Well, I have to say that I'm a little disappointed with this article. For one thing, the first 12 paragraphs--fully half the article--are nothing but fluff. No useful information and too much forced, flowery prose to even be enjoyable reading.
Then I have a big problem with the criticism of wool as a clothing material. For one thing, he says wool loses its insulation factor when wet. That is simply not true. Of all the available materials, wool RETAINS its insulation ability when wet better than almost any others! Certainly better than the fleece that he recommends! He also says wool doesn't breathe. That, too, is simply and completely false. Wool breathes far better than Gore-Tex can ever hope to.
The drawbacks to wool are that it is heavy, that it requires special handling when being washed, and that it is not extremely durable. On the pro side, besides breathing well and being warm when wet as mentioned above, it is extremely quiet.
On balance, I consider it an excellent material for winter wear and use it for hunting, skiing, snowshoeing, winter camping... in other words, most wintertime activities--of which I participate in many.
This website has a lot of very informative and very well-written articles on it. This one needs some heavy-handed editing before it will measure up to the others.
I concur this article did not meet our usual standards. The fault mostly lies with us (the BGH editors) and not Steve (the author). Despite some reservations, we decided to run this piece any way because it offered some information that may be useful to the beginner; although, admittedly, it does not go far enough. In the future we will look at doing a more extensive article on preparing for a bighorn hunt.
You are correct about wool. Having used wool myself for many years, we should have caught this, but did not, and it will be edited for the sake of other readers.
For the record, it is cotton that will lose insulation (accelerated heat loss) when wet and not wool. Wool's superior feature is in fact the ability to retain heat and maintain a mostly constant heat loss whether wet or dry. Furthermore wool is breathable (which improves comfort) and meets or exceeds synthetic blends depending on the wool grade and manufacturing process.
Got my ram. Gosh - so much to say. Idaho Unit 27-1. Tough unit. Careful with zeroing for 300. Following the article and against the advice of an accomplished hunter friend, I zeroed for 300 and shot over an elk at 150 before the bighorn hunt. Re-zeroed for 200 and knew the ballistics out to 500. Took a ram at 315 with first shot. Be a good idea to not only know how bullet tracks at various range, but also the effects of shooting uphill and down.
Be able to travel light.
I used my daughter's Rug M77 Stainless 260 Rem caliber, compact version. You'll carry the gun the whole time - whether or not you get off a shot - so carry a gun you can carry (in tough terrain).
I wish I had more time to prepare for this hunt. I was notified in late November that I had won the Texas Grand Slam. The Bighorn hunt was the second week in January. Not near enough time to get ready for the altitude of 6200 feet and up and down Elephant Mountain.
The Desert Bighorn Ram was taken at Elephant Mountain WMA in Brewster County, TX Jan 14 2005.
First of all, if you haven't gone winter backpacking, it needs to happen in the near future. It puts a very unique twist on the summer version of the activity. Yes, it's cold but it's nothing that being prepared can't remedy. Beyond it's therapeutic and recreational value, I think it is a very good tool for the big game hunter as well. I don't think that you can spend too much time getting to know the ins and outs of the area that you hunt. And there is no better way to gain experience in...