SITKA Gear

Solo hunting advice

Donk

New member
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
13
Location
Helena, MT
"There is always tomorrow" dont be afaid to call it a day earlier than you intended to especially if you see weather. I have had to call a few hunts because of it, i have checked the weather and it will be clear blue and 40 to -22 it is Monatan after all and a possabilty of light snow late that night. 3pm rolls around and it's 20+mph winds and a complete white out and your side hilling it with a head lamp trying to get back to camp. I would say test your gear find what work well for you in the conditions you will be hunting in. Make a plan, then make a plan on that plan going to S#*T just in case. Last thing have fun, little peace and quiet living off what you can carry, chasing your families next meal through the forest talk about getting back to the root of things cant wait for October. Be safe and good luck out there
 

Gruidie

New member
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
17
Hello all.. I’m requesting any good tips/tactics on solo hunting elk. I’m a Midwest hunter, deer/turkey for 26 plus years. Been elk hunting five times in the last 15 years and three times in the last three years with a bow in the backcountry. I can process a deer in my sleep and have quartered elk in the mountains. What I haven’t done is elk hunted in the backcountry solo. My hunting partners are starting to talk about backing out of hunts. I’m wanting to continue to go and I’m formulating a plan to continue to elk hunt each year, even if I’m going solo. I will be doing Colorado again this year because I’m familiar and no grizzly. Once I get a few solo trips under my belt, will tackle bear country. Any advise from the solo crowd out there would be much appreciated!!!
Switch it up and come out to Idaho. I have been looking for a archery elk hunting buddy as my friends seem to always bail out. I have everything you would need from canvas wall tent to ultralight tent with stove. Just need a buddy to help call and pack out elk with! If it’s something you want to do let me know. I am 32, socially drink (not to much) disabled vet and father of three who loves the outdoors!
 

wilson3144

New member
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
3
Lady’s and gentlemen, again I want to think you all for the great advise. I’m fairly new to hunttalk and my first thread. The overwhelming advise and support is awesome. I’m planning my trip out carefully using many of the tips you have all shared....p cord hidden everywhere, inreach already packed, On x gps, and a paper map with compass for backup. My company has enacted a new Covid travel policy that I am hoping will not effect me. As long as I’m good there, I will be trying this in September. The excitement of the challenge out weights the fears.
 

RidgeRoamingRichard

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Messages
531
Location
Helena, MT
Man, I learned a lot here. Mainly that my gear sucks and my pack is usually twice the weight of the guy passing me on the trail in!

I've only packed out one animal solo, a mule buck, bone in, that I shot 3.5 miles back (two trips). It was harder than I thought it would be, even though it was the flatest 3.5 miles in Montana. It gave me a whole new respect for you dudes and dudets that solo hunt elk every year.

My advice is short because I don't know much: snicker bars and starbursts for the pack out. Also, if you aren't feeling it that morning, don't make yourself go and spoil what should be a good thing.
 

Roughwater

Active member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
185
As to the inreach. I have the standard one, NOT the mini. It's still pretty small and light though. I've found that it takes a long time to charge it but the onboard rechargeable battery last a long time as well. The battery drains slowest if it's not set to track you. And it's easy to always tell how much battery life you have left. I would venture to say the battery would last a week if not set in the tracking mode. But there may be times you want to use the tracking mode. When my wife gets a text from me through the onreach on her cell phone a Aerial map comes up showing exactly where I was at the time of my text along with my coordinates. She really likes that feature! I generally just use preset text I put on the phone in advance. She can and does text me back with more wordy texts so it lets me know how she is as well. So if your plan is to hang out at someplace other than your huntsite at times, you best not text her or you might be in trouble when you get home, or sooner.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2020
Messages
74
Location
Durango Colorado
I solo hunt the majority of the time. It seems I just like the "me time". I'm not very good at all, but I love being in the woods. I do sometimes have problems sleeping at night (I hear things :). I carry Benadryl for any type of allergic reaction to insect bites as well as to help me sleep at night. I don't think I could add anything to what's already been said. I am following this because there is a ton of knowledge on this forum.

What area of Colorado will you be hunting?
 

HUNTNNW

Active member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
212
been mentioned... know your limitations!! A mature bull elk boned out is going to be 250-290lbs boned out on average and will go down in weight with younger bulls. If you are doing a euro on a mature bull and skin out head and remove jaw you are looking at 35-40lbs and keeping cape adds another 40lbs. My bull last year with meat and antlers was 329lbs total.. dont hunt 4 mi from the truck on a Saturday knowing you are leaving Sunday. You will never get it out on time unless you have a forgiving boss lol!!

Have 3-5 spots picked out to hunt as backups in completely different areas and elevations. Mountains are not forgiving and can snow at anytime in September completely altering your travel. I would never venture into 90% of the places I hunt without chains, shovel and chainsaw.
 
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HUNTNNW

Active member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
212
I'd be curious to know how that inReach is working for you. I read some reviews that seemed to be either "over the moon" or "never again."
Use ours a lot in no service areas to text home and works great. Some areas with mountain shadowing can delay texts being sent and received, but always get them
 

silasd

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
89
Location
New Mexico
So Iay catch some heat for this but if one who has trouble sleeping string 550 cord in a perimeter around his or her tent and hung a bear bell on it as kind of an early warning signal. Asking for a friend, of course...
 

RidgeRoamingRichard

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Messages
531
Location
Helena, MT
So Iay catch some heat for this but if one who has trouble sleeping string 550 cord in a perimeter around his or her tent and hung a bear bell on it as kind of an early warning signal. Asking for a friend, of course...
The solo hunter dude did that on an episode I watched. If it helps you sleep, why not?
 

mstevens317

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
98
Switch it up and come out to Idaho. I have been looking for a archery elk hunting buddy as my friends seem to always bail out. I have everything you would need from canvas wall tent to ultralight tent with stove. Just need a buddy to help call and pack out elk with! If it’s something you want to do let me know. I am 32, socially drink (not to much) disabled vet and father of three who loves the outdoors!
Idaho Falls area?
 

Tradewind

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2015
Messages
2,749
Hunting by yourself, you are the only line of help or defense. It's ok to pack your fears...at least some of them. skimping on extra batteries for weight. Nothing like having the gps go out 10:30 at night on your way back after wrestling with a downed elk by your self. Sweaty, tired. Temps dropped off abt 15 degrees. Was sheltered by the wind while quartering the elk. Now out in a 20 mph blast and freezing. Can't see land marks. Nothing looks the same in the dark.
Or have your head lamp go out in the dark, on the way back.. Sure could use a spare one.
Have a couple ways to start a fire with zero dexterity in your fingers. Because that's when you'll really need it. One guy on here carries a road flare. I'm starting to like his thinking.
Carrying an insulated coat, hat and mits seems dumb when it 50 degrees. But you end up 4 mlles from camp or the truck and a winter storm rolls in.
Yeah, I'm the idiot with the heavy pack. but I'm ok with that. Do lots and lots of extra stairs during the summer and you'll be ready for it.
Lots of greatr suggestions on here. After a few season's you'll figure out what's right for you
in terms of pack contents. But nothing worse than absolutely needing it and having left it in the truck.
 

Tradewind

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2015
Messages
2,749
Also, I would have you check out the 'Unlimited' thread. those guys are the minimalists. See what they carry/pack for the absolute minimal needed to survive
adverse conditions for a week at a time. they are also some of the most mentally tough folks on here.
 

Hatchie Dawg

Active member
Joined
Jan 2, 2011
Messages
604
Location
West TN
Get a beacon or communicator of some sort. Listen to the advice on how much and how far you can pack out especially if temps are a concern. I’ve done two solo trips for elk. Best experiences of my life.
 

silasd

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
89
Location
New Mexico
Get a beacon or communicator of some sort. Listen to the advice on how much and how far you can pack out especially if temps are a concern. I’ve done two solo trips for elk. Best experiences of my life.
Yup, I've got a spot and am thinking of upgrading to one of the Garmin inreaches or something that allows a little more communication than my current device (canned message/tracking only).
 

medic76

New member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
9
Man this has been a great thread as I am looking to do my first backcountry elk hunt this year in Co. It will be my first trip out west to hunt elk and with a bow. I have killed many NE muleys and whitetail but elk has always been on my bucket list. I am going to travel out west over the summer and check some spots and try get a feel for it but I am sure nothing compares to the real deal. I am learning as much as possible and hopefully be successful, best of luck sir
 
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