The Million Dollar Question:
What Should I Bring on a Colorado elk hunt?
Like any sport you can spend just as much as you want. You can get every new gadget and upgrade that comes along. You can look like a walking Cabela’s catalog but is that going to kill you an elk? You and I both know it’s not. So what do you really need?
You need to have layers. Mountain weather is extremely changeable. It may be toasty warm and then drop two inches of hail. Lately archery season in our area has been fairly warm, consider this when you pack. You do not want to be sweating more than is unavoidable. Not only for sent reasons but also if you get wet then once the thermometer drops you will be much more prone to hypothermia. Even though the days are warm evenings can get down right chilly.
Rain gear is a must. In a normal year we get a light shower every evening in the high country and the funny thing about it is that you generally won’t see it coming. Weather changes fast around here. So it is nice to have light rain gear that you are not going to mind packing around every day.
Our country is relatively dry by that I don’t mean that it is arid because it’s not in the mountains but I mean that the footing is stable. Even if we get a fair bit of rain things are not going to get miserably muddy except for creek bottoms and other understandable places like that. So though your foot wear should be water-resistant, I believe you should be more concerned with walking comfort than water. During the rifle seasons it can get pretty cold. As you know it is difficult to stay still if you don’t have good warm footwear and if you are watching a park stillness is imperative to the success of your hunt.
As always you should prepare for the worst and even though no one wants to get lost it happens. Even with a GPS, situations can occur that make an over-nighter necessary. As RV was taught in the military “prepare the worst and you will always enjoy the best”. As long as you are hunting the area RV suggested, we know where you are and if you turn up missing we will send someone looking for you. Always take a day bag with extra food, we provide snacks for that purpose. Not only does this help with the obvious, namely hunger, it also provides a feeling of security keeping down panic and irrational thinking.
ATVs; the most asked question is always should I bring my ATV? Many people who bring them never unload them from the trailer but they might be nice for you to have. So we always tell folks to bring them if it isn’t too much trouble but not to fret if it will be a big inconvenience. All of the areas can be reached with a four-wheel drive vehicle. If your vehicle is new and you do not want scratches on it or wish to put it through mild abuse I would recommend bringing your ATV.
Many people bring no-scent types of hunting soap with them. This is a misconception. No commercial soap is truly without sent. RV suggests using baking soda, it will neutralize odor causing bacteria and leave no detectable scent of its own.
Our ranch is not equipped with electricity. So if you need a sleep machine, you will have to bring a generator. Also, a car charger will be nice to have for your phones, etc. We have been living at the ranch for a very long time and living without electricity hasn’t killed us yet, so come with an open mind and enjoy the peace and serenity that the ranch has to offer.
The bottom line is that no amount of equipment is as valuable as being in shape. The number one thing you can do to help yourself is be in as good of shape as is possible. Stair climbing remains a reliable stand by.