PEAX Equipment

EOY ‘23 - What Worked, What Didn’t?

- Weatherby Mark V Backcountry 2.0. This one pains me to write. I wanted to love that gun but it had a laundry list of problems. Too much to the point where I didn’t feel comfortable bringing that gun hunting. I took it out one last time last week and just lost all confidence in the gun. Traded it in the next day.
I’d be curious if you would feel comfortable to divulge what issues you had with the Backcountry. I’m currently looking at getting one. Just want to know if I should get cold feet.
 
View attachment 303544 the flap that covers the binos with the logo on it -if unbuckled and the wind is whipping will fly up and whack you in the face. pretty annoying.
Not disputing this hc obviously it has happened to people. But how high are you guys wearing your bino harness on your chest or how short is your neck? I've tried to replicate this wearing my harness and can't make flap come remotely close to my face.

Again not arguing genuinely wondering.
 
I’d be curious if you would feel comfortable to divulge what issues you had with the Backcountry. I’m currently looking at getting one. Just want to know if I should get cold feet.
I think I just got a lemon. I bought another Mark V but this one was in the Hunter. I'd like another Backcountry, but in a different cartridge.
 
Worked : Bergara M14 Hunter in 7mm-08 with 140 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tips. Bad news for a Vermont buck and a NY buck.
 
I used my usual equipment with the addition of a fancy cabelas blind chair and a bog pod death grip tripod. The chair while nice is too high for the little pop up blinds I use.
I had the sme problem but like you I'm sold on the death grip. It basically turns into a turret with an AR on a group of hogs
 
I didn't have anything this year that gets a bad review except for a cheap flashlight.

I used the norma whitetail ammunition that's been a point of discussion on here, and I believe the young folk would say 'bussin, no cap frfr'. But seriously it is affordable, consistent in POI, and strikes like the hand of God. Five stars.

I Spent a good bit of time in some kings camo zip off 3/4 length long John's. It's not cold around here very much but it's nice to have them under a pair of carhartts and be able to slip them off beside the truck before work.

Lite boots, check them out. They're made out of a material that feels like cross. Super lightweight but still warm and very comfortable. My single favorite part is that they don't have cloth or a foam liner so if you do go over the top you can pour the water out, and wipe them out with a paper towel and they're dry as a bone.

Lastly I don't think there's a lot of folks on here that hunt out of climber stands but I picked up one of the gamewinner brand climbers from academy and have been highly impressed. Same fit function and weight as a summit viper for less than half the price.
 
Worked
  • E-scouting and following up on previous summer scouting - had very good luck finding elk most days in both archery and rifle season. North facing slopes with some kind of timbered benches, with a stream and grassy areas nearby.
  • Tarptent Dipole 2 Li tent - fantastic balance of lots of space, fully enclosed yet very light. The short endwall supports make all the difference for usable sleeping space for head and feet.
  • 2 "real" meals during the day - during long archery days, packed the small stove and enjoyed lunch and dinner mtn house/Peak meals. So much nicer than just bars all day, plus could hit the sack real quick after returning to camp late.
  • Hunting with a buddy - Usually hunt solo, but @Beignet was fun to hunt with and a good guy.
  • Stuff sack pillow by Hyperlite mountain gear - love this this as it's super light and has soft side for comfy sleeping in backcountry. Just stuff my puffy in there and have a nice down pillow. Used to use a normal stuff sack, but this works great.
  • Lexus LX470 instead of SXS - LOVE it so much more. Much less expensive, Climate control, quieter, same turning radius, can sleep inside, super capable on level of forest roads I use for. With SXS I couldn't drive fast enough to really take advantage of the softer suspension because of blind turns where drive as if someone is coming other way. Very rough roads or long days scouting on the roads might be different but for me, the LX470 is awesome.
  • FL Corrugate Foundry pants - love the much bigger vent zips and looser fit than my Kuiu's.

Didn't Work
  • Sealing the deal - got on elk most days with some very close encounters in thick timber during archery but just missing the key to seal the deal...no new meat in freezer this year.
  • Deadfall / not knowing the area well enough / lack of determination - I had eyes on a nice 6pt bull during rifle season and was within 800 yards, but backed out due to a couple hundred yards of 4ft high stacked deadfall in only route that would get me downwind of him. Seemed too tough to climb it silently for the stalk. 4 hours later when walking back from another spot we see headlights right where the bull was. A husband wife couple had seen the bull, drove an hour and half to the other side of the area to access downwind with less (but still heavy) deadfall. Stud couple and he was about a 300 bull.
  • Tipi tent - past seasons I had been using a supermid, which would seem to be a palace at 9'x9', but with the steep sidewalls and my 6'6" bag (so can put clothes at bottom) it was too easy to touch my head or feet on wet walls when sleeping. Maybe a bigger tipi would be good as they're so light.
 
Last edited:
Mmm almost forgot, I used the Patagonia Airshed Pro a lot this year. Working hard in 5*-25* temps, which obviously happens a ton in the fall, it's hard to find a long sleeve layer that I don't overheat in. This one is the cat's meow for me. Not worth the money at full price, but they had past colors 50% off for several months, probably will again. Only downside is it smells bad after a day. Also kinda looks dumb IMO but hey it's not beauty contest.

1701362014584.png
 
Worked-

-7x42 Leica Ultravid. For the hunting I did this season in heavy timber, they were incredible. The field of view and steadiness is fantastic. Now I just need to decide if I need a second pair of 10x or higher for when I hunt more open country.

-Marsupial bino harness. I stuck with the crooked horn style until this year, and then finally went to the new design everyone uses. I do like the protection and it was really nice having bear spray on my chest at all times. It was more comfortable to wear than I expected, but did cause one more area or perspiration and one less area of breathability.

-Danner Elk Hunters. I've tried a ton of different boot styles and brands over the years, and keep coming back to these. They last forever, are comfortable, and are extremely quiet to still hunt in. I wouldn't wear them on a goat hunt, but for 90% of my hunting they're perfect for my feet.

-Schmidt and Bender Klassik. I beat the shit out of my rifle, and this scope hasn't budged at all. Re-gaining that confidence after having a scope fail is worth the price.

-Road hunting. Coffee, donuts, heated seats and all day BS sessions can't be beat. Add a kid or two to the equation to double the entertainment.


Didn't work-

-Glasses. I've always been able to manage lens fogup by keeping my face dry or wearing my glasses further down my nose. As I've gotten older and fatter though, it's turned in to a losing battle I think I may need to seriously look into contacts or possibly lasik.

-My shooting ability. I've never been an expert marksman by any means, but have always been able to get by just fine on <300 yard shots. This year I really shit the bed though. It cost me a wolf, and I'm lucky nothing was ever wounded and not recovered. I've recently confirmed that I have some length of pull issues going on I need to solve. Shooting lessons/coaching would also likely be time well spent.

-Keep shooting until they're down. I picked this up from @Gerald Martin and love the idea in theory, as there's nothing I hate more than losing an animal. At the same time though, I should have enough confidence in my shooting ability to not feel the need to ruin meat unnecessarily. There's a middle ground there somewhere I need to find.

-Hunting out of state. I'm over it at this point. The amount of time and money I've wasted over the years is depressing, and its only headed one direction. The cost and pressure ruins the experience for me and I'm perfectly content hunting the same few places I've hunted all my life. My wife and I are letting a lot of points lapse and I have zero fear of missing out.

-Sleeping in the back of my truck. I'm getting too old and soft to do it for more than a night or two in a row, even with a cot and pad. I think another camper is in my future.
 
Last edited:
I forgot what was by far the biggest "worked" for me this year, and that's a Phoneskope. The amount of cool shit I've missed out on capturing over the years by not having one of these is ridiculous. They've got great customer service also, and answered my emails immediately when I was too dumb to read their instructions.

Screenshot_20231130_172239_Gallery.jpg

Screenshot_20231130_172205_Gallery.jpg
 
Didn't work-

-Glasses. I've always been able to manage lens fogup by keeping my face dry or wearing my glasses further down my nose. As I've gotten older and fatter though, it's turned in to a losing battle I think I may need to seriously look into contacts or possibly lasik.
Seriously consider the LASIK. My husband wore glasses from the age of 3, and then switched to contacts in college. The contacts were still a struggle for him…constantly dry eyes, pain to deal with while camping/hunting. We bit the bullet and got him the LASIK about 15 years ago. It was nothing short of life-changing for him. He still says it’s the best money we ever spent.
 
So worth it.

Arguably the best money I have ever spent on myself. It's the type of thing that happens to you, and you know it was science, but you can't believe it. It's been 4 years for me and I still reach for glasses on my nightstand when I wake up sometimes.


Worked:

-Wool

-Taking advantage of areas where one can hunt a cow on a general permit. I just want the meat, and then to spend the rest of the season looking at deer. After the first week of the season, that’s what I did.

-Hunting with family. No pressure. No expectations. Be it kids or parents, they won’t be around to hunt with forever.

-Mystery Ranch Popup 38. I’ve come to love this pack, hauled two elk out with it this year, and the only reason I would give it an A- is that when you set it on the ground it will not stay upright. Something about that bugs me.

-I would second @Randy11 on the Danner Elk Hunters. I’ve had a pair of uninsulated ones for a while, but over the summer purchased an additional pair of insulated ones. Only needed them the first week of the season, but I can put a dozen miles in a day on them and they feel good.

-Suspenders. How the hell did it take me this long to realize their superiority to belts? I have a pair of first light suspenders and a pair of Carhartt suspenders and I like the First Lights a bit better.






Didn’t Work:

-Outdoor Edge 3.5 inch Razor light. Every year I tell myself I am going to address this and every year I don’t. The blades break, get dull super quick, and I often look back to when I just carried a real knife and think overall it was better. Maybe a bigger model next year, or spoil myself with a hunting knife.
 
-Suspenders. How the hell did it take me this long to realize their superiority to belts? I have a pair of first light suspenders and a pair of Carhartt suspenders and I like the First Lights a bit better.
Agreed, until you have a 911 “drop the chalupa” moment, then they’re are your worst nightmare.
 
Everything I needed for a successful fall big game hunt was packed in the game bag of my nearly worn out Browning upland vest: 1930s KaBar drop point knife, ceramic knife sharpener, dog whistle, ten extra rounds for 30-06 (deer) or five extra rounds for 404 Jeffery (elk), Snickers candy from Halloween, and Garmin RINO (to keep in touch with my diabetic brother). As usual no water or toilet paper. I can get by without either if there's snow on the ground. Mostly none available this year so I suffered a bit. Dry mouth and soggy bottom. Rubber gloves? Pffft. No first aid kit so I had to close the wound on my finger with flagging tape. It worked ... which is more than I can say for the mini-flashlight in my gamebag. Hiking down the mountain on a moonless night with no snow on the ground is not fun.

The 404 Jeffery I built on a 98 Mauser this summer performed flawlessly ... at the range. Never popped a cap with it hunting Cape buffalo in August or elk in November. Sigh! The old standby WWII 30-06 Springfield did its job again this year taking four animals in Africa and a respectable mule deer buck last week. No reason to fix what isn't broke.

Living in comfort as I write this in my 19' 1988 Terry camper trailer. Not glamorous lodging but everything works (including the furnace!). Once the CWD test results are back, I can get the buck processed and head home to Ontario. It's a thirty hour drive in my 1998 Jimmy (+300K miles on the odometer). Hoping for cold weather but forecast is not cooperating. Fruit of the Loom briefs didn't work out this year. Too saggy. Going back to Haines. (Hey, he asked what didn't work). Not impressed with Federal 30-06 shells with 165 gr Partition bullets. Shot my buck almost broadside behind the left shoulder and bullet was lodged in the hide of opposite ham. Killed it quick but too much unnecessary damage to meat.
IMG_1307.jpg
 
We did a lot of backpack hunting this year in Montana, so some of my choices may differ from other people with us going so minimalist. But I had a few pieces of what I thought was a must have on probably any hunt.

1: Stone Glacier 15 Degree Down Sleeping Bag. Warm, comfortable and very light.

2: FHF Gear Rifle Sling. I have tried many slings over the years trying to find that one that just works all around. Also, I never liked strapping my rifle the back or sides of the pack. I always hated pulling the straps around the scope and cinching down. Super comfortable when packing in or walking around during the day. With a little practice getting it off the shoulder when needed was very simple.

3: Sitka Ambient Hoody. Yes I am jumping on that band wagon. Love this piece!!I run super hot, I could wear this as a mid layer when sitting under the coat or hike around all day comfortably. It cut the wind very well, crazy breathable and light. it is pricy, but i found it on sale through camofire.

4: Ollin Digi Scope Adapter. Oh man!! Game changer!! A literal plug and paly system. slide the adapter on the spotter, I ran a vortex razor 27-60x85. Put your phone in the magnetic case and connect your phone to the scope adapter and that's it. perfectly lined up and away you go.

5: Stone Glacier Merino Base Top/Synthetic Base Top. Both worked great, depending on temp. two thing's my base layers must have, at least a 1/4 zipper and a good fitted hood. And that's just what I got with these. No weird rubbing or chaffing that i have gotten from other base layer options. fast drying, comfortable. I could wear these for days without having to changing or feel really gross.

6: Stone Glacier Scope Cover. I really liked that the cover is waterproof and also covers the action as well as the scope.

7: Spartan Javelin Pro Hunt Tac Bipod. Been running this piece for a couple years now, and I cant say enough good things about it. It's magnetic, so it only attaches to the rifle when needed. FHF Gear makes a great molle case for it, so i carry it on my pack belt.

I could probably go on and on about gear (kind of a gear junkie) but these pieces were/will never be left behind.
 
Tell me more, I’m in the market for a new bag.
I went from a synthetic bag to the down, so right there the packability was night and day. I really loved how around the shoulder area the bag was a bit wider to accommodate movement through the night. Never had any problem with the bag poofing back up after removing it from the pack, it kept great loft. My feet usually get cold at night unless I'm wearing heavier socks, but I never had that problem with the stone glacier. It wasn't the coldest hunting season this year so I only used it in maybe the teens (which is what its rated for) but I was good the whole time. I was running it in a Argali floorless tipi with the thermarest Xtherm nxt pad. I'm also 5'11' weighing in at 225 lbs and the bag fit me just fine.
 
Worked-

-7x42 Leica Ultravid. For the hunting I did this season in heavy timber, they were incredible. The field of view and steadiness is fantastic. Now I just need to decide if I need a second pair of 10x or higher for when I hunt more open country.

-Marsupial bino harness. I stuck with the crooked horn style until this year, and then finally went to the new design everyone uses. I do like the protection and it was really nice having bear spray on my chest at all times. It was more comfortable to wear than I expected, but did cause one more area or perspiration and one less area of breathability.

-Danner Elk Hunters. I've tried a ton of different boot styles and brands over the years, and keep coming back to these. They last forever, are comfortable, and are extremely quiet to still hunt in. I wouldn't wear them on a goat hunt, but for 90% of my hunting they're perfect for my feet.

-Schmidt and Bender Klassik. I beat the shit out of my rifle, and this scope hasn't budged at all. Re-gaining that confidence after having a scope fail is worth the price.

-Road hunting. Coffee, donuts, heated seats and all day BS sessions can't be beat. Add a kid or two to the equation to double the entertainment.


Didn't work-

-Glasses. I've always been able to manage lens fogup by keeping my face dry or wearing my glasses further down my nose. As I've gotten older and fatter though, it's turned in to a losing battle I think I may need to seriously look into contacts or possibly lasik.

-My shooting ability. I've never been an expert marksman by any means, but have always been able to get by just fine on <300 yard shots. This year I really shit the bed though. It cost me a wolf, and I'm lucky nothing was ever wounded and not recovered. I've recently confirmed that I have some length of pull issues going on I need to solve. Shooting lessons/coaching would also likely be time well spent.

-Keep shooting until they're down. I picked this up from @Gerald Martin and love the idea in theory, as there's nothing I hate more than losing an animal. At the same time though, I should have enough confidence in my shooting ability to not feel the need to ruin meat unnecessarily. There's a middle ground there somewhere I need to find.

-Hunting out of state. I'm over it at this point. The amount of time and money I've wasted over the years is depressing, and its only headed one direction. The cost and pressure ruins the experience for me and I'm perfectly content hunting the same few places I've hunted all my life. My wife and I are letting a lot of points lapse and I have zero fear of missing out.

-Sleeping in the back of my truck. I'm getting too old and soft to do it for more than a night or two in a row, even with a cot and pad. I think another camper is in my future.
I always struggled with fogged up glasses. Got lasik spring of 22 and love it. The only down side for me is I need readers for close stuff.
 
GOHUNT Insider

Forum statistics

Threads
110,390
Messages
1,918,063
Members
34,727
Latest member
Clifford Radcliffe
Back
Top