I've often been asked, “What equipment do you take when you guide that most hunters forget?” When you're doing your interviews with your potential guide, learning that the guide may have extra equipment that you’ve forgotten to bring is important. I've guided more than 100 hunters to elk in the last 20 years, and I know what elk hunters often forget. However, we do send an equipment list out to all our hunters telling them the equipment they need to bring with them on their elk hunts. We also ask them to double check this equipment list before they leave home. So, if I’m booking an outfitter, I’ll make sure he sends me an equipment list of what I need in camp and on the hunt itself. Oftentimes a hunter will have all the equipment he or she needs in camp. But when he’s out elk hunting, perhaps he/she forgets to put it in his daypack. So, I always try to carry extra gloves, warm hats and face masks. On a guided hunt, I shouldn’t need anything but my daypack, my personal gear, my gun or bow, extra arrows or ammunition, my tag and my license. Many times when you purchase an elk hunt, the tag and license are included in the hunt. The tag and license are usually given to the hunter when he arrives in camp.
I've found that most of the items my hunters forget can be classified as personal gear that will help make them more comfortable in the woods. Depending on the time of year, that may include a lightweight rain suit. In the past I’ve had to supply shirts and pants in Mossy Oak camouflage, because the hunter hasn’t packed any camouflage clothing in his personal gear. Camouflage is as critical, if not more critical, for elk hunting as it is for any other type hunting. As long as the hunter is my size, I’ll usually have extra clothing in camp that will fit him.
One of the main problems we have with camouflage is that the hunter only may bring one pair of pants and one shirt. If we have a warm day where we’re hunting, and the hunter and his clothes get all sweaty and muggy, we've got a problem for the next day’s hunt. Before the next morning’s hunt, I've got to get that hunter scent-free. If that means loaning him my Mossy Oak camo pants and shirt, I’ll loan them to him and ask him to wash his clothes and let them dry for the next day’s hunt. I'm a fanatic on being scent-free. I always recommend that my hunters bring at least three sets of camo pants and shirts for a 7-day hunt. I also suggest that they bring scent-free soap to wash their clothes in and scent-free spray to spray down with while we’re hunting, as well as scent-free wipes. The, if the weather is really cold, and you don’t want to take a bath in a cold stream or roll in the cold snow, you can take a pretty good bath with those scent-free wipes and get rid of human odor before you go hunting. Products most hunters forget to bring when we’re out hunting are these odor-killing soaps, wipes, sprays and deodorants. I’ll have extras of these in my pack - especially to use when we’re getting close to elk.
I'm also using a new product from Ozonics called the DRIWASH www.ozonicshunting.com, a portable gear bag that you can put all your clothes in, and in 35 to 40 minutes, your clothing will be scent free.
To learn more about how to pick an outfitter or to hunt with Mossy Oak Pro Parrey Cremeans and the guides he knows, you can go to the www.justforhunting.com website, or call 650-888-0808.
Tomorrow: What You Should Tip Your Elk Guide