If you missed the live chat on our Forum last week, this blog is for you! You will find Guy’s answers to the best questions he got regarding “Gear for the Hunt.” So sit back, enjoy the gear chatter and maybe add a few things to your gear list for 2014!
Q: What do you think are the top three pieces of gear a new western hunter should have in their arsenal?
A: It depends a little bit on what you are hunting and where you are hunting, but in general, without a doubt, high quality optics is number one, then probably high quality clothing and boots. That’s without getting into camping gear and weapons of course. Good luck. -G
Q: I am taking my wife on her first elk hunt this fall. It is a private land, low country hunt. Do you have any gear recommendations that an experienced hunter may overlook for a first-time wife hunt? I want her to be comfortable and enjoy the hunt so I am trying to think of everything.
A: Good call. My wife and I hunted together for the first time a few years ago, and it was a little bit of an eye opener for me. I got her some good gear from Prois, and it worked great. She was glad I did after the hunt was over. Make sure you get her some warm gear, for some reason women are always colder in the outdoors than guys are. A good pair of smaller binos is a great idea also. I got my wife a pair of Zeiss 10X32s and she loves them. The 42 are too big and she doesn’t like the size and weight around her neck. Good luck on the elk hunt. -G
Q: What is your opinion on a tent with no floor?
A: That’s a good question. I actually have a Kifaru Tipi with no floor that I used to use a lot and spent a lot of time in some very nasty weather in AK in a Black Diamond. They have their pros and cons. The pros are they are quick, easy and light. The cons – you will pay the price with bugs, moisture and cold. A walled tent is much more efficient and can gain you up to 20 degrees in temperature. The no–floor tents are colder until the snow covers the edges. And sometimes you can end up with a creek or a puddle in the middle if you don’t pitch it right or get the wrong kind of weather. I think they work great in early season or on a sheep hunt where weight is super critical. Even in a floorless tent I started carrying a tarp to use as a floor, but then the point of weight savings is kind of negated. G-
Q: Guy, what is your preference on boot insoles?
A: I think there are three to really consider: SuperFeet, Sole and Kenetrek. I have used them all at least a little bit. I liked the Soles the best until I used the Kenetrek insoles. I’ve since switched to the Kenetreks and have had great luck with them. It is probably personal preference though. I still do run in the Soles but they don’t seem to be designed quite right for heavy loads and unstable ground. -G
Q: When packing a bull out of the backcountry (say 4-5 miles from the nearest road w/o horses) in September when it can get to 75 degrees or warmer how do you keep your meat fresh? I usually hang mine in game bags in the shade and try to get it out as quickly as my legs can take me. I normally have 1-2 people to help pack out but it still takes a couple trips. Do you use spray to keep the flies off? Sleeping bags to keep it cool?
A: That’s always a tough situation. I hang my elk quarters on the north side of a tree down in as deep of a dark creek bottom as I can find, then haul it out to the truck piece by piece and put it in a Yeti cooler with ice in the shade. The main thing to remember is to get the meat cooled down below 50 degrees and keep the sun off of it. Throw it in the creek if you have to. Did that once, and used a snow bank twice to throw it in. Once that animal is down, meat care becomes number one!!! -G
Q: What is your opinion of using high powered binoculars (15x) instead of a spotting scope for hunting high mountain mule deer and elk?
A: I use a spotting scope. I don’t like the weight of those big monster binos, and it seems like 15X is just never enough. -G
Thanks to everyone who participated! The entire live chat can be found HERE. We are looking forward to next live chat where Guy will answer all of your questions about Wyoming Deer and Antelope!