Hunting without high-priced toys

hank4elk

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Quality glass does make a big difference. At least in MY experience in the west.
Suffering in poor gear is dumb or stupid,IMHO.
Not giving yourself an edge hunting is for beginners or those who do not care if they succeed, consistantly. IMHO
Took my 1st buck in wet jeans,soaked sneakers & a soaked 2xtimes too big army surplus jacket. The wool shirt saved me.
I upgraded the next week to some of my dads old boots,waterproofed,paper in toes & a poncho....lol
I'm down too upgrading pants finally from microtex.... maybe a new do all top shell.

Watch a few of Randy's gear dumps. The one consistant sentence is, "I have tried everything there is & get offered everything out there & use the best gear I have found"
 
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rookhawk

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Apr 17, 2019
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The comparisons of the original post actual bring out a hidden detail.

That old “junk” rifle, a Springfield sporter, a mauser, a pre-64 Winchester, an Enfield sporter....they are 1000% better than the new stuff.

That “lousy” 4x weaver from the late 1960s or that old Redfield is better than most scopes under $300.

The old cotton and wool clothes in neutral colors are closer to effective all purpose camo than most of the modern patterns. (Wasn’t it the US army that tested and found “soiled” olive drab was superior camo for general use than most campaign patterns?) The materials themselves are better and more expensive than many of the modern poly synthetics.

My point being is the old “junk” in the hands of the peasants was a lot better than memory suggests.

Very few innovations have actual been superior, certainly not modern guns. Advancements I believe actually exist:

-ammo quality control

-bullets have advanced a ton

-lens coatings in excellent German optics have come a long way

-what else? Not much.
 

MTTW

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-what else? Not much. Quote rookhawk

I believe that the laser rangefinder is the big game changer.

I don't think that any of my antiquated gear puts me at a disadvantage.

The one thing that long term, consistently successful hunters share in my experience, is desire. Their gear varies from one end of the spectrum to the other. When they lose their desire, which some do and some don't, success suffers. Regardless of gear.

I think about the old Sitka Blacktail hunter in Randy's video, where he shot the big antelope with the black powder rifle. 700 yard rifle not required.
Or crawling up through the jungle to get to the blacktail country in SE AK. Desire is a fitting substitute for a heck of a lot of technology.

Some approach hunting like a military operation, success at any cost. I like to look at it as a game, where a level playing field is desirable. Of course we all have to decide for ourselves when the playing field is level.
 

oleefish2

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wy
I agree, the range finder in my pocket, has increased my confidence at longer ranges, over 300 yards. I practice with it just like I do with my rifle. I am lucky because just minutes from my house I can practice on antelope and some times deer.
 

wllm1313

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Aurora, CO
The materials themselves are better and more expensive than many of the modern poly synthetics.
I know this thread is all about waxing about the good old days but this is just not true. The kinds of hunting people did now and the expectations of equipment are just different and there is no apples to apples comparison.

For instance the ever popular woolrich pants: Are they still awesome and do people still use them, absolutely. I would 100% agree that for a hunter that is day hiking from the truck in the snow or riding into a late season camp they are hard to beat, but they are the last thing you would want to take on a backpack sheep hunt/elk hunt.

A more apt comparison to modern back-country hunting gear (which is what FL,Sitka, Kuiu etc are making) would be what mountaineers in the 1950s were using. I can't possibly imagine that Edmund Hillary wouldn't give a couple fingers to have gear that was significantly warmer and weighed 1/2 as much.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/features/everest/gear-edmund-hillary-hilaree-oneill/
 
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SnowyMountaineer

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I'm not sure why some people are always wanting everyone to be old. Shoot, "modern poly synthetics" came out before I was even born. I'm going to use what works, it'll be great!
 

BrentD

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bushman13

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I've got a throwback for y'all. My dad used to hunt whitetails by setting up on trails and observing individual deer tracks. Once he identified a buck he wanted to hunt, he would set timers connected to threads across the trail to time the deer's movement. If the timer was tripped, and the track was right, he would then plan his next hunt.
I won't even go into other crazy tactics he used, as ppl probably wouldn't even believe me.
 

Mtnhunter1

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Big Sky Country-The Last Best Place
-what else? Not much. Quote rookhawk


The one thing that long term, consistently successful hunters share in my experience, is desire. Their gear varies from one end of the spectrum to the other. When they lose their desire, which some do and some don't, success suffers. Regardless of gear.

Desire is a fitting substitute for a heck of a lot of technology.

I like to look at it as a game, where a level playing field is desirable. Of course we all have to decide for ourselves when the playing field is level.
Very well said, I couldn't agree more!
 

BrentD

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I've never met a person that wants a level playing field. Most want "an edge." Edges are not level.
 

farmerboy1381

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“Great gear” can be a highly subjective term the guy with 2000$ + swaro ELs might look down on the guy who only uses 1800$ Swaro SLCs who thinks he has great gear. The SLC guy gives the guy who owns 800$ vortex a hard time. The vortex guy talks bad about the Nikon monarch. Meanwhile the guy with the monarch doesn’t care because he is out scouting instead of reading gear reviews.
I have always found myself somewhere in the middle I don’t have great gear, I don’t have cheap gear I have MY gear if I find something that will not get the job done I buy something that will.
 

WyoDoug

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My old abused Marine Corps gear served well enough to keep me alive through 'Nam & Desert Storm. I understand it's limits, but have also learned to adapt it & me to the situation. Over 40 years with the same crap. I guess it's just Old School.
I use a lot of my own military gear for hunting myself and works as good as the expensive brand name high end gear you see pushed today,
 

MTTW

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The human brain gives us an edge over game even if we hunt without a weapon.
 

Stingray

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Jan 28, 2018
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Gear is subjective and personal. My advice is get the right skills and pick gear that fits one’s style and make sure to know how to use it effectively. A great scope that one can’t use is worse than a cheap scope one can. Buying super high tech camo won’t help if one ignores the wind and noise discipline needed in the mountains. It’s not the gear. It’s the user. It’s like cars. One’s driving skill doesn’t necessarily increase with the size of one’s wallet. But a good driver with an amazing sports car can be unbeatable. A poor driver in a Ferrari is an accident waiting to happen. Same applies to gear....in my humble opinion.
 

danwolf

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Mar 10, 2019
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I recall my brother's 270 with a Tasco back home in Vermont, shot great when we sighted it in and practiced. Totally different story when snow is melting in a light rain as I was tracking a buck, when I had a chance to shoot I couldn't see a thing out the glass. To me it was the gear that day, the rest of that season I used open sights. So a scope that doesn't fog up is a big deal to me. When I do find a need for gear I'll try to get it on sale, used, or shelf model as well. Some high priced gear can be had for less if we wait. Last years's bow's sell 1/2 price if your ok with it being 2 fps slower than this years. All the rifles I've bought were used and haggled down below asking price.
 
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Most of us start out poor maning it. But we upgrade as we go. Nouthing wrong with that. Most people make more money the older they get which lets them injoy nicer things as we age. The problem is all of the new guys want to start out where the guy thats been hunting 30 years is. Yiu know i drive a nicer car now that i did 20 years ago. Its ok.
 

WyoDoug

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I would not call it poor manning it. I buy items based on performance and durability, not price, fashion or brand name. I still hunt with the same model 700 Remington 30-06 I bought after I got out of the Marine Corps in the 80s. I hunt with tents my brother and I bought together in the 90s. They are cabin tents that I am about to replace with a wall tent that can handle a multi-fuel heater. I still got the original gas lanterns my dad bought when I went hunting in high school. When I buy optics, I consider that I only shoot 300 yards or less. I simply do not take long range shots as I have tracked far too many wounded critters in my lifetime and now only take what I believe to be 100% one shot-one kill now. So a mid-range scope does me fine. I also have the same binos I paid $150 for way back in early 2000s. I did buy me a new spotting scope but it's mid range as far as price goes but it does me fine. I use Coleman and Igloo coolers. Again, I buy the midrange ones, not super cheap and not super expensive either. I fly to Texas now and then to shoot pigs and I buy coolers there so I don't have to pay the baggage fee at the airline until I come back with something. My camp stove, it's my dads and still works. My chairs are stuff I bought over the years too and can't tell you where I got them anymore. I also got a ton of military gear that I use, some I bought, some was issued to me in either the Marine Corps, Army or National Guard.
 
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