Dropping Pack While Elk Hunting

ceng

Senior Member
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Mar 29, 2013
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261
Hello just wondering who here drops there pack when elk hunting? I'm primarily speaking about archery hunting. I see videos of guys like Randy Newberg on shows without a pack calling and moving. Not sure if the video gear changes how hunts work, if there's an extra person. I typically just keep my pack on. Has anyone lost their gear? How do you mark your gear if you drop it? Anyways just curious what other people do.

Thanks,

Jake
 

mtnwrunner

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Oct 2, 2012
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Lowman, Idaho
Well, sometimes you just get screwed. My brother and I dropped our packs at our glassing spot once as we went after a big bull elk that was down in a hole. Long story short, the bull kept moving and I ended up shooting him as we jumped him from his bed. So, we had a bull down and literally had nothing on us and our packs were half mile away and and 800 feet up. I quartered the elk with a leatherman which is all we had between the two of us.
So.........I'll still drop the pack sometimes but I ALWAYS have my bino pouch with me and it carries knife, tags, lighter and flashlight.

Randy
 

oldgoat

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Arvada, CO
I don't ever go more than a few yards and you can mark it with gps. I went just a little ways once from a camo pack, had a hell of a time finding it again. We now always have a big blaze orange bandana tied to our packs and we lay the pack down so that's visible. Helps us keep tabs on each other also, if we cross paths with a rifle or muzzleloader hunter we can make sure they see us etc, hasn't seemed to spook the animals at all. Somebody on a podcast mentioned they tie a long piece of ribbon around a couple of trees so that it's visible from multiple angles. But mostly since it has all my food water and toilet paper, and I'm not a certified bad ass, I don't get out of sight of it for the most part!
 

5MilesBack

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Colorado Springs
I've only dropped it once while elk hunting, and I immediately marked it with my GPS. I was hunting up this draw with a herd of elk a few hundred yards ahead of me and I needed to belly crawl through the grass to get closer without them seeing me so I dropped it. Otherwise, it stays on me the entire time.
 

Poser

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Durango CO
If you search the forum, you'll find a thread with a few stories about permanently losing packs after dropping them.


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NevadaZielmeister

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Dec 29, 2016
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Reno, NV
So.........I'll still drop the pack sometimes but I ALWAYS have my bino pouch with me and it carries knife, tags, lighter and flashlight.

Randy

Randy,

I like this idea and it was something I plan to do, but when you said keep the knife on the bino harness, I had not thought of that. Can you explain how you mounted the knife on the binocular harness? Are you running a fixed blade or folding?
 

afdiamond1

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Sep 9, 2016
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Location
Texas
Did it once on a Mule Deer hunt in AZ. Ended up farther from it than I planned and then it got dark! Never again. I wear it all the time and practice shooting with it on.
 

Agla06

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May 14, 2017
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You always end up farther from it than planned.

That's my fear. I watched a hunting partner set his rifle down in dead fall about 150 yards from me to go check something out. When he got back he couldn't find the wood stock rifle it in all the downed timber. Even though I could get him within 20-30 feet, it just blended in.

Besides, it's a lot more work to double back for a pack.
 

ElkNut1

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Feb 25, 2012
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Idaho
We keep (my son & I) our packs on, we don't do a lot of sneaking in dark timber, we generally call the elk to us once located & within a 100 yards or so. Our packs in day mode weigh less than 15# so not a big issue under that circumstance.

ElkNut1
 

mike123

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Apr 2, 2017
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NM
It will only take you one time in the field to learn this very valuable lesson. Never drop your pack when elk hunting. NEVER!
 

406

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I always regret dropping my pack, it always becomes a hassle to recover it.

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GotDraw?

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Jul 4, 2015
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Maryland
I keep a 1 oz micro strobe clipped to my backpack at all times... just in case I do drop the pack and it gets dark (cheap insurance). Same kind of strobe you use on a dog collar.

Used it one time to help my brother find camp in the dark/fog. Hung it from a tree. Light will flash for over 100 hours, extremely bright. My strobe is similar to this one that is sold at Tractor Supply (yes, the link works): Access Denied

Also, I agree with prior poster that you ALWAYS end up further away and further down hill from your pack than you think you will...

JL
 
OP
ceng

ceng

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Mar 29, 2013
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I kind of feel the same way as everyone it doesn't make sense for me to drop my pack, especially while elk hunting. I mean I understand sneaking on deer, but don't typically have the same things happening while elk hunting. I just see a bunch of guys on TV and videos hunting without a pack. I think it would be nice, but don't know what I would do if I lost it. One of my friends was hunting in Alaska helping a friend on a sheep hunt. They took off their boots to stalk in and never found them again. Luckily they had some extras at base camp, but I have to imagine they kept their shoes with them the rest of the trip. Also it seems we never just get to set up once on elk, usually set up, then move at least once but often multiple times.
 

Ftguides

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Feb 16, 2016
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these guys hit the concept on the nose. you will drop your pack at some point while elk hunting, that I 100% guarantee. because of that, make sure you have a way to survive the night and gut an elk on your person at all times (bino harnesses are the best). jared's agc harnesses are bulky, but they fit this bill the best in terms of accommodating pockets.

i've found rifles setting against trees, packs out in the middle of meadows, and even a horse (should i say horse skeleton) saddled/tacked and tied to a tree where some old hunter from the past never got back to him. It's tough to back track in the mountains. mark things on gps and be prepared with some small things in your bino pouch
 

pods8

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I've dropped my pack to work into shot positions etc. but try to limit the distance from when that happens since you have to go back for it and at elevation that can be tiring if you've gone down hill for the shot.

Since I rifle hunt (thus orange vest required in my state) I've always found or modified vests to have some zippered pockets on them and have a knife, license, lighter, compass, and whistle on me at all times. Whether that is dropping my pack or jumping out of a truck to run after animals, etc. If I'm legally hunting (thus vest on) I'll at minimum have those items which lets me deal with the animal, have my license on hand, and ability to make a fire if shit hits the fan.
 

jmez

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Jun 12, 2012
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Piedmont, SD
I did it once, won't do it again. I marked it with a GPS and it was out in the open so easy to find. I was just going to creep over a ledge and shoot an elk walking below me. The elk had passed when I got there but I could see them so start following or run back the 200 yards get the pack and then follow. I left the pack, didn't end up getting an elk though my buddy did, then I had to walk about 3/4 of a mile back and get my stuff.
 

cnelk

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Mar 1, 2012
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Ive been hunting elk a looooong time, and even tho I do take my pack off while set up during a calling session, never once have I left my pack - intentionally or not - to move to another position or take a 'look-see'.

I consider my pack is just as important as my boots

I bet if you take one of your boots off and leave it with your pack you'll remember either to mark it or remember where it was.
 

Murdy

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Jun 6, 2014
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North-Central Illinois
That's my fear. I watched a hunting partner set his rifle down in dead fall about 150 yards from me to go check something out. When he got back he couldn't find the wood stock rifle it in all the downed timber. Even though I could get him within 20-30 feet, it just blended in.

Besides, it's a lot more work to double back for a pack.

Not an elk hunt story, but I set a camo Benelli Nova up against a tree while setting tree stands one fall, as you can imagine, it wasn't that far away from me, but still took me over half an hour to find.
 
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