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Joined: 04/06/2009
Posts: 4
needing some help....Elk Hunting Rookie

i jsut found this site and it looks good so hope to get some info if i could

my brother and i are planning a trip out to CO this year elk hunting...this will be my first time but he has been out there a few times
we are buying our tags OTC setting up a base camp in unit 421 and going to hike back a ways somewhere and set up a Spike camp to try and get away from as many people as we can and hopefully get a chance at a Bull or cow.....heres the questions...neither of us have ever set up a spike camp like this...on previous hunts out there he has always hunted out of base camp...so we are lookign for some good tents to start with....here are the 2 we are looking at......we are going in Sept during Archery season

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp;jsessionid=5I...

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_...

we have most of our other gear narrowed down on what we are going to get and we are not rookies to normal camping haveing done it for deer and so on but never spiked out before....so hopefully someone here will have some info on this for us

Thanks in advance
Luke

Critter's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3894
needing some help....Elk Hunting Rookie

The big thing to remember is that you are going to be packing it in on your back and need to conserve weight. If each of you are going to buy one then the one from BassPro will work, but if you only buy one then the one from Cabela's is the way to go. One thing about Colorado weather is that you can not predict it. There is usually a good snow storm during archery season that can affect the small tent camper. Back in my younger days 30 years ago I only took a canvas tarp and an old GI mummy bag along with some nylon cord with an intent to sleep with the elk.

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Joined: 04/06/2009
Posts: 4
needing some help....Elk Hunting Rookie

one thing we are planning on doing is taking a tarp that we can tie up to a tree and make a lean to type deal and put the tents under it to keep as much of the weather off of us as possible...i know the weather is really un predictable but im thinkin of just goin with the solo tent to save weight

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Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Joined: 09/05/2007
Posts: 98
needing some help....Elk Hunting Rookie

Sounds like a great adventure. Keep in mind the weather at all costs. I have hunted from a stake camp like you intend to do. The reason to stake camp is to remain mobile. If the elk are not where you are then you relocate. You should have a tent with a fly that goes all the way to the ground.

http://www.backcountry.com/store/KEL0549/Kelty-Gunnison-31-Tent-3-Person-3-Season.html?RSC_ID=WR_KEL0549

This one was just rated best value by the people at Backpacker Magazine and it is for sure better than the ones you are considering. It has a vestibule for keeping things like muddy boots outside. They could freeze but you can protect your stuff in this area. You can find it cheaper on line. I bought one and love it. Make sure to get the footprint. It is light and tough. I dont recommend the single tent. Too hard to get dressed and you won't really save that much weight if you share the parts with your partner.

You should really be considering what happens if you get a bull! If you are in a remote area, it will be a huge challenge getting it out. I recommend finding someone local to where you are going that has pack horses. Contact them well in advance to see if they will be available for hire if you need them. Get a price and a back-up plan. A bull elk is about 6 pack loads even if boned. That leads to the pack itself. You need a pack with a detachable external frame designed for loads like meat. There are some really good ones. If things get too expensive, then consider renting. It is better to have first rate equipment no matter what.Do everything you can to save weight. Start getting into tip top shape now!

Last but not least, carry a GPS with a map screen. This is the one place I don't worry about weight. Carry plenty of batteries. You will be hiking in the dark and you will need it to find your camp in strange country at night. You will also need it to find your downed elk if you have to return for pack loads after the snow starts!

Good luck! You are welcome to send me private message through this site if you wish.

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Joined: 04/06/2009
Posts: 4
needing some help....Elk Hunting Rookie

thanks a bunch Full Draw....you put up some valid points...the area we are planning on staying at there is and outfitter there fairly close that will pack your meat out with horses for a price if you get it to the trail head....i have a Badlands 2200 pack coming in the mail here soon...we are starting to get some of the stuff together and its comming together well so far..jsut a lot of stuff i dont know much about since i have never been....brother has been out there a few times but never set out and put up a spike camp. so we are getting all kinds of info that we can and again really appriciate the info

Critter's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3894
needing some help....Elk Hunting Rookie

One thing that you do need to look for is some good quality game bags. Not the one time throw away type but the good cotton canvas ones. When you do get an animal you are going to have to deal with 200-400 lbs of boned out meat. The heaver canvas bags will allow you to hang it in a tree to cool out and still protect the meat. What ever you do do not use plastic for any length of time since it will hold the heat in and start to spoil the meat.

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Joined: 04/06/2009
Posts: 4
needing some help....Elk Hunting Rookie

OK after a lot of researchin and lookin i think i finally have my tent picked out...i am gonna go with the kelty Gunnison 2.1....reason i picked this one was it was close to my price range that i wanted i found it for $160...it also has a larger vestibule that i can keep gear under on each side of the tent...it still at a decent weight at a packaged weight of just over 5lbs 9 Oz

i was going to get the Kelty Teton 2 but when comparing the 2 of them kelty lists the Teton 2 as a trail tent and the Gunnison 2.1 a backcountry tent...and at close to the same weight with the larger Vestibule and being able to store most of all of my Backcountry gear this one fit the bill much better than the Teton 2 so hopefully it will work for me

Centennial's picture
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Location: Front Range, CO
Joined: 10/12/2006
Posts: 55
needing some help....Elk Hunting Rookie

Champ, hope I am not to late but go with the Gunnison 4. If it's the two of you, the G2 wont be big enough even with the vestibule if you get any kind of weather. I have a G4 and it's about the perfect two person backpacking hunting tent. I use mine to hunt deer in Nov and elk in Sept and have never regretted the little extra weight. I like it so much, that I replaced it with the exact same thing after a bear destroyed my first one in 06. Ironicaly, I was bear hunting.

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Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Joined: 09/05/2007
Posts: 98
needing some help....Elk Hunting Rookie

I agree, the 2 man is small. Save the weight somewhere else.

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Joined: 04/23/2009
Posts: 1
needing some help....Elk Hunting Rookie
Critter wrote:
The big thing to remember is that you are going to be packing it in on your back and need to conserve weight. If each of you are going to buy one then the one from BassPro will work, but if you only buy one then the one from Cabela's is the way to go. One thing about Colorado weather is that you can not predict it. There is usually a good snow storm during archery season that can affect the small tent camper. Back in my younger days 30 years ago I only took a canvas tarp and an old GI mummy bag along with some nylon cord with an intent to sleep with the elk.

its right you made some preparation on your camping site

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Location: South Florida
Joined: 04/28/2009
Posts: 18
needing some help....Elk Hunting Rookie

I think you made a wise choice with the tent. One factor that was not mention was keeping your scent down. Now that you have identified a tent with an area to store you gear, you can limit sweating and sleeping in your hunting clothes.

Hopefully the can be sprayed down with a scent killer and aired out a bit between hunts.

Although an avid white-tail hunter, I too, am planning my first Colorado First Rifle Season hunt.

Half the fun is in the planning.

Best of luck

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