Got tags for that 1st western major game hunting trip? Your preparation must commence correct now.
by Leon Pantenburg
I went on my 1st Idaho elk hunt in 1990. Given that then, I have hunted for major game in numerous states. These annual hunts have ranged from excursions out of completely-equipped base camps, to mountain backpack hunts right after perform on Friday, applying a tarp shelter and consuming MREs.
I’ve also supported a couple of 1st timers – my cousin and brother-in-law – and helped them gear up. So even though I surely couldn’t (and wouldn’t want to) host a Television hunting show, I have discovered a superior bit out of encounter the tough way.
For the sake of discussion, we’ll assume you have decided on the species you will hunt, got the suitable tags, and have picked an region. You have completed your homework, and have looked at maps and contacted fish and game departments. You have got your rifle/bow/muzzle loader sighted in and prepared to go.
Right here are 5 suggestions for finding prepared for western major game hunting
Get in shape: If you are a flatlander, you will want to get in the greatest physical shape of your life to take pleasure in a hunt in the western mountains. Get started now. Hunting season is not that far away, and you can not get into shape two weeks prior to the commence of the season.
Walking is a superior commence. Then move up to hiking with a backpack, and hold adding weight. When I lived in Mississippi, (elevation about 100 feet) I would load my backpack with gallon jugs of water which weigh about eight pounds apiece. I would energy stroll, with the notion of actively operating my hiking muscle tissues and cardio vascular technique. If the pack got also heavy, I’d dump water on a tree and lower pack weight. This is a superior time to break in these new boots and wool socks. I only advise wool socks.
If you are headed to the mountains, schedule in some time prior to hand to acclimate to the greater elevations. Hunting exactly where the air is thinner is tough anyway, and getting in superior shape will assistance you acclimate faster and let you commence enjoying the hunt sooner.
Core and leg strength is significant. If you are effective elk hunting, you might have to pack out a lot of meat more than some actually gnarly terrain. Murphy’s Law relating to elk hunting is absolute: The greatest location to kill an elk is the final location you’d want to pack a single out of. And prior to you pull the trigger, give some believed about how you will get the meat out.
Find out land navigation: Get actually superior at it, and do not rely on a GPS that may possibly drop connections, run out of batteries or break. And do not just choose up your navigation gear the week prior to the hunt – verify out these suggestions for finding your GPS prepared for the hunt. Carry a actually superior compass, a actual topographic map and a backup compass.
Case in point: My brother Mike Pantenburg and I have been hunting an overgrown drainage in Idaho. In this case, we have been hunting in major circles, understanding that come dusk, all we had to do was head west till we hit the creek. (It is known as setting a backstop. Check out the strategy.) Then, go downstream to a rendezvous location exactly where the water crossed beneath a log.
Mike was deep in the brush when he decided it was time to head back. (Here’s a single way to estimate how a lot time you have prior to the sun sets.) He’d been hot on a trail, and walking in a straight line was actually tough. As dusk approached he glanced at his wrist compass to get a bearing. It was gone.
There was a excellent chance to panic. But fortunately, Mike had one more compass in his day pack, and he met me at the rendezvous log about 30 minutes right after dark. I had a handful of moments of concern, but I knew he was properly equipped and as it turned out, I was correct.
Choose your gear wisely: There is tremendous quantity of unnecessary, useless junk on the industry. Speak to some seasoned hunters who have been out west to get some suggestions. Do not waste revenue on low cost gear – you do not save any revenue when you have to get it twice. Worse, it could let you down when you want it most. Do not scrimp on your boots, rain gear or sleeping bag.
Get a basic notion of what you want to carry with you and commence buying now.
Carry a survival kit: I presume you have your Ten Essentials along. But you want a tiny kit on your particular person at all instances. You may possibly get thrown from a horse, dump a canoe, or get separated from the rest of your gear. A tiny pocket kit can save your bacon.
Find out butchering expertise: If you are a effective hunter, at some point you will have to field dress a huge animal. This will involve gutting, and possibly skinning and quartering the animal to haul it out.
Find out this prior to hand. Watch Youtube videos, study books or improved but, watch an seasoned hunter or meat processor.
I’ve been in on processing a lot of deer and numerous elk, and have been carrying out all my personal meat cutting and wrapping for years. I know what I am carrying out.
At least I believed I did, till I met the pros.
I went to a Addy’s Custom Meats not too long ago to attempt out some hunting knives, and worked with a couple of actual pros. In an afternoon, it became apparent how a lot a lot more I could study. If there is a industrial meat processing industry in your region, give to perform for totally free to get some hands-on instruction. Take your hunting knife along and use it. This is a terrific likelihood to evaluate your blade.
Get a superior knife. This can not be more than emphasized. A low cost knife with crappy steel that need to continually be re-sharpened will make the field dressing activity drudgery. In the back nation, weight is a major deal, and you might only have space to carry a single knife.
Right here are a handful of other need to-have products:
- Carry a lightweight, folding saw. The saw and your hunting knife might be all you want to deal with a downed animal. Take game bags.
- Do not get a knife with a gut hook on the spine. IMO, gut hooks are unsafe to carry, and might snag on clothes or reduce your hand. If you feel you want a guthook, get a devoted a single that is not potentially unsafe.
- Make a pocket survival kit, and carry it on your particular person at all instances.
- If you are hunting public land, kill the 1st legal animal you see. If you are into trophy hunting, fine, but understand you might not see one more animal you can take. In truth, you might not see any game animals.
I have been a effective hunter in the 27 years I have pursued major game in the western mountains and deserts. Some years, I have even harvested animals. What’s western major game hunting like? Here’s the reality.
If this is your 1st trip, let me warn you: Western major game hunting is addictive. Go as soon as, and you will want to return.
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