Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Backcountry Elk Hunt

Messages posted to thread:
Cowboy 08-Aug-17
Cowboy 08-Aug-17
Wojo14 08-Aug-17
longbowdave 08-Aug-17
CD 08-Aug-17
Shifty 08-Aug-17
Silverstreak Archer 08-Aug-17
Jim 08-Aug-17
Pa Steve 08-Aug-17
Cowboy 08-Aug-17
justinspicher 08-Aug-17
Cowboy 08-Aug-17
David McLendon 08-Aug-17
CD 08-Aug-17
Arrowflinger 08-Aug-17
Dubber 08-Aug-17
Cowboy 08-Aug-17
texbow2 08-Aug-17
Cowboy 08-Aug-17
stickhunter 08-Aug-17
Cowboy 08-Aug-17
WV Mountaineer 08-Aug-17
Bob Rowlands 08-Aug-17
limbwalker 08-Aug-17
Cowboy 08-Aug-17
limbwalker 08-Aug-17
GLF 08-Aug-17
Buglmin 08-Aug-17
Cowboy 08-Aug-17
hawkeye in PA 08-Aug-17
wTk 08-Aug-17
Cowboy 08-Aug-17
throwback 08-Aug-17
Cowboy 08-Aug-17
Longcruise 08-Aug-17
BATMAN 08-Aug-17
Cowboy 08-Aug-17
treepasser 09-Aug-17
Cowboy 09-Aug-17
treepasser 09-Aug-17
limbwalker 09-Aug-17
Cowboy 09-Aug-17
limbwalker 09-Aug-17
WV Mountaineer 09-Aug-17
Buglmin 09-Aug-17
WV Mountaineer 09-Aug-17
greyghost 09-Aug-17
Widow sax 09-Aug-17
Cowboy 09-Aug-17
raghorn 09-Aug-17
Cowboy 09-Aug-17
WV Mountaineer 09-Aug-17
Cowboy 09-Aug-17
limbwalker 09-Aug-17
Cowboy 10-Aug-17
Widow sax 10-Aug-17
Shifty 10-Aug-17
Widow sax 10-Aug-17
limbwalker 10-Aug-17
limbwalker 10-Aug-17
Cowboy 10-Aug-17
Widow sax 10-Aug-17
Widow sax 10-Aug-17
Widow sax 10-Aug-17
Cowboy 10-Aug-17
Widow sax 10-Aug-17
Cowboy 10-Aug-17
Nalajr 11-Aug-17
Cowboy 11-Aug-17
Paul 11-Aug-17
Cowboy 11-Aug-17
Widow sax 11-Aug-17
limbwalker 11-Aug-17
limbwalker 11-Aug-17
Paul 11-Aug-17
limbwalker 11-Aug-17
WV Mountaineer 11-Aug-17
Longcruise 11-Aug-17
Pdiddly 11-Aug-17
WV Mountaineer 11-Aug-17
limbwalker 12-Aug-17
Paul 12-Aug-17
Paul 12-Aug-17
Longcruise 12-Aug-17
Paul 12-Aug-17
justinspicher 12-Aug-17
Monte 12-Aug-17
Bob Rowlands 12-Aug-17
limbwalker 12-Aug-17
crookedstix 12-Aug-17
limbwalker 12-Aug-17
fdp 12-Aug-17
Cowboy 13-Aug-17
limbwalker 13-Aug-17
Shifty 13-Aug-17
Longcruise 13-Aug-17
Paul@thefort 13-Aug-17
Paul@thefort 13-Aug-17
limbwalker 13-Aug-17
justinspicher 13-Aug-17
justinspicher 13-Aug-17
Cowboy 14-Aug-17
limbwalker 14-Aug-17
Cowboy 14-Aug-17
limbwalker 15-Aug-17
treehermit 15-Aug-17
Cowboy 15-Aug-17
wifishkiller 16-Aug-17
wifishkiller 16-Aug-17
wifishkiller 16-Aug-17
limbwalker 16-Aug-17
Cowboy 17-Aug-17
Cowboy 19-Aug-17
From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Aug-17

Cowboy's embedded Photo



Getting ready for Colorado backcountry elk hunting. Been carrying my loaded pack the last two days, and I am pumped. 17 days and I will be headed to the mountains. Here is my current pack setup. I had another hunting pack setup but couldn't get enough in it so i modified this 5000 ci pack.

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Aug-17

Cowboy's embedded Photo



Well that picture was side ways. I will try another. Here is the bow I am taking. Vpa riser with win win carbon long carbon limbs. Gold tip arrows and 180gr zwicky broadheads

From: Wojo14
Date: 08-Aug-17




I am jealous. Good luck ~Wojo

From: longbowdave Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 08-Aug-17




I'm several shades of green myself (envy). Good luck Cowboy!

From: CD
Date: 08-Aug-17




Good luck and take LOTS of pictures!!!! We all want to see them when you get back!!

From: Shifty
Date: 08-Aug-17




Hey Hank do you like that quiver pretty well?

From: Silverstreak Archer
Date: 08-Aug-17




Good Luck Hank,

Wish I was doing it!

Chris

From: Jim Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Aug-17




Sweet! I'll be headed out on September 6 to hunt elk with my son. Can't wait.

From: Pa Steve
Date: 08-Aug-17




Best of luck on your adventure. That's one hunt I've always dreamed of doing someday. Shoot straight!!

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Aug-17




Thanks guys. Cliff, I just purchased this quiver a few days ago l, but I am very impressed. They are very well put together and extremely rigid. I have been thinking about buying one for several months but I didn't know if I would like the look on my bow, I always use great northern Quivers and love how the look, but this quiver looks pretty good. They balance the bow very well and are the most solid mounting Quiver i have seen.

From: justinspicher
Date: 08-Aug-17




Where are you headed to in Colorado? That pack looks extremely heavy!

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Aug-17

Cowboy's embedded Photo



I am going to the south San jaun, in southern Colorado. Right now it's about 40lbs. I walked 2.5 miles with it last night and it feels heavy. I am to narrow down exactly what I want to take. I will take a picture of it later on my back, it's not as big as it looks.

From: David McLendon
Date: 08-Aug-17




The more you carry it, the lighter it will get as you pull out what you really don't need. Take it on a few 5 milers and after that you'll have it pared down about right and your legs and lungs will improve tremendously.

From: CD
Date: 08-Aug-17




Oh... and to help see what it is like carrying a pack in the San Juans at altitude... breathe through coffee stir straws while you are toting your pack around. Trust me...

CD

From: Arrowflinger
Date: 08-Aug-17




I have back packed in the San Juans. It is not bad if you are in shape. I have been there twice. Good Luck!

From: Dubber
Date: 08-Aug-17




Hunt safe and have a good trip ,good luck

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Aug-17




I have been 2 other times, but I wasn't prepared physically and mentally. I made my mind up this year I was going to give my best effort to kill a elk. I have lost around 50 pounds and started walking Almost every day.

From: texbow2
Date: 08-Aug-17




I have that same Bison day pack and I love it, used it for 10 years now...........but I'd probably look for something lighter if I have to backpack it in.

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Aug-17




It is kinda heavy, I would feel lost without it though. They are the best day packs made.

From: stickhunter
Date: 08-Aug-17




Good luck out there Cowboy! Nothing I look forward to more than elk season each year.

I'll be headed to Idaho on September 8. Been out west hunting elk for the past 12-13 years. This season will. E the first time driving instead of flying. Makes it a lot easier to pack.

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Aug-17




It's only 14 hours driving for so I would much rather drive, it's to much trouble to fly unless you have to.

From: WV Mountaineer
Date: 08-Aug-17




A Kifaru frame and a mountain rambler is the best day pack made. And doubles as your hump in pack and meat hauler. No bison pack does that. :^).

Without food and water, that's getting pretty beefy at 40 lbs already. If you need a light tipi shelter, let me know. I'll send you mine. 9.5 ft by 9.5 ft. Weighs 1.9 pounds with guy lines and stakes. I have a ground cloth too. I don't know what you are using but that puts your shelter at 2 lbs. just send it back after your trip.

Good luck and God Bless

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 08-Aug-17




Good luck! God Bless!

From: limbwalker
Date: 08-Aug-17




Looks a lot like my backpacking gear.

Good luck to you Cowboy. I've hunted the San Juan's North of Durango the past 2 years, but this year I'll be West of Denver near the flat tops.

Heading up right after the Labor Day crowd clears out.

I plan to truck camp every other night and overnight up on the trail in between. But every year my plans have changed 2-3 days in, depending on what the elk are doing.

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Aug-17




Kifaru packs are awesome, I just couldn't fit one into my budget this year. I appreciate your offer on the tipi, I am going to weigh out my gear tonight and I may take you up on your offer. I have a few places i could still cut weight. Thanks for the support guys, and good luck to on your hunts this fall also. I am going out for opening week, it was the only time I could really get away. I was in the White river flat tops at CTAS and it is a nice area.

From: limbwalker
Date: 08-Aug-17




One word of advice...

Figure out how much water you drink and how to account for that. You can't always depend on reliable water in the San Juans, even if you have a filter. There are vast areas there that are dry as a bone and the springs and seeps are usually pretty high.

My buddy I hunted with the past 2 years drinks 2x as much water as I do on a day-long hunt at 10-11K feet. I could get by with my 3L Camelback, but he would empty his 3L bag before lunch, and then refill it with a 3L bottle he brought with him, and it would be empty by the time we got back to the truck in the evening. That meant his day pack was always about 7 lbs. heavier than mine starting out each day.

Water is not something you want to skimp on, esp. at altitude. Make sure you have that covered.

From: GLF
Date: 08-Aug-17




One reason people don't feel prepared is they camp low n hunt high. The area you camp is what altitude your blood will adapt to. If you hunt 2k ft higher you're not acclimated any longer. Camp at the level you hunt or higher if at all possible. You only become acclimated to the altitude your spend your time at such as in camp or lower. You'd be surprised the difference it makes.

From: Buglmin
Date: 08-Aug-17




Where abouts in the San Juans? Not many places north of town that you can go in over three or four miles without crossing over into 76... east of town, Rainbow trail, its abut seven miles to the bouandary, but the trail follows the river and the sides are steep.

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Aug-17




It's technically the south end of the Rio Grande national forest.

From: hawkeye in PA
Date: 08-Aug-17




Best of luck Cowboy. My first time out my packed weighed 72 pounds, packed a ten pound tent. Second trip around 50 and I've stayed around there. New tent, stove, sleeping bag, etc.

From: wTk
Date: 08-Aug-17




Cowboy find a way to get whatever you have hanging on the back of that pack either on top or on the bottom. I guarantee your shoulders and back will thank you. Nothing worse after wearing a pack for hours and feeling like someone is behind you pulling down and back on your pack.

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Aug-17




It's a bison gear day pack. I was going to carry a horn hunter pack that's around 3000 ci. I could still compress it down enough to day hunt and not have a big pack to carry all day. Unfortunately we are going in for enough days away from the truck that I couldn't carry enough stuff in that pack to get by. So I took this pack and made some adjustments and I think it's going to work okay.

From: throwback
Date: 08-Aug-17




Sounds like a good time to me. Best of luck Cowboy, hope you have the time of your life.

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Aug-17




Thanks throwback, I am super pumped up. I have been before but I didn't backpack hunt. For me the build up to a hunt is one of the best parts.

From: Longcruise
Date: 08-Aug-17




"One reason people don't feel prepared is they camp low n hunt high. The area you camp is what altitude your blood will adapt to. If you hunt 2k ft higher you're not acclimated any longer."

If you stay in the high country for the entire season your bodies blood might adjust a small degree but it takes longer than that to increase the red cell count to the point of any benefit.

Once you hit higher elevations it's too late to accommodate it. You are stuck with the level of preparation that you have done in the months leading up to your hunt.

Camping 1000 or 2000 feet below your hunting area isn't unwise because you will lose any degree of acclimation on a daily basis. It's unwise because you are hiking miles and thousand (s) of feet up to the hunt area. By the time you get there you have burned out a good bit of your physical capacity. You have a whole day ahead of you and you are down to 1/4 tank.

From: BATMAN Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Aug-17




COWBOY, If You run into KWIKDRAW, say HELLO! Get the camera ready! We wanna see LOTS of photos! STAY SAFE & BLESSED BE! Batman

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Aug-17




Will do batman. I am going to take lots of hunt pictures and hopefully some success pictures

From: treepasser
Date: 09-Aug-17




I'm heading down that way tomorrow to do a four day scout/backpack in the wilderness. Never been in South San Juan, so looking forward to this backpack. Probably bowhunt Sangres also some. good luck to ya.

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 09-Aug-17




I wish I didn't live so far I would love to spend a couple days scouting before season

From: treepasser
Date: 09-Aug-17




Well you know once the crowds show up everything will change anyway.

From: limbwalker
Date: 09-Aug-17




I'm lucky that I'll get to spend nearly a week scouting before my hunt. The first year we hunted the San Juans, we got there and immediately started hunting. Took us 4 days to find the elk and by then we were just about done and had to go home.

Last year, I got there a week early and found cows and other hunters all over the spot where the elk were the year before, so I ended up finding a new area, about 5 miles from the first and we were in elk the first day.

As for camping at the same elevation as you hunt, I'm not sure how important that really is if you're in decent shape. We camped at 9500 and hunted between 10,200 and 11,200 every day. I was in good shape, my buddy in decent shape, and we were fine. Just gotta take it easy and catch your breath from time to time, but you really don't want to go too fast up there anyway.

We pretty well hunted the same herd of elk for a week, and we saw them anywhere from 9700 to 11000 feet depending on the day. This was the 2nd week of Sept.

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 09-Aug-17




We are going to be camping fairly close to the same elevation we hunt so we don't have to go straight up every day. Limbwalker did either of you get a elk.

From: limbwalker
Date: 09-Aug-17




Not because we didn't have opportunities. LOL

Long story, but there should have been two dead elk our 2nd day last year. ha, ha. We had every opportunity a person could ask for on public land.

From: WV Mountaineer
Date: 09-Aug-17




I'll lend you a pack that'll do what you want as well. Serves as a great hauler and Day bag. I just need it back when you are done.

From: Buglmin
Date: 09-Aug-17




I agree with some guys on here, a bigger more comfortable pack is better. We run 2200 to 3000 cu. packs with load selves to haul out meat immediately. Can't carry much gear and haul out meat the first trip out, and it sucks trying to carry game bags out in your hands. It's warm there now, with not much rain so far. Flys are out and bad, so be prepared to get your meat out fast if your successful. I'm headed to Utah for a week before heading to Colorado. Got bear hunters coming in, stands to place and cameras to check and run. Good luck and be safe...

From: WV Mountaineer
Date: 09-Aug-17




While I'm at it, I'll send you a quilt too. You pay shipping both ways. As, I said before, I need them back as I'm heading out for 2nd rifle season. Pm me your phone number if you want to talk about it.

Don't take any of these offers as suggestions you don't have good stuff. I'm just trying to help you shed 10-12 pounds of stuff. It really does make a difference when you get north of 40 pounds total. In wear and tear on you, plus time. getting your base gear light really ups the quality of your effort and your hunt. Don't pack too many clothes. Go synthetic for base layers, etc.... if you'll do that, your finished weight counting food and water going in could be 50 or less. But, at the rate you are going, it's going to be in the 70 lb range. Big difference in 50 and 70 pounds.

Good luck and God Bless

From: greyghost
Date: 09-Aug-17




I'm leaving Sept 2 for Colorado Electric Mtn. for 16 days in back country.

Good Luck

From: Widow sax
Date: 09-Aug-17




7 or 8 years in a row I packed in did not go last year and not going this year my first time my pack looked like yours and it weight 55lbs I almost died getting that thing in. I would do something else before I would carry two packs in and like said before if you are on top is better. Two years ago when I went in for 7 days my pack weight 42lbs I think. You do not need as much as you think. I take one pound of carry weight of food per day and never go hungry. The pair of pants and shirt I wear in is the only pair I have a base layer pants and shirt, 3 pair socks, 1 spair pair underwear, jacket, rain jacket, light down coat, hat, gloves, face mask that is it clothing. You can wash socks and undies if you need base layer doubles as spair outerwear if needed and you can wear to sleep in. Tent, footprint, down bag, pillow,air mattress, and 1\2" pad for on top of mattress keeps cold air in mattress from you and if mattress deflates. Water bladder, Medical bag,survivel bag, utensils, stove and pot,spork,GPS,Maps,compass,knife,gamebags,paricord,calls,headlampx2 ,batteries. The best lightest waterbottles If your so incline is the bottle the water already comes in I carry two for my hike in that is all the water I carry in. A few odds and end stuff like a little whisky a shot or two before bed I never sleep good it helps. Last the most important Altitude adjustment the stuff is all natural and it works. Widow pm me if you have any questions

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 09-Aug-17




I am only going to be able to go for 7, 16 days will be a heck of a trip

From: raghorn
Date: 09-Aug-17




You have a plan for getting elk out?

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 09-Aug-17




We aren't going to be more than 5 or 6miles from the truck at most so we can pack one out reasonably quick.

From: WV Mountaineer
Date: 09-Aug-17




Cowboy, I'll call you tomorrow. I got home to late to do so tonight. God Bless

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 09-Aug-17




Sounds good

From: limbwalker
Date: 09-Aug-17




Widow's list is solid.

A downed elk 5-6 mi. from the truck is more work than I want to deal with. You must be in hella good shape.

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 10-Aug-17




I am hoping to get into some elk 3 to 4 miles in. I am not going to hunt places that we can't recover a animal from,

From: Widow sax
Date: 10-Aug-17

Widow sax's embedded Photo



This coming September will be 3 years since I got this one and he was 8 miles from the truck. He is the reason I have nightmares about getting one out. I could not budge him so i went back to camp to get my buddy. He was out for evening hunt so back to Elk I went i had to butcher and hang him by myself it's amazing what you can do when you have to I did not get done till 10:00pm and I was 2.5 miles from camp. I got lost on way back did not factor darkness for trip back to camp and in the dark I used my GPS to get back to trail to camp after I did not believe it and walk to the top of a mountain I have never been on before they are right you should believe them. To top it off when I got back to camp I realized my buddy was lost looking for me and had no GPS or compass. I could not live with myself if I did not go try and find him even if it is the wrong thing to do so two miles out I went we're I thought he may have been emergency whistle blowing it and yelling for him could not find him so I went back to camp. I did not get to bed till close to 2:00am and having walked 14 miles and butchered a Elk I was beat to say the least. When it go daylight my buddy figured out we're he was and came into camp at 7:00am I heard him and was very happy to see him. So I paid someone with horses to get him out it is a good I had made plans for recovery just in case. Widow

From: Shifty
Date: 10-Aug-17




Great Bull Darren!

From: Widow sax
Date: 10-Aug-17




Thanks Shifty. Widow

From: limbwalker
Date: 10-Aug-17




Widow, where do you even go these days to get 8 miles from the truck?

Glad it ended up okay for you, but I'm sure there were some scary moments in the meantime.

There are things I'm simply not willing to do when it comes to backcountry hunting, and killing an animal more than 3 miles in is one of them. I'm not going to pay for horses and I'm not going to walk more than 9 miles (making 6 with a heavy load) to get an animal out. Heck, if it's warm enough half the meat will start to spoil by then anyway.

I've seen enough elk within 1 mile of major highways - during the hunting season - to know this simply is not necessary. The idea of it may sound great sitting at my house typing on this machine, but in the real world it can turn into a life- threatening process real quick.

during 16 years of law enformcent, we were trained to focus on "going home safe" at the end of every day. I have the same mentality in the mounatins. I'm going to go home safe. If that means I never kill a bruiser way back in deep then so be it.

From: limbwalker
Date: 10-Aug-17




I'll add that if I were a single man, I may feel differently. But I'm not and IMO it's irresponsible for a father and husband to play games that could get them killed.

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 10-Aug-17




That's a hell of a bull, congratulations. There is a guy with horses close to were we hunt that will pack out elk for a fee. I figure if I do get one down in a place I can't pack out of I will be getting him.

From: Widow sax
Date: 10-Aug-17




Limbwalker all throw I am a father but no longer married I do try my best to be safe. Sometimes things happen not only in the mountain but just as or more likely can happen in civilization. You take precautions, be prepared, get in shape and do everything in your power to be safe can't and I don't want to live in fear of what could happen. Packing into the wilderness gets under your skin and is very exciting and fun. I don't fool myself about the dangers and I know time is ticking away fast and someday (it may be soon) I will not be able to do it. You are right you do not always have to go in deep to kill nice bulls and I am thinking more about that the older I get. Two years ago we hiked in 7miles it was not going to work there so 2 days latter we went to a different area we hiked 6 miles in those two hikes that close together were something i will never forget theey were brutle. I called 6x6 beauty and a 5x5 in at the same time unfortunately I missed both of them how do you do that I'm not sure but I did. The next day I called in a 5x5 was gun shy from day before and did not take the shot later that morning i called one into my friend he hit it a super facial wound no recovery. As tough as this hunt was it was worth it. Widow

From: Widow sax
Date: 10-Aug-17




Thanks Cowboy. Widow

From: Widow sax
Date: 10-Aug-17




O ya Cowboy and limbwalker that was thee 6th bull I got into that day it was a great day for sure most days are not like that. Widow

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 10-Aug-17




What weeks do you like the best. I am going opening week. Because that is what works for me to get away.

From: Widow sax
Date: 10-Aug-17




Hate opening week I hunted it once and will never again. I like the third week best but try to time it when there is no moon don't like full moon they go to bed very early in morning when full moon. I may go before or after third never first week some like it but not me. Besides being in shape I think learning how to call and know what you and they are saying is most important. Never underestimate hunting over water or wallows first week. Widow

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 10-Aug-17




I have been thinking wallows or water holes might be my best bet.

From: Nalajr
Date: 11-Aug-17




Seeing all these threads come up each fall makes me really want to go on one. I wouldn't mind if I couldn't hunt and just tagged along just to see the country and enjoy the camaraderie and campfires. I've never been out west and seen any elk country and never have been on a hunt like that either.

Maybe one day I'll get to go and see it all....maybe even hunt too.

Larry

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 11-Aug-17




If you want to go you just have to make it happen.

From: Paul
Date: 11-Aug-17

Paul's embedded Photo



This was what I carried on my first backcountry hunt.We were prepared to stay 6-7 days. It was a bit overdone but not too much. Lot's of work but so much fun. I wish you well!

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 11-Aug-17




What was your total weight

From: Widow sax
Date: 11-Aug-17




Paul we always carry our bow in our hands have seen bulls three times and a cow once while hiking in and out but hiking with poles is nice. Widow

From: limbwalker
Date: 11-Aug-17




Widow, well said and I understand completely where you're coming from. In my 20's I made some decisions like that (was still new to being a father and really didn't appreciate my full responsibility yet) and had some adventures that I'll never forget. Everyone needs to consider whether the risk is really worth the reward to them. I view offshore fishing the same way. I don't know how some guys with families can justify the things they do, but I suppose that's for them to decide.

From: limbwalker
Date: 11-Aug-17




"Seeing all these threads come up each fall makes me really want to go on one. I wouldn't mind if I couldn't hunt and just tagged along just to see the country and enjoy the camaraderie and campfires. I've never been out west and seen any elk country and never have been on a hunt like that either. Maybe one day I'll get to go and see it all....maybe even hunt too...Larry"

Larry, Cowboy has your answer

"If you want to go you just have to make it happen"

I had dreamed about elk hunting most of my adult life and finally in my mid-40's I realized I had wasted much of my fittest years just sitting and dreaming instead of doing. So I made a deal with a friend to split the cost of a license and we'd both go. When we got there, we drew straws to see who got to hunt, and the other person (in this case me) called and spotted and was there to haul out meat if we connected.

We didn't get an elk that year but I considered the price of half that tag to be my tuition into elk hunting 101. And it was a great week spent with a good friend in gorgeous country.

If the money is holding you back, just go and spend a week scouting and try and get into some elk. Hell, that's all most of us do even if we have a tag! LOL

It don't matter if you know anything at all when you get started. You will learn and have fun doing it. But first you just gotta go.

These days, my annual trip to Colorado is something I look forward to and plan for all year long. I try not to, but I occasionally kick myself for waiting so long to get started. I could be sitting here with 20+ years of elk hunting experience under my belt instead of 3.

From: Paul
Date: 11-Aug-17




My total weight with bow was 55 lbs. We hiked in almost 5 miles. Started at 10300 ft and camped close to 12000. It was a hard hunt and unfortunately we did not shoot an arrow. It was an amazing time though as we did have some close calls.

From: limbwalker
Date: 11-Aug-17




Paul, what were your overnight temps at 12K and what was your sleeping bag rated for?

From: WV Mountaineer
Date: 11-Aug-17




Paul, your lumbar pad is setting on your tail bone. Not your lumbar. Shortening that harness to get that lumbar pad up about 3-4 inches would make the same 55 pounds ride like 10 in comparison. Just sayin'.

From: Longcruise
Date: 11-Aug-17

Longcruise's embedded Photo



On a "normal" night at that time of year it's often warmer at 12,000' than at the bottom of the valley 3 or 4 thousand lower.

But, it's those abnormal nights with wind and a front coming through changes everything.

At 12,000 you are above Timberline in most situations so you are very exposed. Timberline runs around 11,200 to 11,500 in most of Colorado

The picture is typical.

From: Pdiddly
Date: 11-Aug-17




I put the pack on, then lean forward and hump the pack up while I cinch the shoulder straps to get the pack high on my back.

Then I do up the hip (lumbar) belt nice and tight while it is above my hips.

Then I slack off the shoulder straps until the pack settles where VW Mountaineer recommends, which is around the pelvic girdle, on the curve of the lumbar spine and above the hips.

If it's too low you can't walk properly as the belt interferes with your leg movement.

Every once in a while give it another lift and re-set the hip belt.

From: WV Mountaineer
Date: 11-Aug-17




If the pack isn't extremely heavy, simply tightening down the belt, when it is setting correctly on the lumbar of the back, lifts it off the shoulders automatically. Then, snug up the shoulder straps, loosely buckle the sternum strap if you have one, and roll. I agree that when it is heavy, I still do it mostly this way while bending slightly forward. I also agree, wearing one like Paul pictured will absolutely wear your hips out. And, make for a stiff neck and shoulders. Plus, you lose all load lifting angle too.

From: limbwalker
Date: 12-Aug-17




Longcruise, I learned the hard way how cold the bottom of a 9800' valley can be at night! LOL Didn't make that mistake again, and the next year we camped at 10K but not in a valley.

12K is getting pretty serious though. Lots can happen at that altitude.

From: Paul
Date: 12-Aug-17




The coldest was mid twenties. My bag was a zero bag. Didn't get co D.

From: Paul
Date: 12-Aug-17




Several nights were at 11350 but did spend some at 12000. We were in trees at 113500 .

From: Longcruise
Date: 12-Aug-17




Yeah, I camped at 9000 one night in August and it was 15 deg at sunrise.

From: Paul
Date: 12-Aug-17




WV I do know where to put the pack on and It may have been low as we were just talking a picture in our house. I think backpacking is just about half the fun of hunting! Combining the two makes for an Awesome time! I do have a newer, lighter pack and some better equipment now. This last year I made it for a 4-5 day camp hunt and was a lot lighter. Without my bowI was at 45 lbs.

From: justinspicher
Date: 12-Aug-17




After reading this thread I am extremely grateful that I live in a place where I can hunt elk within 30 minutes of home. Your pack makes my back hurt, I'm not sure I've carried much over 30 pounds out to the woods, even staying out for 10 or so days. Good luck to you guys heading out west to hunt, hope everyone shoots straights this season.

From: Monte
Date: 12-Aug-17




Limbwalker's comment on "if the money is holding you back, just go and spend a week and scout" is great advice. It still requires you to get in shape to hike, etc and that is a really good thing. That is what I do those years that I cannot justify the non-resident elk tags $$$. I sneak around and just enjoy the back country and the amazing "quietness" of it all.....at age 71.

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 12-Aug-17




In the last decade there have been incredible advances in light backpacking gear. Incredibly, it is now getting to be common to have a loaded pack at twenty five to thirty pounds, including food for a week. That's literally HALF the weight of a similar gear load out twenty years ago. Cuben fiber pack, tent, 800 fill down sleeping quilt, JetBoil, ti pot spoon etc. Of course, a full complement of new state of the art backpacking gear is incredibly expensive, about equivalent to having a dealership replacing the timing belt on your truck. lol No water weight and no weaponry, and accoutrements, included. I can't even imagine a pack that weighed twenty five pounds loaded for a week.

From: limbwalker
Date: 12-Aug-17




Best I've ever done is 30 lbs for 3 days. But it was warm.

Paul, I figured there was a down 0 degree bag involved in that trip. LOL

From: crookedstix
Date: 12-Aug-17




I was camped at around 11,200 in elk season last year, except when I was in my "office" re-hydrating and sending posts to Leatherwall.

The weather was gorgeous; around 28º in the mornings and 60-65º by mid-afternoon. I wasn't cold at any point during those two weeks. I certainly did drink a lot of water, which came from a spring close by my tent. I took plenty of electrolyte replacements as well, to keep the leg cramps at bay.

I know these guys on YouTube carry giant packs with them when they hunt..but I just took my bow and arrows, my camera, and a fanny pack with a snack and a bit of survival stuff. Saw lots of elk!

From: limbwalker
Date: 12-Aug-17




stix, I liked your office. ;) Need to visit there someday myself.

From: fdp
Date: 12-Aug-17




Ol'stix did have a cool office didn't he? I remember those pics..

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 13-Aug-17




I think the temps are still going to be fairly warm while I am there, I have been watching the weather and it's not supposed to get below the low 40's. Now that is for 1000 feet or so below where we are going to be hunting so it will be a little cooler but it shouldn't be to bad.

From: limbwalker
Date: 13-Aug-17




Cowboy, last year I was camped within about 10 mi. of Silverton, CO at 9600' - this time, not in a valley. The forecast for Silverton at night (roughly the same altitude but in a valley) was around 40 degrees. Every morning at my camp, on a South facing slope, I woke up to frost on my tent.

IOW-don't believe the forecasts in the mountains. I think a 0- degree down bag is probably the best insurance a person can have at those altitudes.

From: Shifty
Date: 13-Aug-17




limbwalker i love that area around Silverton I saw a good Bull Moose there last year and some good Bucks ,i was not hunting,just scouting around . I am there about every yr and 4 yrs ago i was a little north of the town with my dog and some thing scared the crap out of her( Lab -Border Collie mix)she slipped her collar and was gone back toward the car,i left too.Some good camping there on Mineral.

From: Longcruise
Date: 13-Aug-17




My brother in law is a PHD weather egg head who worked for National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder for many years and he told me that they could sit in Boulder and do accurate weather prediction for the US east of the Rockies but couldn't do very well predicting for the Colorado Rockies.

Over the years I've found that to be true so I just expect anything and everything. LOL.

From: Paul@thefort
Date: 13-Aug-17

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo



Hank, will be doing the same thing but in the Flat Tops and can hunt the total season with the stick. Will be hunting and spike camping at 10,200, a gain of 1400 ft from the truck in two miles. Looking forward to the quietness of the mountains and the bugle of elk. Good luck on your hunt. My best, Paul

From: Paul@thefort
Date: 13-Aug-17

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo



you got to love elk country

From: limbwalker
Date: 13-Aug-17




Indeed Paul. Indeed.

It's always worth the trouble. Always.

From: justinspicher
Date: 13-Aug-17




From: justinspicher
Date: 13-Aug-17

justinspicher's embedded Photo



From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 14-Aug-17




I have 11 days left and I wish it was tomorrow. The mountains are calling my name. I haven't worked this hard for something in a long time, and it feels really good. The only bad thing or good thing depending how you look at it is I have had to buy some new hunting clothes because I lost so much weight.

From: limbwalker
Date: 14-Aug-17




Good for you! I don't usually lose weight until I'm in the mountains. This time of year I'm putting on some much-needed muscle and my weight doesn't change very much. Then again, it might have something to do with no beer in elk camp. LOL

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 14-Aug-17




Well six months ago I was over 40 pounds heavier than I am now so I badly needed to lose weight. I think going elk hunting was just the motivation I needed.

From: limbwalker
Date: 15-Aug-17




Shifty, I think I saw that same bull moose. Got some great video of him thrashing an alder bush in fact.

Paul, what part of the tops you gonna be in? My son and I will be on the East side.

Cowboy, congrats to you on the weight loss. That has to feel like a win, regardless of whether you get an elk or not. I agree that elk hunting has changed me for the better as well. Maybe not 40# worth, but it does give me something to look forward to all year and a way to spend quality time with my son in the mountains. And you just can't put a price on that.

From: treehermit
Date: 15-Aug-17




What boots are you wearing for this hunt?

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 15-Aug-17




I have a pair of Lowa rangers that I broke in and I also have a pair of scarpas that I broke in this summer. The scarpas fit a little more perfectly to my foot and are slightly lighter so I will probably wear them. If I was going to buy a different pair I would get light hiker zamberlan or the light hiker Solomon.

From: wifishkiller
Date: 16-Aug-17




Getting close! [IMG]http://i.imgur.com/3oqlaJY.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i.imgur.com/KN0r2Sd.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i.imgur.com/415R8uA.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i.imgur.com/WSqk7vP.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i.imgur.com/TqQoFZq.jpg[/IMG]

From: wifishkiller
Date: 16-Aug-17




From: wifishkiller
Date: 16-Aug-17




We the first one didn't work, let's try again

From: limbwalker
Date: 16-Aug-17




You're killing me smalls...

3 more weeks for me.

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 17-Aug-17




I leave a week from tonight

From: Cowboy Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 19-Aug-17




I have 5 and half days left before I leave the anticipation is killing me. The one good thing is I run my own business and am covered up so it's making the time pass fairly quick.





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