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Joined: 03/13/2010
Posts: 18
What pants for mid-OCT Colorado Elk hunt?

I am going on a backpacking trip for Elk 1st rifle season in Colorado and have been getting together a lot of gear. I know weather can vary tremendously but was wondering what you guys find yourself wearing as bottoms the majority of the time when hunting Elk throughout the mountains. I have a couple great pairs of long underwear also have a waterprrof set of camo stuff as well as lot sof various weight pairs of wool socks.

Any ideas? I have seen some wool pants by Browning that looked promising.

exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2397
Re: What pants for mid-OCT Colorado Elk hunt?

Hard to go wrong with wool, as long as it's not too heavy. It doesn't make noise when you walk, usually very warm, but can be too warm for some people. My legs don't tend to get very cold, so I usually just go with light synthetic, water proof pants and thermals underneath, then ditch those if it gets too warm. 1st season isn't likely to have an extended cold period (yeah it can snow, but it probably won't get sub zero, and even the teens during the day is unlikely). But you have to know what kind of cold you can handle. When you hunt in Texas, what gets cold and bothersome first? Your fingers and toes normally right? Then maybe your ears and cheeks? Legs, arms and torso are pretty far down on the list for me if I'm dressed even remotely appropriately and am moving around. When I sit to watch a meadow, trail or whatever at dawn or dusk, I put an extra layer or two on.
Anyway, point is, I like lightweight, water proof, silent pants. Wool is great for later seasons or less active hunting styles. But that's me.

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374
Re: What pants for mid-OCT Colorado Elk hunt?

For Colorado hunts I usually wear Carhartt or Dickies canvas carpenter pants and in colder weather I layer them with a pair of lightweight fleece or polyprop long underpants for the conditions. In wet conditions you can bring along a pair of rain overpants or gortex waterproof shell pants to put over them. I usually go with heavy canvas pants because it withsands abrasion and shredding better than other materials, they provide your skin with better protection, and if it's not too wet of weather it's normally not a problem. They usually work well for me. In the Pacific Northwest I steer clear of canvas though.

Again, and I'm just throwning it out there, not telling you what to do, but are you sure you are going to be able to bring everything you'll safely need on an elk hunting trip by backpacking it into the Colorado high country in the latter part of October?? This sure isn't Texas, and the Colorado high country weather conditions are a lot different in mid summer compared to 1st rifle season.

Joined: 03/18/2009
Posts: 77
Re: What pants for mid-OCT Colorado Elk hunt?

I have been wearing the same pair of wool hunting pants for at least 15 years and love them,they work for me from 0 to about 50 deg don't think I have ever used long john with them if it gets colder than that I wear some old snowmobile pants. If the ones you buy have lots of pockets get suspenders as those pockets tend to get used a lot.

Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 610
Re: What pants for mid-OCT Colorado Elk hunt?

for a backpack hunt you want a lighter pant that you can layer. i seem to use the cablelas micro teck pant all year with no issues. I don't pull the wollies out anymore until deep snow in late november.
cloudveil makes a good one also, but are very spendy.