Just booked my first ELK HUNT !!!!

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Timberdoodle

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Hey guys, I just booked my first elk hunt. It will be in Idaho. We will be base camping one days ride in/out on horseback and hunting from camp for seven days. Iam really excited!!(Will be there around Oct.21st-Nov.4th).


I would appreciate any advice that you guys can give me on preparation for altitude as well as equipment essentials.We will be with a guide service that will handle the meat after the harvest, as I understand it, but I would like to purchase a good backpack to carry things I may need on the daily humps from camp. What would you recommend. I will not be needing something HUGE!!

Thanks for your help. ;)
 
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4onaside

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Hey, you've got something to look forward to, to anticipate, and to plan for from now until your arrival out there. All of that stuff, is as much fun as the trip! Good luck.

p.s. If you plan to drive I don't envy you. Its tough enough from Jackson to Limon, Colorado every year, but from Cookville to Idaho........Arggh!
 
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Timberdoodle

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We do plan to drive, in shifts. I have a hunting buddy that will be sharing the experience with me. We plan on taking turns driving & sleeping. I do not look forward to the drive, but I think knowing where we are going is going to make it a lot easier. I can drive a long way if I have a chance to kill a good bull when I get there!! Of course, I can say that before the fact. I'm sure that it will be a very long haul!
 
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megalomaniac

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Gonna go out on a limb and suggest an oversized fanny pack with backpack straps instead of a traditional backpack. Reason I prefer a big fanny pack is because I seem to sweat too much with a backpack when hiking in, then I freeze after sweating. Of course I hunt much earlier at the end of August, but it's still usually in the high 20's to low 30's when I start the hike up the mountain. Both Basspro and Cabelas sell nice oversized fanny packs.

Biggest purchase for your happiness will be hunting boots. Try a BUNCH on, and buy them a few months before the trip so you've got time to break them in... otherwise you'll be crippled after the first day. Nothing is as important as a good pair of waterproof boots with vibram outsoles for hunting in the mountains. Oh, be sure to carry a second pair... there'll likely be snow and you'll want to trade boots out every other day.
 
LA man

LA man

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hey steve, good luck. i wish i was going with yall. do plenty of walking before the trip. break in them boots, bring extra socks each day and for the altitude bring a bottle of ibuprophin, and stay hydrated
 
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PO Cedar

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I'd try to get in some riding time before you went unless you ride horses regular. I prefer hiking as a way to stay in shape,I do it year round.I've been carrying a backpack loaded with last season's hunting/outdoor catalogs.I'll just add to the pack as the weeks go by. I do all my turkey hunting on the run so that helps. I honestly haven't been in the mountains that late-I only archery hunt so I'll leave late season hunting in the mountains to the Western gun hunters on here. I use a fanny pack combined with a Camelbak hydration bladder when I go out in the early season. For boot selection, I would factor in the horseback riding, maybe look at Kenetrek, Schnees,Whites, or Hoffman boots. They all have websites. I'd pack some wool,pants,Filson Cruiser or Alaskan shirt,and a good wool/poly balaclava. Sounds like a fun trip. Take a good digital camera and use it often!!
 
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Timberdoodle

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I researched it. For a REAL HUNT under REAL conditions, no fancy wet bar in a $500,000 lodge with all the trimmings, you can come out for around five grand. This is hunting from a base camp with all necessities but no frills,BUT plenty of bulls!! We were told that if we can hang with the guide that they guaranteed us each a shot at a 300"+ bull, but we will have to earn it. I wouldn't want it any other way.
 
Model70Man

Model70Man

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Congrats! Which region of Idaho are you going? If you are going to the Bitterroot area, you are in for a treat. That area is quite possibly the most rugged hunting grounds in the US. I would start getting in shape right away. Get an AWESOME pair of boots and good socks. Binoculars are your best friend. Get a pair of high end 8x binoculars like Zeiss, Leica, Vortex, etc. Cheap or mediocre binoculars will ruin your trip.
 
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PO Cedar

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I'd suggest you try to stop and get at least 4-5 hours sleep/hot shower enroute out and back. Even sharing the driving,adrenaline,anticipation,etc... you are going to have a LONG drive. I call ahead and get a KOA cabin when I'm traveling. That way I can have my vehicle right by the door. I always had a phobia about staying at a motel,particularly one with multiple floors, and have someone steal my gear, or worse the truck. I guess it was the policeman in me. I know how the Opryland tourists were targeted at the motels in Nashville in the old days. They thought Nashville was a friendly town so would leave cameras,etc... in their vans and then would come out the next morning with the van burglarized or worse stolen.
 
ChippewaPartners

ChippewaPartners

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You might want to look at a good Badlands fanny pack........I hunted with one all fall and really like the fit and ease of getting things in-n-out. A good camera, good clothing using layers, learn to use a cow elk call, they are really cheap and might help you out in the seconds when things get tense on a big bull. I know friends who have hunted the Bitterroots and have had plenty of wolf issues ie; much lower game populations these past few years.

I suggest you get on some great elk hunting websites, MonsterMuleys.com has a good elk section and Idaho section. Theres plenty of elk hunting sites out there. Did you call any of the unsuccessful hunter references from the outfitter or only the successful ones? On driving out, have your mapquest maps, flashlights, water, tools, spare belts and spare tires in an accessible place and keep your gear under lock all the time. Good optics and carrying straps, knowing how to swing out of a saddle and pull your rifle out of a scabard quickly will help and using shooting sticks might make all the difference. Practice riding and getting off quick for a shot if you have the opportunity. The little things can make a world of difference.
 
ChippewaPartners

ChippewaPartners

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Also, I suggest you make arrangements to get your meat home with you. No need to pay big $$$ for 2-day UPS shipping. You might have 200 to 300 pounds of "unfinished" meat to cut/package/freeze/store when you get to your rig for a LONG ride home. Think things through because it could be awful warm in spots on the way home or darn cold the whole way. That first week of November across the Dakota's can go either way that week for sure. And figure out if you are going to have a guy out there mount a huge bull or just do a European mount at home? Big elk racks are a tad unwieldy and I would suggest you get a taxidermist out there to do your work. I always thought it wise to use experienced hands if it is the trophy of a lifetime. I've seen some nasty jobs on mule deer when they are brought east for sure. And keep your licenses handy in case you are stopped at game checking stations in Montana or Wyoming.
 
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Timberdoodle

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wow! thanks for all the info. I am going to read thru these posts several times to make sure that I absorb all the info.

I am thinking of the badlands 2200 as a daypack. That way I can dress in layers and carry a jacket, etc. in case i need it thru the day. It is waterproof and has a lifetime warranty. I do not want to go too small and end up wishing I had more space. It looks like a good comprimise.

I was told to bring a 1000 gram and 1500 gram pair thinsulate boots to cover all conditions. I am still trying to pick out boots. I have a 1500g pair of rockys but they are three years old and started leaking this deer season! their warranty is only one year. So it looks as if i am in the market for two pairs of good boots.

What about electrolyte tablets? I read that it was good to have them in your system for a hunt like this.

Another thing. My favorite rifle is a 7mmUltra Mag. Remington only has a 140 grain bullet for this caliber as far as I know. Do you think that this will be sufficient @ 500 yards or do you think that I need to order heavier lead fron another source?
 
ChippewaPartners

ChippewaPartners

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I wear zero thinsulate Danner Pronghorns but take the cold well, everyone is different....in my book 1000 is enuf, make sure your boots are broken in and comfortable. Get your sock set-up right and consider boot warmers, they will make the 1500 unnecessary.....I have a ton of great packing lists if you are interested, shoot me an email and just ask.....and that goes for anyone else on this site......I have so many lists I have lists of lists....and am happy to share.......just send an email to [email protected] and ask...... that 140 grain is sufficient, and maybe have some shells at the ready with a lighter grain......if you haven't killed anything at say 300 yards you better start practicing and practicing.....with shooting sticks, sitting, kneeling and leaning up against a post.....500 yards is a long shot, even for me.
 
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Tree Man

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Alot of good advice above. I will repeat some of above, but I am just trying to get the point accross.
Boots well broken in.
Walk and walk alot after I built myself up I would walk with weighted pack and up and down hills. Even at this you will notice the air is much thinner at elevation.
Practice shooting alot. You won't regret it when that big bull steps out.
Carry large coolers to bring the meat home. After packing the meat and adding dry ice seal the coolers with duct tape to keep air out. I have carried an old chest time deep freeze to pack meat in. You can put some of your gear out in the deep freeze on the way out.
 
Q

Quiver

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I second the Danner Pronghorns. I used a pr of 200gr last year on an Oct. CO elk hunt with 15 degree temps. Mine needed very little breaking in and we averaged 5 miles a day. They were great.
You probably don't need a 2200 for a day pack. I used a 2200 for a 7 day DIY with one resupply. Badlands makes some nice smaller packs. Be careful of your pack weight because you are a flatlander. You need to work out as much as you can and it will still kick you out there. Be careful of the altitude.
 
Y

Young Buck

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SpringHill, Tn.
Timberdoodle if your lookin for different loads for your 7RUM, go to Conley Precision Cartridge Co. website.He loads 25 or so different loads for 7RUM.Personally my favorite for deer is 139 hornadt interbond,and I'm gonna use 160 barnesTSX this fall for elk,muley and black bear.Both these loads shoot under .750 out of my 700. Good Huntin.
 

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