Here's a video that explains how and what I'm packing for 2 weeks out West in October. I have an elk tag for 1st Rifle in Colorado. I'm hunting a new area there and I'm excited to explore new country. This year I'm also extending my trip to include an Elk and Mule Deer combo hunt in Montana. On that hunt I'm excited as I'm taking a person who is very fit, likes to hike, is concerned with where his food comes from, but is not a hunter. Actually, this will be his first hunt and I'm very happy to share my passion of the outdoors and how i feel connected to the land and the animals. One of my goals is to be an advocate for hunting in way that non-hunters could see as being respectful of the game and the land they inhabit. I may not be able to convert someone into a hunter but If they are willing to go along for the journey. Maybe, just maybe they will decide to see hunting in a different light. If so, I can say that I'm helping to do my part.
One of the best ways to prepare for your hunts/hikes is to practice just like anything else. The practice and preparation is spending time on your feet with a weighted pack. I hike year round and will vary my training regimen. I like to peak my strength and stamina in September. I want to be ready for all my fall hunts and usually the hunts themselves will be the challenge. This year I started preparing for my October elk and mule deer hunts by hiking with 30-45 pounds 3-4 times a week. I then made incremental increases moving to 50 pounds for several weeks. During late July and the month of August I have been doing almost all of my hikes with 65-70 pounds. I have also increased my mileage to doing 5 mile hikes 3 times a week. Over the next month I will actually drop my weight back down to 45-50 and maybe 40 and will be doing a lot of hill repeats on a local sledding hill. What I'm really trying to do is mimic the activities that I will see in the mountains. Since, we really only have hills in Michigan you have to take what you got and work with it. The pack that I'm using is Mystery Ranch Metcalf. I've been really impressed and will do another video in the next week or so really doing a deep dive.
I started using a tripod to glass with my binoculars a couple of years ago. Man, was this a game changer. Even when you think you're still free-handing, there's a good bit of movement. Sitting behind the glass without touching the binoculars allows your eyes to really do the work. Here's a video that I put together to show one of the adapters that I've been using. This is the one that I'll be using this year in Colorado and Montana.
I spent 6 days chasing Turkeys on Public Land in Michigan. I had several close encounter and almost closed the deal on Saturday morning. I may not have got a bird but I still learned a lot. One of the biggest lessons was to let it happen in the moment. I was hunting before work 4 of those days so I had a time crunch. Saturday, though, I should have been more patient. I forced some things that I should have allowed to play out. This is probably why I didn't get a bird. I was probably too aggressive. Either way a lot of fun. During the week here was my clothing setup.
Base Layers-Glenbrook 3/4 Aerowool bottoms, Minaret LS Aerowool Crew Top
Mid Layer-Chama Hoody
Outer Layer- Springer Vest or North Branch Softshell.
Pants-Corrugate Guide Pants
Boots-Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Non-Insulated
Accessories-Aerwool Glove Liner, Talus Finger less Merino, Mechanix Glove, Aerowool Neck Gaiter, First Lite Lo Pro Hat
Here are a few of the First Lite Pieces that I will almost always have in my pack. They can cover a great variety of seasons and I have found to very comfortable and dependable.
First Lite Aeorwool Minaret Long Sleeve , First Lite Chama Hoody , First Lite Cirrus Puffy, First Lite Halstead Tech Fleece, First Lite Aerowool Liner, First Lite Tallus Fingerless Glove, First Lite Aerowool Neck Gaiter.
Eberlestock Pack J34 Just One- This was in day mode while out hiking in Montana
I wanted to share with you guys why I'm so passionate about protecting our public lands. If you have any questions you can reach out to me or find more information at www.backcountryhunters.org.
Wanted to give you guys a little background about me and what we are going to try and accomplish with Midwest Mountain Hunter.