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arrowflipper's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 01/03/2011
Posts: 578
Welcome to the site

Welcome to the site Bones.  Glad to have you aboard.  I think you'll find that most guys on this site are here to help you. 

You have picked a rifle well.  The dirty-ought-six is as versatile as any rifle out there.  The only thing I might suggest is to use good quality bullets.  There are a lot of them out there, so pick wisely.  I would use something in the 180 grain area and a good quality bullet, like the Nosler Partition or A-Frame. 

As far as binoculars, those may very well be one of the most important items you need to get.  As Critter said, buy the BEST you can afford.  This is an area not to skip on as you'll have those puppies up to your eyes a lot of the time.  $200 is a starting point, but you can spend a lot more.  If not, choose a good starting pair and start saving for better ones. 

Let me suggest a good pack.... Dwight Schuh puts out a unit that has a fanny pack and a day pack, both attached to an external frame.  They can be removed and the pack used to haul meat.  I have carried out several elk on this lightweight frame and couldn't be any happier.  If you can find one, they sell for around a hundred bucks.

Please find shoes that fit well and you can put a lot of miles on.  They can make or break your hunt.

Sounds like you are putting a lot of thought into this new adventure.  Stay tuned to this site and I'm sure some very knowledgeable people will help guide you in the right direction.

Welcome to our world.


Joined: 07/16/2011
Posts: 7
GooseHunter and ArrowFlipper

Thanks for the advise.

I will definately be getting a GPS.  I dont know why I forgot that in my first post!  As good as I am with a map/compass, a GPS is a huge time saver-but think as far as weight goes, I'll pack a map and compass as a backup still.  I will check the book out too.

I've tried a few different boots on, but think I'm gonna hold off on getting them for now.  My size is sold out at the stores I went to, and as I have a little time I'll probably pick them up this next spring and put some miles on them before my trip.


SGM's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Canon City, Colorado
Joined: 08/13/2011
Posts: 1147
Elk Hunting


Just saw your post and here is my 2 cents worth hope this helps you in your future hunts. Money can play a big role in gearing up for hunting so expect to send some. Having said that you do not need to go crazy and spend your lives savings. Most of us have collect our gear over the years. Most have learn from trial and error and most have wasted a few bucks on crap we thought we needed. I see you are a prior Marine but I will not hold that against you as I am currently active duty Army playing over in the sand box. I will get home just in time to hunt 3rd season so looking very forward to that. Thanks for your service and good hunting. You can still get left over cow tags and OTC bull tags for this year if you want to get out. Nothing like chasing elk in the high country and no better time than now to start. Even if you can get out for a weekend it will be worth it.

Your rifle will not be an issue. A 30-06 and your scope will be fine. Anything in .308 or larger is a good elk/deer gun. Remember it is a tool and you need to practice/train as you fight. Sighting in at the range is great but if you can get out and shoot like in the field it is even better.

Boots are one of the most important elk hunting pieces of equipment you can have. Get a good quality and comfortable boot. I like Irish Setters but there are several great brands out there. Get a boot that has good ankle support and will keep your feet warm but not so hot they sweat. You have to be the judge on this as you know your body and feet. Some like 400 grams some like 1000 grams. If you plan to do allot of walking I would go with 400-600. If you plan to sit more than 800-1000 might be a better choice. Boots need to be as water proof but as breathable as possible. Your old combat boots are great at camp but for the most part suck in the field. Also I never wear my hunting boots while in camp. Take them off, let them dry, air them out and wear another pair or whatever you like in camp.

Same goes for your hunting clothing. Get quality clothing that fits right and is comfortable. To me old BDUs work well but that is a choice you need to make. Layer your clothing for warmth but again make sure you can move freely. Take the time to change out of your hunting clothing into camp clothing. Try not to wear the same clothing more than one day due to scent. Do not wear your orange around the campfire and plan to go out in it the next day. See it at 80% of the camps during the season and makes no sense to me. Smelling like a fire is not going to help.

As for a knife I like a Wyoming blade to gut and skim my animals. It is small and compact and have quartered out many elk and deer with that little blade. I also like to carry a good quality 3-4 inch stainless steel folding knife for any number of jobs reasons that come up.. The Wyoming blades come with replacement blades and I always carry one or two with me. You will also want a good bone saw for cutting chest cavities open or separating the hips. I like a fixed blade saw about 10-12 inches long but there are several good folding ones on the market.

Packs, I use an old frame pack to help pack out meat after we get one down. Nothing fancy but you want something than can give you good support and has a waste belt. Just like when you were humping that big ruck, a belt is a real blessing. Do not forget to have straps or several feet or rope attached so you can tie your meat to the frame even if it has a pocket for the meat. Elk quarters have a way of shifting and moving allot. Now for the normal day of hunting I like a 2 or 3 chambered butt pack. A regular back pack starts to wear on your shoulders and builds up allot of sweat between it and you. Do not to have ever gadget that Cabelas or Bass Pro sells. Here is a list of what I carry in my pack. Twist ties to attach the tag to the critter, a pen for signing the tags once you get your animal down, water proof matches and fire starter kit, extra bullets, compass, TP inside two plastic zip locks to keep it dry, 4-6 lengths of cord/rope to hang meat if needed about 4-8 feet long, 4-6 game bags ( not the cheap cheese crap), hard candy and the small candy bars, a signal mirror, a whistle, and still have room for 2 of those box/foil drinks and even a sandwich.

Binoculars, don’t waste money on crap cheap ones. Get a good pair and they are about $200 or so. I like Nikon or Alpine but several companies make good optics. You can waste allot of money and not necessarily get a better pair. Do you home work and some research.

As years have gone on I found out a game cart is a great investment. Cannot use in wilderness areas but any other BLM or National Forest land it is good.

Getting a tag is not as hard as the rule book looks. Cow tag are easy and you can put in for first choice thru forth choice. If you want to get preference points for a premiere area then put in first choice preference point , second thru fourth for a cow. For the past several years you can get a butt load of left over cow tags so getting a tag is not an issue. Getting one in the unit you want can be more difficult. You might also consider getting a deer tag so you have two tags while out hunting. All deer tags are draw or left over so plan accordingly. If you ever plan to hunt other game such as moose, goat, big horn etc. start putting in for points now as it can take several years to get a tag. I have 11 preference points for moose and may not see a tag for several more years.

As for reading about elk hunting. There are probably 10,000 books on elk hunting and their habits. Books by Jim Zumbo are a good start. I would also consider joining Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and get their Bugle magazine. It is full of all kinds of good tips and helps support elk habit and conservation.

Well I hope this helps and remember we all started as newbie’s at some point in our hunting life so asking questions is a good start. Read all the comment as allot of these hunters bring up good ideas. You will find you own style and some things will fit your style better than others. What works well for one hunter may not work for someone else.