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TMF89

Well I Got The Tag, Now I Need The Gear!

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TMF89

Well I drew my buck tag! I now have a deer tag for Wyoming this fall, and I'll be going out and spending a few days with my uncle chasing after em! I know it's a deer hunt but this thread is more concerned with the gear/equipment aspect of it, so I put it in this forum.

I've only stand-hunted here in Minnesota before, so I have no equipment for an open-country/mountain hunt. I need boots, clothing, a pack, equipment, a gun, the whole sheebang!

Now I work in the outdoors industry thankfully, so I'm able to get some products at discounted prices. So that's why I won't be using a Remington 770 w/a Simmons scope and some Wal-Mart apparel!

For a rifle/scope I'm tentatively thinking a Sako A7 in a 25-06 with a Leupold scope of some sort, either a VX-1 or 2, probably in the generic 3-9 mag range? I'm Finnish myself, so that's part of the reason I like Sako. Also they're just really great guns, from what I've seen and heard. I might be able to be convinced to go with the 85 instead of the A7 if anyone can give me a pros/cons/differences list? Otherwise I'm open to other manufacturers as well.

I really like the lightweight recoil and ballistics of the 25-06, and I'm hoping to use this as a deer/varmint gun, and then get a larger caliber rifle later to work for bigger game. As far as the Leupold scope, I like the brand and the scopes from what I've seen in stores. Now obviously the point of these forums is discussion, so if you guys think there's something better out there for me let me know!

As far as clothing/footwear goes, I'm unfortunately a real heavy sweater, so I need the ultimate in breathable insulation. I was thinking about trying to pack in a extra layer or two so I can remove/add layers as I need to, thoughts on that? I'm looking at Scent Lok, Scent Blocker, Sitka, Rocky, and anything else you guys can suggest.

Looking at footwear, same deal. I do have slightly low circulation in my feet, so again the delima of keeping warm vs sweating strikes there. I'm thinking something in the 800g range, with a variety of wool socks and a poly liner?

As far as equipment goes, I'm thinking a small backpack along with a fanny pack? Gander Mountain makes a pack that holds your rifle, off the top of my head that sounds pretty sweet, find a pocket for a hydration bladder and I'm good to go? Do you guys think I'll need both a fanny pack and a backpack? Here are links to the packs I'm considering:

http://www.gandermountain.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?pdesc=Gander-M...

http://www.gandermountain.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?pdesc=Gander-M...

As far as other stuff, off the top of my head I would think rain gear, first aid stuff, a good knife or two, a set of lightweight gloves, and I would like to invest in a good range finder. Now I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff, and some of my assumptions and choices might not be the best, so please advise me on what you guys recommend when it comes to gear and a successful mountain hunt! Thanks for the help guys, I do appreciate it!

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HNTNBUX

10x42 binos

Backpack with external straps for clothing

Shooting sticks

GPS

Camera

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NoWiser

Congrats on the tag! Approximately where and when will you be hunting? That kind of determines what type of gear you will need.

For a base layer, you absolutely can not beat merino wool. For active hunting I would look for something around 190 weight or so. There are some really good deals to be had on it. I threw all of my other stuff out after I tried the merino. For an outer layer I wouldn't worry about scent blocker or anything like that. You want something that is comfortable, blocks the wind, and is water resistant and breathable. Sitka is a great choice, but is expensive. I purchased some Core4Element stuff for my elk hunt this fall and have been training with it and really like it a lot. Google Camofire and watch that site for good deals. No reason to pay full price for it.

Try to keep the clothes light and breathable, and layer them so you can adjust. You are going to sweat like crazy climbing up, and then will freeze while you are glassing if you don't dress right. Having an outer layer with windblocker would be helpful.

I personally would shy away from 800 gram boots unless you plan on sitting around a lot. On my mulie hunt last year I never sat anywhere more than an hour. 5-10 minutes glassing before moving on was more common. Uninsulated boots with good wool socks would have been more than adequate, even on the days where temperatures were in the teens with 40+mph winds. Whatever you do, buy the boots soon!! Try to put 50-60 miles on them before you go out there. The last thing you want is blisters......speaking of which, get some moleskin to put in your pack so you can apply to hot spots if you get any.

No need for a fanny pack AND day pack. Get a good, light day pack capable of throwing some deer quarters in and you will be good to go. You will want to keep this as light as you possibly can. Every pound hurts by the end of the day. Like HNTNBOX said, make sure you can strap some clothing to the outside. All I put in my pack are some alaskan game bags, gps, compass, lighter, knife, superglue (for cuts) flagging tape, maps, TP, shooting sticks, food, and water. If you can borrow a spotting scope, it can save you a LOT of miles of walking deciding if a buck is worth going after or not. Depending on where you live and when you head out there, I may have a pack that I can borrow you. Let me know if you are interested.

Your gun and caliber sound like great choices. No need for anything over a 9 power. Make sure you know where you are hitting from 0-400 yards.

Lastly, if you haven't started already, get in shape!! It will be a lot more fun if, when you get to the top of a hill, you can be glassing for deer right away rather than laying face down in the pine needles trying to catch your breath!!

I'm jealous, you are going to have a blast!! Good luck!!

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graf703

More details on the hunt would be nice. Altitude/terrain/weather is a big factor for what I'm willing to haul while hunting. I've hunted elk one season at 11,000-12,000 ft. I'm assuming this is mountain hunting?

I have a Tikka T3 Lite 300WM (Sako/Beretta owned). It's not real pretty, but it's one of the lightest out there and shoots sub MOA. If you've got the money for multiple rifles the 25-06 is fine. I might be a bigger fan of the 270 for versatility and ammo price. I've got friends that guide big game and their practical opinion is a wider bullet gives more knockdown power compared to a faster energy bullet. I'm a big fan of the TSX copper bullets for crazy penetration and wound channels from the petals.

Boots: Get a real mountaineering boot. Most guys in our group have older American made Danners. Don't get the china ones. Asolo look excellent too. The boot should be more or less a one piece leather with a very stiff sole. There are many other options. For insulation, I personally don't use more than really good wool socks. If you're active on the hunt at all I wouldn't go above 400 grams. Bring poly liners if your feet are sweaty as well.

Clothing. No Cotton. Not ever. It doesn't dry or breathe. Base layers of merino or of a synthetic poly are the way to go. Moisture wicking is essential. I have underarmour and like it, although the turtle neck makes me feel like I'm choking sometimes.

Pack: Once again, details would help for advice. Our hunt was high altitude out of an army tent. A fanny pack holds everything I need to want to carry. Small amount of food/candy, water, emergency blanket, whistle, compass, map, paracord, lighter, fire starter, 2 knives and a folding saw. Shoulder straps are nice to spread the weight around. Are you at a lodge, spike camp, or lightweight camp? Do you have a frame pack for the quarters?

Have fun and post back what you splurge on and how the hunt goes!

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TMF89

Hey guys thanks for the responses! I posted this both here and another forum, and forgot I posted here!

We'll be hunting in the Bighorn Mountains in NE Wyoming. It'll be a November hunt, and beyond that I can't tell you much! My uncle (who will be "guiding" me, he's the one with the cabin) is going to come visiting in a couple weeks, and I plan on grilling him for info then. Basically the area is roughly due West of the Twin Cities, so my mindset for now is like if I were hunting here, but spot-and-stalking instead of stand hunting. I realize that the higher elevation will make things colder, but it's about all I've got to go on for now. As far as breaking in my gear, I plan on putting plenty of miles on the boots by "hiking" around Apple Valley in the weeks prior to the hunt, and I also will try and test my clothing and pack here, so I can get an exact account of how my gear/body performs at certain temps and activity levels. Maybe I can shave a layer (or add one) of clothing before the trip even starts.

I've heard from a few people to use a lighter boot, so I'm thinking something with 400g of Thinsulate? Being an avid ice fisherman, my brain keeps trying to tell me more insulation=better, and convincing it that my activity levels will keep me warm is proving difficult! I'm thinking Danner or Lacrosse for a brand, I've heard a few bad things about Rockies, and while I like Irish Setter (since if I remember right they're a subdivision of Red Wing), a guy at work (I work for a certain national outdoor retailer in Eden Prairie) in the Footwear department said he would rank Irish Setters last out of the four brands.

I definitely plan on getting multiple rifles in the future, and plan on complimenting my 25-06 with a 7mm Mag at some point (probably right after I score that Elk tag lol). I'm not completely sold on the 25-06, but I like its ballistics, its lack of recoil. The first time I ever shot a gun, I was 10-12 and got handed a 12 gauge with some self-loaded shells by a guy who's roughly 6'6 and definitely a good amount over 200lbs. Got knocked on my silly-me and I've always been slightly gunshy (get it?) ever since! I realize that wider bullets like a 270 or obviously 30-06 will provide more take-down power, but I do plan on getting a second larger caliber rifle, and don't want it to be redundant. I'm also the kind of guy who hates buying the most popular brands, I'd much rather buy something a little less popular and be different from the mainstream. I plan on practicing plenty with the rifle.

As far as the actual model goes, I'm thinking I might downgrade to a Tikka Hunter SS, I like the wood/stainless combo, and I figure if I can get the same accuracy out to multiple hundreds of yards as the Sako for less, and invest that in a better scope, that's the proper route to take, right? As far as scopes I've seen both the Monarch and the VX-III and can't tell the difference. I can get the Monarch for cheaper, and really like the 2.5-10x zoom, less for stand hunting here in MN, and more for those long-range shots out west! I figure I can grab a pair of Leupold binos to compliment the Nikons. I'd also like a range finder as I'm terrible at guesstimating distances.

For clothing, I've kind of fell in love with the Sitka brand, besides its price I can't seem to find any other negative features, and the positive ones are showing up in droves. I've played with it myself and like how compact it is, both in the pack and on the body. I also love the idea of layering, since both sweat a lot and overheat easily. If anyone who has personal experience with Sitka would like to chime in and help me outfit myself, I'd appreciate it! I'm thinking a pair of Merino baselayers, a set of Core baselayers or one of their other lightweight models (forgot the name I'm trying to think of), a Kelvin jacket and pants, a vest of some sort, and then a lightweight jacket/pant combo for the outerlayer, either 90% or their Timberline pants (I like the suspenders). I know I'm missing a "shell layer", but those jackets/pants cost $500 each and I'm thinking I can wear my Cabela's Dry Plus packable raingear if it gets wet, and that other stuff should do fine in light snow/rain. Then next year I'll splurge and complete my set of clothing with some real outerlayers.

As far as a pack goes, I love the Sitka ones but spending hundreds and hundreds on a backpack is a little much for me. I like the Gander Mountain gun pack because it'll hold my rifle, but I'd love some other options if you guys have any specific models in mind.

Thanks again for the help guys, and I'll get you some more info on the hunt as soon as I get it myself!

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jeffreyd

if you look at the web site coueswhitetail they have some good stuff on there. I know the chick that runs it and is a deer biologist here in az. She hunts all over the us and they have some great stories and pictures on there. Good luck.

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gooseisland

The rifle you have chosen will be a great choice. 25/06 is a perfect open country rifle. Leupold optics and mounts and you'll be set. For boots I'd look at the Meindles at Cabelas. I have the "perfekt" hunters boots. Absolutly love them. Spend the money on good boots. Your feet will thank you! I bought a new eberlestock pack for my elk hunt this year. Another good option would be a badlands 2200. For clothing I bought a bunch of closeout Russel APX gear. Similar to Sitka. Sitka or kryptic or core4element are all great clothing options. Watch the site that nowiser suggested above for good deals on clothing. Good Luck!

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TMF89

Hey guys! Spent a week in Canada fishing, and my uncle came to visit so I grilled him on the hunt. He said the temps can be roughly 20-50 degrees, with chances of teens and also up into the 60s. I was going to get Sitka, but I found out that while I was in Canada they dropped from our special pricing program, putting them way out of my price range! I'm thinking now either Scent Blocker or Under Armour. Thoughts on either? I'm going to have to do some research, I had my Sitka outfit all planned out, and now I'm going to have to start from scratch!

Oh and I'm ordering my Tikka in 25-06 tomorrow when I go into work, I'm excited!

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NoWiser

See my post above and check out Core4Element if you really want the technical type clothing but don't want to drop a grand on it. If you take my advice above, you will not have to pay full price for them. Many who own Sitka like them as much or more. Under Armor you are paying for the name and their advertising, and there is no reason to have scent blocking clothes. Just my opinion.....

Also, like gooseisland mentioned, Russell made some very good clothing. They discontinued their hunting line so you can get some incredible deals if you can find it.

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gooseisland

Ill let you in on my secret. Google wingsupply. Look under their closeouts.

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