Gearing up for WY Mule Deer this fall

300wby

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Joined
Jan 23, 2016
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13
Location
Illinois
Morning All,

I've been following Randy's show on TV a while now and I'm just new to this site. Anyways, I've put in for my first WY Mule Deer tag this fall, for Regions Y, R, D. My buddy lives out in WY so I'd be going with him if successful in drawing.

Got a few questions on specifically what type of gear I should be looking for when planning this hunt as I'll have some months to save up. Note: Willing to spend the $$$ if the product will last and has good warranty support. I've not hunted out west before, only deer in WI so this type of hunting is new to me.

Thanks in advance.

300wby

Gear Needed:

1. Binos--- what is a good power to consider? 12x50, 15x56? Zeiss, Vortex, Cabelas Euro's? What is overkill? I dont need a spotting scope.

2. GPS--- what are people using? Thoughts on the Garmin 64st with the xhunts WY chip on it?

3. Cooler--- its a long drive out to WY from the Chicago area. What would people recommend as far as coolers to haul meat home? Size? Yeti's come to mind but I've read some about the Orion's and they look nice, however their largest cooler is the 85. Would the 105/110 Yeti be better bet to potentially haul an elk back in the future?
 

rjlefty3

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Joined
Dec 28, 2013
Messages
476
Location
Maine
I'm no expert, but I made my first trip to WY a couple of years ago and learned a lot about what you need/don't need.

1 - I had 10x42s. Really didn't have the capital at the time to buy anything expensive, but they served me well. I used Vortex and my dad had Cabelas, both served us well. All brands have good glass options (obviously some are superior), it just depends on how much you're willing to spend. The constant recommendation here is to buy as much as you can afford.

I wouldn't go less than 10x42, above that I don't really have experience with. I don't think it would hurt, but it might be tough to use them in IL. I opted for ones I felt comfortable using in multiple areas.

2- I used an Oregon 600. Not really sure it matters as long as it functions and has the On-X map chip. Find one with a good deal and go for it.

3- I'm not much of a cooler guy, never mattered much to me. I'm guessing you'll probably need multiple coolers for an elk. I was able to fit a deer in a 50 gallon cooler. Just keep enough ice and you'll be fine.

Good luck!
 

jims

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Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
317
Wyo deer list

Just like just about everything else you get what you pay for with optics. If you want the best I'd get Swaro's or Leicas in 8 x 42 or 10 x 42's. You'll have a little wider field of view and a little lighter weight with the 8's. Next to binos my must have is a spotting scope. Again Swaro or Leica's are by far the best but cost the most. Boots would be the next thing on my list. I place them high because my feet are that important! I like lighter hikers. My favorites are Scarpa Kailash. Lowa Renegades are even lighter and have a little quieter sole. If it snows I like Lowa Tibets. Next comes socks. Thorlo or Smartwool are my favorites in different thickness.

Next comes a tripod. As you can tell I hunt open country and good glass with top tripod is a must. I've gone through around 10 tripods the past 40 years and quit having to buy tripods after I bought a Gitzo Travelor....get what you pay for! Next would be backpack. For a daypack I've used and abused my Badlands 2200. Badlands daypack is also a good one. For hauling camp and meat I've been sold (like anyone else that have tried them!) Kifaru. Kifaru is nice because you can use the same frame with several bags depending upon your needs. I have a smaller bag for times I pack light loads and a bulky bag for super bulky hefty loads. Kifaru's frames can easily handle 100+ lb loads.

The next thing on my list would be clothes...especially raingear. It's tough to beat Kuiu or Sitka. I would make sure you get pitzips on your jacket or you will get wet from the inside out when hiking. Layers are important so I have an array of layers available that are light, less bulky, and dry fast.

I'd say a cooler depends upon the weather. It can be 80 degrees one day in Wyo and -20 degree windchill the next so be prepared for the worse and you'll have it covered!

I could go on and on but that ought to get you started? Those are the priority gear I'd probably purchase before anything else.
 

ShootsManyBullets

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Dec 27, 2013
Messages
1,783
Location
OR Trail
I figured that anyone from Chi-raq would be pretty well outfitted from living in a war zone according to Netflix.

Binos - go 10x42 with the best you can afford. You'll want a tripod too which can be overwhelming. Outdoorsmans has good ones but they don't come cheap.
Boots - most important clothing item. Track down the recent thread here about boots and start researching. Kennetrek sponsors Randy and would be a good starting point for quality footware.
Clothing - too many options to list and lots of info on this site so search for what fits you and your budget.
Cooler - probably lower on the list here but Pelican, Orion, Yeti, all make high end cooler if you want to drop a bunch of money on a cooler. Probably lower on your budget/priority list at this point if you don't have all the other stuff. Get the best one that fits your budget. I can usually get an elk into my 105 qt cooler no problem but if I need a bunch of ice I break it up into a couple coolers. Again, lots of cooler info here if you search.
Packs - I'm no expert on that but you'll get great advice from the folks here and you can read some threads on what guys are using.

Overall - get the best glass and boots you can afford. Save a few bucks on some of the other stuff and upgrade over time as you get some more experience.
 

MTPUBLICLAND

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Joined
Dec 21, 2013
Messages
202
I agree with the guys above on 10x42 binos. I use the cabelas euro hd's and have had great success with them, very crisp image all the way to the edges, they really pick up light well in low light conditions prior to shooting light. I run the Oregon 450t GPS with land chip, really changed hunting for me, and improved my success. As said above good boots are essential, I use kennetrek, Meindl, and vasque boots and like them all. We run a yeti 85 qt cooler and love it. Shot 2 antelope in 85 degree weather this year and it kept our meat nice and cold for days, great cooler
 

VAspeedgoat

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Sep 4, 2014
Messages
2,741
Location
Timberville, VA
I prefer 8x40 binos but because most of my use in in the east. I wouldn't go over 10x because they are harder to hold still. Theron questa is a good bargain bino if you are on a budget. See predator optics.

I used a Garmin etrex 20 because it was the cheapest one I could find that would take the chip. I have always been pleased with garmin products.

Others on here would be better on the coolers.

Also I second the notion that boots and packs would be a good investment. Lots of threads on here about both.
 
M

MN Public Hunter

Guest
Morning All,

I've been following Randy's show on TV a while now and I'm just new to this site. Anyways, I've put in for my first WY Mule Deer tag this fall, for Regions Y, R, D. My buddy lives out in WY so I'd be going with him if successful in drawing.

Got a few questions on specifically what type of gear I should be looking for when planning this hunt as I'll have some months to save up. Note: Willing to spend the $$$ if the product will last and has good warranty support. I've not hunted out west before, only deer in WI so this type of hunting is new to me.

Thanks in advance.

300wby

Gear Needed:

1. Binos--- what is a good power to consider? 12x50, 15x56? Zeiss, Vortex, Cabelas Euro's? What is overkill? I dont need a spotting scope.

2. GPS--- what are people using? Thoughts on the Garmin 64st with the xhunts WY chip on it?

3. Cooler--- its a long drive out to WY from the Chicago area. What would people recommend as far as coolers to haul meat home? Size? Yeti's come to mind but I've read some about the Orion's and they look nice, however their largest cooler is the 85. Would the 105/110 Yeti be better bet to potentially haul an elk back in the future?

10x42 binos

Just use your cell phone with the onXmaps, if you want a dedicated GPS, Garmin.

If you want to spend hundreds on coolers, get the over priced Yeti type coolers. I myself went with Coleman Xtremes for $50 each and they work great for 1 week trips.
 

JLS

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Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
12,591
Location
Where the Wild Things Are
Are you saying you don't need a spotter because you already have one? I spent a LOT of time behind the spotting scope on my Nevada bow hunt for muleys.

I'd go 10x40 or 42mm binos.

Boots, find a brand that fits. All the recommendations in the world on brand names doesn't mean jack squat if they don't fit and they grind your feet into submission. Try a bunch on. Fit your boot needs to the terrain you're hunting. You don't necessarily have to purchase mountaineering style boots if you're hunting relatively flat terrain. I have opted away from a full on backpacking/mountaineering style boot to a trekking style (not as stiff of a shank).

Can't help you on coolers, I have yet to drop the coin on a high end one.
 

300wby

New member
Joined
Jan 23, 2016
Messages
13
Location
Illinois
Thanks for everyone's advise. Looks like I definitely have some research to do on boots to start with..

Appreciate everyone taking time to answer.

Thanks again,

300wby
 

shootbrownelk

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Joined
Apr 2, 2015
Messages
1,212
Location
Wyoming
10x42 binos

Just use your cell phone with the onXmaps, if you want a dedicated GPS, Garmin.

If you want to spend hundreds on coolers, get the over priced Yeti type coolers. I myself went with Coleman Xtremes for $50 each and they work great for 1 week trips.

+1 on the Coleman Xtreme coolers. I have 2 and I love them. I won't spend $300+ for a cooler...but your mileage may differ.
 

Walkathon

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Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
1,214
Location
Central Minnesota
My biggest issue with a really expensive cooler is getting it stolen out of my truck. I use a 150 qt cooler and can fit a whole deer in it. 10X on the binoculars is what I have good luck with. I have a Garmin 64 and like it. I've used it for the last 4 years
 

JohnCushman

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Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
12,039
Location
South East Colorado
I use 10x42 binos. I have a spotter that I got that I thought would be the bees knees and it has sat in my hunting room for the past 2 seasons now. As for cooler, I put in another vote for the Coleman Extremes. You can fit an entire boned out deer in a 75 quart cooler with room for ice. Duct tape it shut and you will still have ice when you get back to Chiraq. The 120 quart cooler I use for camp area for food and basecamp stuff and keep frozen gallon milk jugs in it and even with people going in and out of them, the jugs are still mostly frozen at the end of the week if you keep them in the shade and have nice cool evenings. Plus, with all the room you need for beer for a couple of guys, the 120 quart coolers come in handy..lol Walmart has the 120 quart coolers for like $60 and the 75 quart coolers for somewhere around $40. They come in handy for storing gear on the way to the hunt also when they are empty in the back of the truck. The only problem is that they aren't bear proof when you hunt in grizzly country, like in areas of Montana, but you can leave them in your truck if you have a topper on it like what I do.
 

basal_area

New member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
14
Location
NORTH Idaho
None of the gear you listed is nearly as important as a broke in pair of high quality boots. Optics, coolers and GPS will be useless if your feet are blistered raw after the first day. I work as a forester in North Idaho and have used many brands over the years. White's and Danner's are the best.
 

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