Gear For Bowhunting Elk

When you tackle the wilds of the West, you better know YOUR stuff — and you better know your STUFF. In other words — you better have woods savvy, and you better know what gear to have.

Backcountry bowhunting for elk in rugged, wilderness country is something few hunters ever experience. Here’s the necessary gear to help increase your chances of success.

1. A three- to four-season, mountaineering quality tent;

2. A goose-down, mummy-style sleeping bag that is rated to around 10 degrees Fahrenheit;

3. A full-length, self-inflating sleeping pad;

4. A high-altitude, single-burner stove and fuel, aluminum cookware, water bottles and water purification pump;

5. Good footwear

Eddie Claypool

6. “Stuffable” rainwear and layerable, synthetic clothing.

7. Quality optics (binoculars, rangefinder and 35mm camera);

8. Sock hat, gloves;

9. Fanny pack (properly stocked);

10. Game bags, bone saw, knives and sharpeners; and,

11. Food is up to you, though think lightweight and high-calorie.

Outfitters such as “The Sportsman’s Guide” can get you geared-up for just such an outing. What’s the hold up?

“Shoot” Your Elk
One of the greatest regrets that I have from my 20-plus years of elk bowhunting comes from the fact that I didn’t adequately record the memories of many of my experiences on film. I can certainly vouch for the fact that the old adage, ” a picture is worth a thousand words,” couldn’t be more true. Start out on the right foot — shoot a lot of pictures, then shoot some more.

Don’t skimp on the quality of your camera. Personally, I wouldn’t settle for anything less than an excellent, full-size 35mm camera and lens. Get a good, lightweight tripod and shoot only top quality film.

Take a course and/or study as much as possible on how to be a good photographer. Experiment, keep notes and learn to take pride in what you’re doing. Store your negatives/slides for long term life and future reference. With time, you’ll see the rewards of your efforts. As you get older you’ll be very glad that you had the forethought to record your memories for all time.

For a fine assortment of Archery gear, click here.

Eddie Claypool provides weekly tips on bowhunting, with an emphasis on whitetails. Over the past dozen years, Claypool has harvested 23 Pope & Young recordbook whitetails. Six of the deer were taken on public ground, with the rest coming from private ground that he accessed through knocking on doors. He has not been guided on a hunt, or hunted on managed properties. He also has hunted many other species of game including elk and mule deer.

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