tracks are shot with a .308.

Good luck
 

montejello

New member
Joined
Oct 25, 2015
Messages
19
I wanted to say thank you to everyone who responded. Lots of good information and helping clear my head. You folks are awesome as always! Looking forward to putting together this hunt in 2016. Just have to get the gear one piece at a time over the next year.

Backpacks are what I am searching for so far. Weight isnt the biggest issue since Im pretty sure I could shave off 10-15 pounds off myself instead of a bag at this point in time. Looking for something I could run with during the day but have the option of 2-3 days out in the woods and camp. Want something that will last a few years. Any input is appreciated or other ideas for packs. Budget is around $300 each max since I have to buy myself and my wife one.

Trying to decide between:

Eberlestock M5 Team Elk ($330) 3100cui
http://www.amazon.com/Eberlestock-T...56480378&sr=8-1&keywords=eberlestock+team+elk

Horn Hunter Full Curl System ($278) 5000cui
http://www.amazon.com/Horn-Hunter-S...6480463&sr=1-1&keywords=horn+hunter+full+curl

Alpz OutdoorZ Commander Freighter ($108) 5250cui
http://www.amazon.com/ALPS-OutdoorZ...C_UL160_SR90,160_&refRID=1J4J3SAGMD3EYR2X6JEE
 

Cheaha

Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
63
Location
Magnolia Springs, AL
montejello, Try to find a store or friend who has one of those packs. You can't just look at the packs on Amazon. If you can't find the packs locally and have time, Amazon does have a very liberal return policy so you could buy one, try it on, and send it back within the return period (undamaged of course) and order the next one. The point is you need to try them on to be sure they are comfortable and fit you! No one can answer that question for you.
 

elkjim

New member
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
7
Location
New Mexico
We all would love to find a pack that would haul our entire camp, pack out an elk, and feel like a day pack when we are hunting. No matter what you choose, there will be compromises.

Having said that, my brother-in-law has an Eberlestock and really loves it. I'm not sure if it is the same model you are looking at. He wears it while hunting, and did pack some meat out with it last year (just back straps and tenderloins). We hauled the rest out on a cart.

I bought my son an Alpz pack for Christmas (not the freighter). It's good quality for the price, but not in the same class as the Eberlestock.

Like so much of hunting gear, packs are a personal preference thing that comes with experience. The way I have approached some of my gear purchases is to buy something inexpensive, or even borrow it for 1 time use, then figure out what features are important to me and then upgrade to something that is high quality but has what I want.

Personally, I have an inexpensive freighter, a middle of the road backpacker's pack from REI, and a good quality fanny pack / day pack. I like specialty gear for specific purposes rather than a "multitool" that I will try to use for everything. But that's me. Each person is different.
 

NoWiser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Messages
1,775
Location
Minnesota
I would highly recommend taking your budget for a new pack, and using it to buy a used Kifaru, Mystery Ranch, Stone Glacier, or Kuiu. I do not know anyone who owns anyone of the above and is disappointed.

It likely will come down to your body type and what fits you. I had an Eberlestock and it was absolutely miserable to wear. I couldn't sell it fast enough after my first real hunt with it. With the upper end packs there is adjustment to make them fit you if you take the time to learn a bit about them.
 

montejello

New member
Joined
Oct 25, 2015
Messages
19
I complete agree with the trying the backpacks out before purchasing. I should have explained myself a bit better. We do plan on going to Sportsmans or Cabellas and trying the packs on. Was just wondering peoples experiences in the field if these are even worth the money.

I do want a comfortable pack but I also want one that is going to be durable and functional and was looking to those who may have used them in the past. Nothing would be worse than buying a comfortable pack which falls apart in a matter of days or a few trips. We would not have the money to replace for at least a couple of years. Its taken me a long time to save up what we have now.

I greatly appreciate everyone's help.
 

mixedbag

New member
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
2,178
I use an eberlestock and really like it.I have an older Alaskan pack with the metal external frame.That ones not even to bad for the money.My son drew his Wy elk tag so I'll be shopping for a used one for him.I keep looking at Mystery Ranch but man are they heavy but they do look bomb proof.Rokslide,archerytalk both have real good classified sections.Find the style your comfortable with at Cabelas by trying on,then look on line for used.You should be able to save $100 per pack used
 

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