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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys... Like I previously have stated before, I'm brand new to elk hunting. Giving it my first shot this year with an OTC Any Bull tag. As I get ready for the season, I've got a question for you all (and no, it's not asking where to find the elk. I've lurked on here long enough to know how that gets answered ;-) )

I recently got myself a big back pack with a removable frame for hauling the elk after I shoot it. I was wondering what you all consider to be pack essentials. What do I need in my pack while I'm out on an elk hunt? Food? Hatchet? First aid kit? What do you guys carry out on the mountains?

Thanks!
 

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just going over it in my mind....in my pack----

Always:

medical supplies (ab pads, tape, gauze, mole skin, super glue, etc)
space blanket
fire starter
snacks
water (ideally in an msr bag w/ air bled out for noise reduction)
toilet paper
wind detector



Most of the time:

optics (situation dependant)
2 lite knives
Tag bags (part of a B.O.M.B. pack and 2 quarter bags)
7-10mm nitrile gloves
25' para cord
duct tape
zip ties
voile ski straps (18-24")
flagging - (marking a kill or LZ designation)
reflective surface (signal mirror, cell phone light. etc)
cow call
zip loc bag (keeps paper dry, pack out trash)
pouch of tuna

on occasion:

tent
sleeping bag
sleeping mat
backup socks

there's more but you get the idea
 

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for day hunts here's my list

5 large pillow cases
2 knives
1 knife sharpener
lighters and matches
parachute cord
safety blanket
compass
head lamp and flashlight
Rain gear, beanie, gloves
food & water for the day
camera and extra batteries

from there it's all weather dependent.

with that kit you can make a fire and spend the night no matter the weather.

hope you smoke a nice bull up there and don't forget to post some pics here when you get back :)

cheers,
pete
 

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Welcome to the forum, SkyRider. Just so you know, it is perfectly acceptable to ask where to find elk. You just have to find a clever way to disguise your intentions. Example: "If one were to 'hypothetically' go on his first OTC any bull elk hunt this year where would you go that would give you your best chance at a bull?" If anybody else comes to the forum and asks where to find elk, however, you must make sure to castigate them with zealous piety.

You have already been given some good advice in this thread. Back in 2011 my brother and I shot a young raghorn bull a looooong way from any roads and were not able to make it back to the ATV before dark. We spent a long, uncomfortable night "sleeping" on a rocky creek bed. It's a good thing you are already thinking about making adequate preparations!
 

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One thing I will add that I don't believe has been mentioned yet is ropes and game bags. If you shoot a bull in a remote location late in the day and can't get it packed out by dark it is cool enough in the mountains by October to quarter your elk and hang it in the trees. I usually let my elk and deer hang for a week to 10 days before cutting them up unless it is killed during the bow hunt because the temps are just still too freakin' hot that early in the year.
 

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In addition to what you have in your pack you need to get in shape before the hunt begins, I personally will drop about 8 pounds in the next 6 weeks going on some hikes up in the hills, adding about 5 pounds each week to my pack.
 

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One should ease into any exercise regimen, if you train too hard too soon you can easily become disabled and a person with a disability will be unable to hunt deep in the backcountry.

I had some game bags made for me out of old army sheets. A relative has a sewing machine serger and I made about 10 of them to size. I found pillow cases were too small (I only kill elk with huge quarters. :grin: ) I also had the opening edge made with a parachute cord cinch downs. They protect the meat while letting it breath. Also get some fire steel as backup fire starter. Google it, it's good stuff. Iodine tablets are lite weight and will purify your water if you need more than what u carry--I usually only carry 1 liter.

I find backpacks, even day packs to be cumbersome to carry on a day hunt. I have a large fannypack that I sewed backpack straps on that I can carry comfortably all day. It doesnt get caught up in trees as I work through thick stuff and it fits everything i need to carry which is pretty much C3's list. I can rig up a quarter to haul back using the shoulder straps if needs be. Usually I just put the bagged up quarters in the shade and come back with the horses later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
APD and C3, thanks for the input! I have (or will have in the near future) most of the items you've mentioned, however you did bring up a couple that I didn't think of.

I want to use the pack for mostly day use. I'll also bring a sleeping bag/pad in case I happen to get stuck sleeping on a creek bed like colorcountrygunner ;) Oh, and by the way... If one were to 'hypothetically' go on his first OTC any bull elk hunt this year where would you go that would give you your best chance at a bull? Any suggestions CCG? Haha, I'm just kidding. I'm planning on hitting the south slope of the Unitas with a buddy this fall. Hopefully we run into an elk or two.

As far as getting in shape goes, I already play rec league hockey and have a soccer team I play on. I try to play 2-3 times a week or more. Now that it's August, my buddy and I both have a bit more free time so we'll spend some more time scouting and getting into hunting shape (which is different than sprinting shape for sports). I should be able to transition fairly easily! Well... I hope anyway.

Guys, I really appreciate all the advice. It's a bit overwhelming to chase down your first elk without any experience or anyone with experience coming with you. Hopefully I'll be one of the lucky rookies and tag one this year. Beginner's luck is still a thing, right?
 

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Check the weather before you go....precipitation plus a chance of the temperature going under freezing has made for some legendary freak snow storms in the Uintas in the fall.

Edit: Getting top of the page is unintentional, honest....I need to start counting posts so I stop doing this.
 

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As far as getting in shape goes, I already play rec league hockey and have a soccer team I play on. I try to play 2-3 times a week or more. Now that it's August, my buddy and I both have a bit more free time so we'll spend some more time scouting and getting into hunting shape (which is different than sprinting shape for sports). I should be able to transition fairly easily! Well... I hope anyway.
don't forget to get your feet in shape. break in your hiking boots or develop the calluses before you go on your hunt. lots of miles in the mountains are different than running back an forth in comfy shoes.
 

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My advice is to enjoy the ride of your first elk hunt. It can take years to learn a new area and if the kill is all you are looking for you may find the hunt "lacking". I hunted the South Slope for 3 years before I saw my first elk. It can be a tough place to hunt-- until you learn what the elk do. I've killed lots of bulls after seeing my first elk and you can too.

Advice I'd offer is Oct in the Uintas can be crazy. Elk camp has been 70 degrees down to minus 15. Dry leaves to 18" of snow. I'm talking about at the truck. So be prepared for whatever. Another issue with some areas of the South Slope is downhill can lead to uphill and the timber can be so tight a guy has a hard time with directions. More than once I found myself turned around and more than a dozen times I've given help to people who were lost. I like to pack rope and game bags along with some emergency essentials.
 

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My advice is to enjoy the ride of your first elk hunt. It can take years to learn a new area and if the kill is all you are looking for you may find the hunt "lacking". I hunted the South Slope for 3 years before I saw my first elk. It can be a tough place to hunt-- until you learn what the elk do. I've killed lots of bulls after seeing my first elk and you can too.

Advice I'd offer is Oct in the Uintas can be crazy. Elk camp has been 70 degrees down to minus 15. Dry leaves to 18" of snow. I'm talking about at the truck. So be prepared for whatever. Another issue with some areas of the South Slope is downhill can lead to uphill and the timber can be so tight a guy has a hard time with directions. More than once I found myself turned around and more than a dozen times I've given help to people who were lost. I like to pack rope and game bags along with some emergency essentials.
I'll add to this a roll of that orange nylon ribbon they use for tying around tree limbs, works great for marking a trail and can be seen from 100 yards away.
 

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I'll add to this a roll of that orange nylon ribbon they use for tying around tree limbs, works great for marking a trail and can be seen from 100 yards away.
I heard that bread crumbs work really well for marking your trail through the woods, and they are biodegradable :D
 

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Check the weather before you go....precipitation plus a chance of the temperature going under freezing has made for some legendary freak snow storms in the Uintas in the fall.

Edit: Getting top of the page is unintentional, honest....I need to start counting posts so I stop doing this.
I think top of the page counts in creds:mrgreen:
 

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