Caribou Gear

Necessary gear for first western hunt.

GDP

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Joined
Jun 6, 2022
Messages
20
I have Nikon binoculars 10x42. Would you think a spotting scope will be needed or just binoculars?
I have the same binos and been using them for about 35 years hunting CO forests. You'll be fine with them. Get good base layers of clothing, not expensive, just good non-cotton stuff. If you can, carry tire chains, shovel, tow chain/strap and hilift jack to get out or unstuck if it snows. Or you might be covered in dust...you never know. I'm also a believer in using the best ammo you can find (I didn't say afford because when it come down to the shot, the ammo is the least expensive thing you'll have bought and the most important), elk are hard to put down especially bulls. Don't stop shooting till it stops moving, more or less. IMO, use 30 caliber min and 180 grain bullets. I like Nosler partitions but you'll get a million opinions on the gun and ammo, and most of them are probably as good as mine or better. You'll be surprised at how many places, especially on the ridge or hilltops, that you can get a cell phone signal. May not need the extra expense for communication.
 

GDP

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Joined
Jun 6, 2022
Messages
20
One more thing I didn't see mentioned is to have a windbreaker/water proof or repellant jacket. Very important to stay warm when sitting or when it's snowing. Gore tex is great but for your 1st hunt in the mountains anything windproof and water repellant will work. Find something w/o insulation or very little so you can layer it over whatever you need underneath for warmth.
 

steveshuntn1

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Joined
Sep 23, 2021
Messages
262
I have the same binos and been using them for about 35 years hunting CO forests. You'll be fine with them. Get good base layers of clothing, not expensive, just good non-cotton stuff. If you can, carry tire chains, shovel, tow chain/strap and hilift jack to get out or unstuck if it snows. Or you might be covered in dust...you never know. I'm also a believer in using the best ammo you can find (I didn't say afford because when it come down to the shot, the ammo is the least expensive thing you'll have bought and the most important), elk are hard to put down especially bulls. Don't stop shooting till it stops moving, more or less. IMO, use 30 caliber min and 180 grain bullets. I like Nosler partitions but you'll get a million opinions on the gun and ammo, and most of them are probably as good as mine or better. You'll be surprised at how many places, especially on the ridge or hilltops, that you can get a cell phone signal. May not need the extra expense for communication.
Great tips..thanks. I’ll be taking a 300 win mag and my daughter will be taking her 30-06. Still have decisions to make on ammo and trying different loads, but Nosler can’t be found as far as I have seen. The 300 loves the new 180 Remington core lokt tipped ammo. So that’s a definite front runner. The 06 is still a work in progress. May try the new cx load from hornady if I can find it. So far it performs best with the cup and core cheap federal power shock. I haven’t found what I like yet…but we’re having fun practicing.
Definitely taking chains and having a winch installed on my Titan as well.
 
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GDP

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Joined
Jun 6, 2022
Messages
20
Great tips..thanks. I’ll be taking a 300 win mag and my daughter will be taking her 30-06. Still have decisions to make on ammo and trying different loads, but Nosler can’t be found as far as I have seen. The 300 loves the new 180 Remington core lokt tipped ammo. So that’s a definite front runner. The 06 is still a work in progress. May try the new cx load from hornady if I can find it. So far it performs best with the cup and core cheap federal power shock. I haven’t found what I like yet…but we’re having fun practicing.
Definitely taking chains and having a winch installed on my Titan as well.
Both are fine guns. The 30-06 is the Rodney Dangerfield of guns, it doesn't get any respect! Although it's probably killed more North American big game, proficiently, than any other caliber. I grew up on that gun and now my son shoots it, I still like 180 gr partitions for it but not trying to push anything :) . The ballistics are good on it but I recommend you research "on game" performance vs ballistics or target results. This is a great place to start https://www.ballisticstudies.com/ Look for the wound research link. Glad you're prepared for the weather, better to be the guy pulling someone out than the one needing a pull!
 

jerm8352

Active member
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
Messages
229
Location
Pinedale Wy
Great tips..thanks. I’ll be taking a 300 win mag and my daughter will be taking her 30-06. Still have decisions to make on ammo and trying different loads, but Nosler can’t be found as far as I have seen. The 300 loves the new 180 Remington core lokt tipped ammo. So that’s a definite front runner. The 06 is still a work in progress. May try the new cx load from hornady if I can find it. So far it performs best with the cup and core cheap federal power shock. I haven’t found what I like yet…but we’re having fun practicing.
Definitely taking chains and having a winch installed on my Titan as well.
I would steer away from the federal power shok on elk. Had a bad experience with them that cost me my first elk.
 

steveshuntn1

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Joined
Sep 23, 2021
Messages
262
I would steer away from the federal power shok on elk. Had a bad experience with them that cost me my first elk.
Those are for practice only…just letting her get used to it. I have some trophy copper 180 that I’m hoping will group well to elk hunt with for the 06.
 

chrispbrown27

Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2021
Messages
54
I would look online at sites like camofire, steep and cheap and backcountry. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using gear that is marketed towards hikers and campers. You can often save $$$ that way. Just don't shop at REI, lol.

Binos are a little different, but do your research before hand. eBay, Amazon, and gun broker will have better prices. I know some people want to hold things before they buy them but I've never done a ton of research to purchase excellent glass and been disappointed. I would look hard at Maven and Leupold (or Leica and Swaro depending on your budget). Steer clear of vortex. If you want to hold them and look before purchasing go to the store and hold them and look at them then come home and purchase online, lol.

I don't buy anything from the big box stores. Unless its an emergency have to have it today type thing. I know that cabelas and bass pro have cc that give you points back, but the points earned/money saved while shopping in their store still usually comes out to less than the deals that can be found online.
Out of curiosity, what are your reasons for saying to stay away from vortex?
 

SCliving Outdoors

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Joined
Feb 9, 2018
Messages
491
Location
South Carolina
Out of curiosity, what are your reasons for saying to stay away from vortex?
They just don't really make great optics. imo there are better options at each price point. There are lots of companies now that have the "vortex" warranty. I currently own (one is for sale) 2 vortex scopes and I am planning on replacing both. The running joke with vortex optics is that its a good thing they have that no questions asked warranty bc you're going to need it.
 

old270hunter

Active member
Joined
Jun 4, 2022
Messages
99
Location
Bat Sh!+ Crazy, California
Well, to be walking in from the truck/camp everyday for both of you gives you conveniences for your first hunt, as opposed to preparing to pack in for days. If you will be together the whole hunt, it makes sense for 1 to have binos, and 1 with a spotter. Lots of decent choices recommended in prior responses. Boots-whatever can be worn for days, waterproof and good fit. They will not be cheap. Outside of clothing layers, and your guns, packs, I'd think about your camp comfort and sleep, especially after say day 3 or 4. Find a cot that works for you, along with a comfy sleeping pad. Do not even think of sleeping on hard ground or air mattress crap that may get punctured. Can't say enough about a good night of sleep every night. Also, do you want to be wearing your boots around after you get back to camp? Want to put on your boots to go outside and take a leak in the middle of the night? I think more about my slippers and waterproof than I concern myself with bullet manufacturers. There might be some snow on the ground, or mud from rain, and I've been doing a lot of walking. Think out camp comfort, food so you are ready to charge the next day.
 

Jag770

New member
Joined
Jun 25, 2022
Messages
14
I believe sock selection is as important as boot selection. Darn Tough Merino Wool socks are the best out there. I have used Darn Toughs for long treks through the mountains of N. Georgia and Colorado, and they are my go to for mountain goat hunts here in Hawaii.

A good pair of socks can ensure your feet don't give out on you.
 

grayskwerel

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Joined
Jun 27, 2022
Messages
2
I’m going on my first elk hunt in Colorado this fall. 2nd season rifle hunt. I have a Kodiak Flexbow and a wood stove. I have a TideWe frame pack too. The rifles are sufficient and hopefully the ammo will do the job if we find something to shoot at. I don’t have expensive name brand elk hunting clothing, but I think some of my deer hunting stuff will suffice. I don’t want to go crazy spending money( I might not like it), but what are the “must have “ items I need for a 7 day hunt. I do plan to set up a camp at the truck and return each day. Also will be buying a satellite communicator like an inreach or zoleo because that’s the only way my wife will let me take my daughter to the middle of nowhere without cell service! So what else do I need?
 

grayskwerel

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Joined
Jun 27, 2022
Messages
2
I personally think the most important thing is the clothes you wear. If you are too cold or too hot you will be uncomfortable and miserable. I wear merino wool base layers everywhere clothes touch my body. Merino for mid layers. Polyester and down for insulation and Rip/stop Nylon outer layers. I never thought I could be cold and comfortable at the same time... it's like when they say "but it's a dry heat".
 

bignest

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
30
In order

  1. Attitude. Enjoy the suffering and scenery
  2. Good merino base layers & a dry shell
  3. Good boots
  4. Good sleep system
  5. 10x42s
Other pleasantries and tips:
  • Coffee for for mid day glassing and breaks
  • Change of base layers / socks
  • Budget a half day off / late morning start halfway through the hunt for morale if you need it.
  • Good gloves and hats for glassing. A little packable stool is great too!
  • If you're archery hunters make sure your range finder is 'effective for deer' for whatever distance you plan on shooting...just because its a 600 yard range finder doesn't mean it can range an animal that far.
Good luck
 

Jared123

New member
Joined
Aug 11, 2022
Messages
16
I’m going on my first elk hunt in Colorado this fall. 2nd season rifle hunt. I have a Kodiak Flexbow and a wood stove. I have a TideWe frame pack too. The rifles are sufficient and hopefully the ammo will do the job if we find something to shoot at. I don’t have expensive name brand elk hunting clothing, but I think some of my deer hunting stuff will suffice. I don’t want to go crazy spending money( I might not like it), but what are the “must have “ items I need for a 7 day hunt. I do plan to set up a camp at the truck and return each day. Also will be buying a satellite communicator like an inreach or zoleo because that’s the only way my wife will let me take my daughter to the middle of nowhere without cell service! So what else do I need?
Good boots! I tried not spending lots of money and I regretted it. Bought kenetrex three years ago and they still look brand new.
 

RN Flatlander

New member
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
19
Location
Southern IL
A tripod with a piece to put your binos on it for glassing is nice. I also carry a v piece for a shooting if I need it. And that’s not much weight. Other than that a good pair of boots, and a decent backpack. Get the boots super broken in and make your adjustments to your gear after this trip. I kept like 5 things from my first western trip and changed almost everything else.
 

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