Looking back at the earlier years of my bowhunting adventures I remember it being so simple. My bivy hunts consisted of bow and arrows, reeds and grunt tube, knife, flashlight, canteen, game bags, one Albertsons bag including three cans of chili and six snickers, a $20.00 sleeping bag, a 6×6 tarp, and four bungee straps to attach everything to my aluminum pack frame. As long as I could scrape up the gas money and my 1980 Toyota 4×4 didn’t vapor-lock before I made it to the trailhead, I was living the dream.
I’m sure most of you would agree that things have changed a little. The archery industry has exploded and it has sure made things a lot less simple. Although I feel there are things happening that are taking away from the true essence of being a bowhunter there are many things that have been a blessing to my experiences. It is very easy to get caught up in all the gadgetry. I sure agree with Mark Cochran and his article about keeping it simple. Find what works well for you and stick with it. Donnie also had some great advice about being sure to take a “trial run” with all of your equipment. If possible, load that pack and hit the hills before season. You’ll learn a lot about your equipment, not to mention, your conditioning.
I think everyone should throw on a pack for at least a couple of nights. Bivy elk hunting has always been my favorite style and has played a big part in my success. I’ve spent many nights in my bag learning elk talk. This has not only helped me bring home back straps but has also helped recharged my psyche. I’ve always felt the closest to my creator in the high country.
I was going to give a specific gear list but after reading “Donnies Bivy Hunt Gear List” I didn’t think it was necessary. His list is right on track with mine. I would be happy to reply to any questions/comments on my specific gear. The bottom line is the more time you spend with the elk the more knowledgeable you will become, which will increase your success. Get out there and sleep with the elk….I can’t believe it’s only three weeks away!!!!! Good luck this year and God bless.