Gear selection on expedition-style hunts is make or break and a clothing system is a critical component. My list is under constant scrutiny and dynamic, informed by cumulative lessons learned, sandwiched between the rarely occurring mountainside epiphany.
To find sheds you must search where the bull elk spend their winter and spring. The most effective way to find these areas is to scout in the winter. In December bulls will group up in bachelor herds and move to their winter range. Depending on the area and the severity of weather, this move could be 1 mile or 100. Bulls will then spend the winter months feeding on big south facing, wind swept slopes where feed is ample and not buried too deep under the snow. Some of these slopes can be seen from roads. Others you'll have to hike in to scout. Glass these slopes from a far. If you find bulls they'll likely shed near there come spring.
Archery antelope hunting is an opportunity rich environment that accelerates your skills for the upcoming seasons. Antelope have incredible eyesight, making it a challenging spot-and-stalk hunt due to the wide open spaces they call home. Oftentimes, you can glass and move in on multiple animals in a day and hunt from sunup to sundown. One serious variable to consider is the unrelenting heat. One stalk can take a full day and cover miles. Here are some tips from Steven Drake to help you stay hydrated and sharp this year.
A hunt with a lot of opportunity is what so many of us dream about, and that’s exactly what Connor Gabbott found while bowhunting antelope on Montana’s publicly available BMA land last September.
Clinging precariously to slick terrain coated in snow and ice on a 55 plus degree slope, we attempted to ascend a 2,000-foot face littered with ice falls. A team member had just fallen 10 feet with a fully loaded pack. We were close to making it through this tricky section, but realized that a dangerous line had been crossed: No goat was worth dying over.
I’ve refined my system for about 15 years but write this with only one caveat — don’t simply take my word for it. Yes, these are my personal choices, but the ideal setup for you may vary based on your body type, hunt conditions and preferences...
"The moment had come and had been executed perfectly. In the end, a blood-soaked arrow and a split heart was all it took." - Tribe Member Jason Jahnke
"Four hours on snowshoes preceded a crampon-aided ascent, gaining us 3,300 feet of elevation and admission for four to the band’s wheelhouse."
- Sitka Athlete Tom Foss
Richard Siberell is the Product Design Lead at Sitka Gear. You've probably never heard his name before, but read this and you likely won't forget him.