Sighting-in & Rifles
Zero your rifle in at 200yds, or 3′ high at 100yds depending on your rifle. Your goal should be to shoot a 2″ group at 100yds consistently. Our average shots are 200yds with some shots exceeding 350yds. Know your bullet drop at 300, 400, & 500yds. It is helpful to have your bullet drop list taped on the rifle. Bi-pods, tri-pods and shooting sticks are not necessary. There is always a tree, log or rock to get a good rest on.
Some great elk rifles have been developed recently. Some of the most common are: .338, .300, .7mm, .270, .280, &.30-06. Remember, the airlines require a locking case and bullets need to be stored separately.
Scopes, Binoculars, Rangefinders & Slings
Rifle scopes recently have developed large objectives for light gathering situations and field of vision. The light that is collected from a 42mm objective is all the light your pupil can handle. Any larger an objective is merely for field of vision. A good size for the area we hunt is a 3×9 with a 42 objective. Binoculars around a 10-12 power with a 42+ objective works well. It’s nice to have a cover on the top for snow and debris. The CROOKED HORN Bino-System (or something similar) is recommended. It holds the binoculars close to your body, and putting this strap on under a coat keeps your binoculars dry and clean. Rangefinders are a key ingredient to accurate shooting. Being in a different environment and shooting at an animal that is 2.5 times the size of a whitetail can mean shots that come up short. A nice rifle sling to use is a padded elastic sling that absorbs the weight of the rifle. Make sure it is securely fastened to the gun.
Backpack & Fanny Packs
Some of our hunters put all they need in the saddlebags and don’t worry about a pack, this is personal preference. Know that if you load yourself down with all the gear you think you need in the backpack it can get cumbersome. You can tie an extra coat on to the back of your saddle and carry lunch, water, extra gloves, hat, etc. in saddle bags. You generally won’t find yourself too far away from your horses.
Clothing & Staying Warm
Believing all the marketing about what this type of material can do, and how you can’t survive without it can get expensive, capalene and Polypro claims it is easy to dry and you will die with out it. When I have moisture collecting on my body I want something to wick it off. With the ability to dry your clothes every night, the comfort, warmth and breathability cotton provides is hard to beat. Everyone is different and has different needs. It’s hard for me to replace wool, cotton, leather and silk. If you are the type that sweats a lot then you might consider some of the synthetic under-layers. I have found that they stink in a few days, they are cold, not breathable and uncomfortable. I couldn’t wait to get back into my cotton under-layer after the field test. Bring two pairs of gloves, two types of warm hats and heavy socks (smart wools). This is also person preference.
I recommend bringing 3 pairs of footwear: A lightweight slip on pair you can use around camp, a type of outdoor slipper; the second should be comparable to a gortex, leather, 200gram, 8′ high boot, you will probably use this the most; the third pair should be a 600-800 thinsulate leather sided boot, this is for the cold temps that you might encounter. All our saddles are equipped with over sized stirrups to accommodate some wider boots.