If you have spent any time on extended hunts — backcountry or not — you have experienced the grind. All of us go through it from time to time; some of us deal with it better than others. Those that can endure it have a chance to fill their tags on the last day. Those that surrender to the grind will never know what could have been.
As much as we love new gear, our budgets are limited. If you are a hunter that is looking to get into backcountry, backpack-style hunting, we wanted to discuss how we would shop for backpacking gear and make budget-minded decisions. In this episode, Mark and Steve discuss how they would spend $700-$800 to purchase a shelter, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, backpacking stove, water filtration system, a reliable light source, and footwear for western-style hunting.
I drew for a New Mexico archery elk tag in March 2015. It was my first elk tag. I worked my tail off in the gym, at the range, and in my garage bow shop, determined to hike into the mountains a predator. It took over 5 months of preparation and a full workweek of high-country hiking, with several tough lessons learned on the job to accomplish the goal...
If you want to effectively train for backcountry hunting in mountainous terrain, you need to train specifically for the demands of that pursuit. You are not a runner training for a marathon. You are not a powerlifter training to raise your lift total. You are not a Crossfitter training for a score. You are not a bodybuilder training to sculpt an aesthetic physique.
You are a hunter, and you should be training to hunt more effectively.
I have spent six years hunting elk on public land. I have learned new lessons on every trip, brought home new experiences each time, and thankfully, I also tagged-out 4 of those years. I am far from an expert, but as a regular do-it-yourself guy, I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned that could benefit other folks, like you, that are learning to hunt elk on public land.