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Joined: 02/08/2010
Posts: 22
first timer checklist

Hi Everyone, I will be going on my first DIY elk hunt this september 16th - 23rd and was looking for a little advice!!!! Does anyone have a checklist that they use or have generated over the years just to make sure i am not forgetting anything that i might need. Also not being from out west (PA) and only being out there a handful of times i am not sure what to expect weather wise? I know everyone tells me that the weather can snap at anytime and i will be prepared for that, but for the most part what kind of weather is typical of colorado (unit 47, elevation around 11,000) this time of year. Any advice would be great thanks a lot

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4249
Re: first timer checklist

Hunting or camping at 11,000' during September can get real interesting. You will experience anything from dry thunderstorms, rain, hail, sleet, and snow. Not to mention the occasional sunshine that will burn your skin to a crisp. As far as my checklist well that is something that I have put together over 30 years of hunting and most of it is just in plastic boxes in the garage that I just throw into the truck.

But a few of the thing are:

Good spare, electric tire inflater and plugging kit, 1 compleate oil change (oil and filter), spare fuel filter, ATF fulid, chains for all 4 tires with bungie straps for tensioners, High Lift jack, hydrolic jack, 2 20' tow chains, 4"x30' tow strap.

Hunting gear
Weapon of choice + extra ammo or arrows, shotgun and shells (birds are tasty), binoculars, minimum of 4 knifes and sharpener, pack saw, water proof matches, magnisum fire starter, small candle, waxed fire starting material, flashlight w/extra batteries.

Light clothes, heavy clothes, light jacket, heavey jacket, tenny runners or light water proof boots, insulated water proof boots, sweatshirts, baseball cap, wool beany cap, 2 pairs of glasses if you wear perscription, at least 2 pair of synthic long underwear both tops and bottoms.

Game Care
Saw, game bags (usually 8 for an elk if you have to pack it a long ways), rope, gambel and block and tackle.

Usually when I head out I am good for at least 10 days or more but this is really just a short list for me and I am sure that others will add to it as they read it.

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374
Re: first timer checklist

Is this your first DIY elk hunting trip or your very first elk hunting trip? I just have to ask in order to give the proper advise.

September at 11000ft in Colorado's high country can be real interesting as Critter said. You can expect anything from typical summer conditions (thunderstorms included) to cold fall like condition with snow. And yes, you heard right, the weather here in Colorado especially in the mountians can change dramatically in a short period of time. At that elevation I'd bring a good high number SPF sunblock along with a good boonie hat or some type of brimmed hat to keep the sun off. At that elevation exposed all day, the sun will burn you to the color of a red lobster if you don't have any protection. Along the "Front Range" I always consider September to be just an extention of summer because it generally is still summer like conditions through the month, but we can and do get some random days where a cold front comes through and brings the first mild taste of winter, but generally it's nothing too severe. Now, at 11000 ft it's a whole different story. Nights will be much colder, and when a cold front comes through you can get snow, but I would not expect anything in the sub-zero temperature range though, maybe not even in the teens. So what I'm saying is bring gear for both warm and cold conditions. Get in physical shape if you are not already. Don't take this advise lightly!! Coming up here from lowlands being out of shape, overweight, and just in not so good of health can be deadly when exerting yourself up here. At the very least it can completely make for a miserable trip. Being in peak physical condition (especially ay 11000ft) can really go a long way towards stalling the effects of altitude sickness, and even minimize it. I recommend lots of cardio type exercise. Running up stairs, tredmills, jogging, etc. You will be glad you did. Also keep well hydrated by drinking lots of water. Colorado is dry in general, but at 11000ft water eveporates out of your body much faster. Most people who come here from the south, midwest, or eastern states are always amazed at how dry and chapped their skin gets. Chapstick and lotion are a must, especially when it gets colder.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Re: first timer checklist

As a matter of fact I have done just that for my long range hunting day pack. Here is my list: (This is just the basics for survival and game cleaning at spot of kill. Doesn't include your camping list)

Eberlestock X2 back pack (which will pack a good deal of weight also)
Two nalgene water bottles (bladders in the summer time)
Military canteen cup
Toilet paper
Oatmeal packets in canteen cup
Granola bars
MRE (sometimes a dehydrated meal along with my back packing stove)
Extra socks
Extra gloves
Extra hoodie
Rope, approximately 50 ft, various diameters
Flashlight, and headlamp, with extra batteries
GPS, with extra batteries
Matches (Dipped in wax for waterproofness)
Carbon fire starters with birds nest and flint and steel
Cotton balls soaked in vasoline
Small first aid kit
Medical and electrical tape rolls
Wyoming Saw, Wyomine knife, cutco knife, gerber tool, pocket knife
Smiths Blade sharpener
Cheesecloth game bag (Canvas bags back at camp)
Emergency blanket, and disposable poncho
5x7 tarp
Water pur tabs (water filter in the summer)
Medication (I carry ibuprofen, tums, and immodium)
Extra Shells if rifle hunting

Camping list should include clothes you can layer from t-shirts to warm jackets, rain gear, and waterproof comfortable boots along with wool socks. Weather can be anywhere from 70 to 30 degrees. Be prepared for all of it. Don't forget binocs and a range finder if you have one. I also take a beenie just in case and a hat to keep the sun from frying my face. You know what I actually carry bug spray in my day pack now and scent eliminator spray. I guess I need to add those to my list.

Joined: 05/15/2010
Posts: 41
Re: first timer checklist

When it comes to the SPF, what kind do you guys recommend as being scent free? Don't know that smelling like a coconut umbrella drink is a good thing.

Location: Colorado
Joined: 08/03/2009
Posts: 32
Re: first timer checklist

There is a bug spray that Cabela's Carries called No Stinkin Bugs. It's made by scent shield and is supposed to contain DEET so should work for the bitin bugsa. As for sunscreen, lip balm and a wide brim hat, along with long sleeves and pants keeps the sun from gettin to you.

Joined: 06/13/2010
Posts: 36
Re: first timer checklist

I would start with some detailed topo and ownership maps of the area if you haven't already. 11000 ft is way up there! In planning your days I'd figure on averaging about half or less of your normal rate of travel because of the altitude and terrain. Are you going alone?

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374
Re: first timer checklist
bucmeister54 wrote:
When it comes to the SPF, what kind do you guys recommend as being scent free? Don't know that smelling like a coconut umbrella drink is a good thing.

The highest SPF you can find. Get anything fragrance free. There is a zinc oxide sun block paste that REI sells called Dermatone. I used it a lot when I skied a lot and back in the days when I used to climb 14ers. Dermatone now makes one for hunters it's product #2209 with scentblock or you also can use their other fragrance free stuff #2269 or #2277. https://www.dermatone.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=2&idproduct=4 I doubt that REI would sell the scentblock version, but I believe that Cabelas and Bass Pro sell the stuff, also a lot of fly fishing shops sell Dermatone products as well. Hope this helps.

Joined: 02/08/2010
Posts: 22
Re: first timer checklist

no i wont be going alone, ill be heading out with my brother

Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Meridian, Idaho
Joined: 04/16/2009
Posts: 662

Are you backpacking or hunting from a base camp?

Joined: 02/08/2010
Posts: 22


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