First off, I just want to take a second and say how truly honored I am to be a part of such an awesome group of guys. The Elk101.com Pro-Staff is made up of some of the most talented, dedicated, and accomplished elk hunters and callers in the world, and I am very excited for the knowledge I hope to gain from this experience!
I know that every elk hunter has a bag of tricks and a list of “go-to” gear in their arsenal and I’d like to take a few minutes and share some of mine.
Jackets and Pants:
So obviously my list is probably bigger than some, but much smaller than others and it is compiled of things I have at a ready, if their service is needed. Out of this list, here are my five favorites that I honestly could not do with out.
#1 would have to be my calls. Without them, I wouldn’t be hunting elk the way that I love to. Bugling Bull (IMO) makes the some of the best elk calls in the business. The diaphragms are consistent in sound and I seem to get a little more life out of them verses some of the others I’ve used in the past. My grunt tube started life out as a Bully Bull, which I really liked the sounds it made, but the problem I had with it was that with it’s ridged design. I always had to un-sling it to use it and that was quite fine most of the time, but in a close combat situation, I liked to be able to just lean my head down and throw a quick challenge at a bull without creating a bunch of movement. So I took an old Power bugle tube and added it to the neck of the bully bull and problem solved. By doing this, it improved the functionality and the sound that I got from this change was really something I liked.
#2 would defiantly be my bow. Although this year I am shooting a completely new set up, my confidence in my shooting has improved immensely and we all know not being confident when the moment of truth arrives can have a detrimental effect on the outcome of your hunt. This thing is a straight up shooter! Quiet, fast, forgiving and zero hand shock at the shot.
#3 on my list is my Minox binos. These things are on my chest at all times. I’ve honestly never owned a set of binoculars that could help me pick a part a heavily timbered hillside as well as these things. The light gathering traits of the glass and the strong, yet light build of these things are what optics dreams are made of.
#4 is my Core4element Element Jacket and Pants combo. I freakin’ love these two pieces of clothing. From 20 degrees to 80, I’m comfortable. The vent system in both the pants and jacket lets you breath if you start to heat up. They’re super quiet, strong and have a pretty decent resistance to water. I’ve been wearing C4E since 2011 these two have always been my go-to come rut time.
And last but not least, #5 would have to be my boots. I’ve owned a lot of boots over the years…some good , some not so good. That old saying, you get what you pay for really does mean something when it comes to hunting boots. Dropping cash on a new set of kicks every summer is not something I like doing. There are so many other fun things I’d like to have that I just can’t make myself do it. Last summer, I received a pair of Zamberlan boots from the dudes over at Extreme Elk and I can honestly say that I will never be able to skimp in the boot department again. The minute I strapped these suckers to my feet I fell in love. They were like walking on pillows, yet have an extremely rugged build that will easily stand up to anything this guy can throw at them. They are legitimately waterproof which is something I had only heard claims of from other boot companies I had bought from before and after miles and miles of chasing bulls, deer, bears and coyotes, they still feel and perform as good as the day I got them.
Basically, today’s archery elk hunter has a ton of options on gear…a never ending arsenal of weapons to choose from and you should defiantly try out as much as you can. I know I do! On that note, I’d like to thank the good lord for the fact that I have a wife that love to elk hunt as much as me!