View Full Version : 1st big game hunt and things I learned

11-11-2012, 02:51 PM
I have always shot guns with my family and even went out with my uncle a few times on his antelope and pheasant hunts in Eastern Colorado but I have never been hunting myself. I decided this would be the year to do it.

I took my hunterís safety course this summer and got a leftover third season cow tag for unit 28. My wifeís family owns some property in this area that borders pubic land. I went with my father in-law and two of his friends, they all had buck tags.

I hunted a total of six days split between two weekends. Over those six days I did not see a single elk! The first weekend the weather was really nice, mid 50ís and sunny. Two of my fellow hunterís got their bucks, a big-bodied 2x2 and decent sized 4x3. I found some beds that may gave been a week or so old but saw no elk.

The next weekend the snow came down pretty hard which we thought would help move elk onto the property or adjoining state land. It did not. Still no elk or elk tracks. But my father in-law got his 4x4 mulie on the last day of the season.

All in all I had a great time on my first hunt. Its nice to get away from my teaching job and spend some time in the outdoors. We saw a total of 70 mulies; I think next year a deer tag may be in order. This is normally a great elk area but the mild weather this year did not help.

Things I learned on my first hunt:

I am a backpacker but this hunt was a drive in. We stayed in a trailer and than hiked around the property and public land for hunting. I realized that I need a better day pack for hunting! I wasnít hauling much gear so I did not use my normal day pack (an Osprey Kestral 38). I used a Golite VO 24 and it did not cut it in terms of comfort. Any suggestions for a good hunting day pack?

Boots. Most of my winter activities involve snowshoeing in a pair of un-insulated hiking boots. I have never suffered from cold feet because I am moving around so much. This trip convinced me a pair of insulated boots is a needed investment. Anytime I stopped to glass an area my feet started to freeze. Any suggestions?

Once I dig the camera out of my gear I will throw up some pictures. Thanks for reading!

11-12-2012, 08:26 AM
Welcome to the addictive world of backcountry hunting!

Your cold feet issue has many facets. If you are primarily hunting late season and in the snow, perhaps a pair of insulated pac-boots like White's or Schnee's would be in order. They will provide needed support and comfort for putting on the miles, yet keep you warmer when stopped.
If your travels include more hiking and backpacking you might look at the insulated offerings in boots from Kenetrek or Cabelas or any of the other quality bootmakers.
The issue that can arise is the insulated boot being too warm for conditions in early fall or summer.
I use an un-insulated Kenetrek boot for 90% of my travels. I have accepted that long glassing spells means cold feet in the fall and winter. Wearing quality liner socks and wool hiking socks helps. Eating and hydrating well are key. I usually will wear gaiters in the fall and winter and that helps keep feet a little warmer. Once moving again my feet warm up quickly. Of course a Kifaru tipi and a blazing stove are always a welcome way to warm cold feet at the end of a long day!