ELK Novice Questions

Cedarsavage

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2017
Messages
299
Location
Upper Michigan
Buying gear for our first elk hunt... My wife and I. Planning on September, but over time I'm sure I'll do September, Oct, Nov at some point.
Need new game bags, what do you suggest?
Looking at tents. I do one or two trips a year in the west, and some local stuff (Michigan). HAd been using a walmart tent that got trashed so we're looking to upgrade...Would you...
Option A. Buy a decent unheated tent and upgrade to a heated wall tent later? If so what tent; (I've always used walmart or meijer tents til they woreout.)
Option B. Buy once, cry once, get a wall tent now? We do some summer camping here but not a ton.
Option C. We're planning on buying a 5x8 trailer to haul the freezer with, would you bite the bullet and buy an enclosed trailer and trick it out for travel hunting? Not crazy about this idea since I wanna be able maneuver easily in my vehicle.

Last question. What would you take for fishing lures? We're not gonna fish a ton, but there's water nearby and I'm sure a few days in we could use a break for a few hours.
 

fmyth

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
574
Location
Arizona
I would buy a Kodiak 10x10 or 10x14 (get the vestibule and the footprint tart they offer, a couple cots, insulated pads, 0 or 20 degree bags, a couple cheap entry rugs, a Buddy heater, a hose kit and a filter. I too take a small rod/reel and Meps or similar small spinners.
 

fmyth

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
574
Location
Arizona
I would buy a Kodiak 10x10 or 10x14 (get the vestibule and the footprint tart they offer, a couple cots, insulated pads, 0 or 20 degree bags, a couple cheap entry rugs, a Buddy heater, a hose kit and a filter. I too take a small rod/reel and Meps or similar small spinners.
Just checked and Competitive Edge has the 10x10 on sale for $399 and the 10x14 for $499.
 

Silentstalker

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2013
Messages
102
Buying gear for our first elk hunt... My wife and I. Planning on September, but over time I'm sure I'll do September, Oct, Nov at some point.
Need new game bags, what do you suggest?
Looking at tents. I do one or two trips a year in the west, and some local stuff (Michigan). HAd been using a walmart tent that got trashed so we're looking to upgrade...Would you...
Option A. Buy a decent unheated tent and upgrade to a heated wall tent later? If so what tent; (I've always used walmart or meijer tents til they woreout.)
Option B. Buy once, cry once, get a wall tent now? We do some summer camping here but not a ton.
Option C. We're planning on buying a 5x8 trailer to haul the freezer with, would you bite the bullet and buy an enclosed trailer and trick it out for travel hunting? Not crazy about this idea since I wanna be able maneuver easily in my vehicle.

Last question. What would you take for fishing lures? We're not gonna fish a ton, but there's water nearby and I'm sure a few days in we could use a break for a few hours.

Get quality washable game bags. Caribou game bags or something similar. Make sure they are elk sized so the quarters will fit completely in the bags.

If funds will allow I would get the wall tent now. One thing you will find hunting elk, especially in locations like Colorado, Wyoming, Montana etc is that the weather is unpredictable. Not counting this year, I have had snow and a lot of it at least once per year during the sept archery hunt. I’m talking 6” to over a foot (both in Wyoming).

That type of weather ruins cheap tents and without good gear can ruin hunts.

I don’t share that to “scare” you but to help emphasize the need for decent gear even the first year. Hence the wall tent or trailer right off the bat.

Get some good boots and break them in early. Get some good rain gear and get in the best shape you can.

Good luck with your hunt!
 

Jqualls

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Messages
228
Location
Colorado
I personally would go with what you will typically use all year to start with. I personally probably wouldn't ever use a wall tent except for a hunting base camp in October or later. I do have a nice Nemo Wagon 8P though and I use it for everything except late season camping if I am around the truck. It would handle a bit of snow. I can set it up by myself in 10-15min. They are pricey so for the money a Teepee might fit your needs better with a stove. For me a wall tent would be nice for a big camp but I would get something more versatile if I didn't already have a go too tent for the rest of the year.
 

Firestone

Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2017
Messages
90
Location
Montana
Every once in a while the black ovis game bags come across on camofire for a good deal. Have used them the last few years with only a couple minor tears. Bear drug some shit off last year and it held up fine from that
 

schwaf

Member
Joined
May 9, 2019
Messages
58
Location
CO
Wall tents are nice, but I think you would be better served with a more versatile tent like a Hilleberg Nallo3 gt. I think you would be far less inclined to move camp once you have your wall tent set up, and honestly, I think a camp too comfy makes hunters lazy. If you decide to get a wall tent later, you'd still be perfectly happy with a bomber tent that's backpackable.
 

Indian Summer

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
901
If you buy a quality nylon tent suitable for western mountain hunting it’s going to cost as much as a wall tent. Check out the prices from The Wall Tent Shop in Idaho. Free shipping. As yourself if your wife would like room to stand up and walk around as well as HEAT and dry clothes. I like my TAG Bags. Good luck!
 
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Cedarsavage

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2017
Messages
299
Location
Upper Michigan
I’d rather have you scare into being prepared. Living in Michigan I feel like I can’t control much without being able to scout ahead of time so I think it’s good to dial everything else as much as possible. Shooting a lot doing a CrossFit wod everyday and an extra half hour of biking, skiing or running.

Thanks for the info
Get quality washable game bags. Caribou game bags or something similar. Make sure they are elk sized so the quarters will fit completely in the bags.

If funds will allow I would get the wall tent now. One thing you will find hunting elk, especially in locations like Colorado, Wyoming, Montana etc is that the weather is unpredictable. Not counting this year, I have had snow and a lot of it at least once per year during the sept archery hunt. I’m talking 6” to over a foot (both in Wyoming).

That type of weather ruins cheap tents and without good gear can ruin hunts.

I don’t share that to “scare” you but to help emphasize the need for decent gear even the first year. Hence the wall tent or trailer right off the bat.

Get some good boots and break them in early. Get some good rain gear and get in the best shape you can.

Good luck with your hunt!
 
OP
C

Cedarsavage

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2017
Messages
299
Location
Upper Michigan
That Selkirk looks good. Have you had any rot or mildew issues?
If you buy a quality nylon tent suitable for western mountain hunting it’s going to cost as much as a wall tent. Check out the prices from The Wall Tent Shop in Idaho. Free shipping. As yourself if your wife would like room to stand up and walk around as well as HEAT and dry clothes. I like my TAG Bags. Good luck!
 
OP
C

Cedarsavage

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2017
Messages
299
Location
Upper Michigan
Just checked and Competitive Edge has the 10x10 on sale for $399 and the 10x14 for $499.
I’ve heard good things about those. It seems like I could put in a stove jack later, is that right?
Have you had issues with rot n mildew? my dad likes the synthetic wall tents and he keeps talking about rot n mildew.
 

Indian Summer

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
901
That Selkirk looks good. Have you had any rot or mildew issues?
Never. Look at the wilderness model and the package with the angle kit for the frame. Buy the fire/water/mildew treated and hang it to dry when you get home and it will last a long time. A lifetime even. Synthetic tents get condensation on the inside of the walls and roof. In that environment clothes don’t dry very fast either. There’s only one reason to ever consider synthetics and that is weight. Not an issue for a base camp.
 
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Cedarsavage

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2017
Messages
299
Location
Upper Michigan
Never. Look at the wilderness model and the package with the angle kit for the frame. Buy the fire/water/mildew treated and hang it to dry when you get home and it will last a long time. A lifetime even. Synthetic tents get condensation on the inside of the walls and roof. In that environment clothes don’t dry very fast either. There’s only one reason to ever consider synthetics and that is weight. Not an issue for a base camp.
Good point thanks
 

wytx

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Joined
Feb 2, 2017
Messages
1,084
Location
Wyoming
Wall tents are nice, but I think you would be better served with a more versatile tent like a Hilleberg Nallo3 gt. I think you would be far less inclined to move camp once you have your wall tent set up, and honestly, I think a camp too comfy makes hunters lazy. If you decide to get a wall tent later, you'd still be perfectly happy with a bomber tent that's backpackable.
You need a warm, dry place to sleep and recover after a hard day. A comfy camp does not make one lazy. It gives you a place to recover , dry out your clothes etc when needed, and get a good nights rest.
If you're just thinking backpacking route then your tents needs will be different than say truck type camping from along a remote FS road.
The Kodiak's sound great for a couple, easy to set up and perhaps a stove for warmth.
For a back country type tent I would listen to the folks on here on which are weather tight and sturdy for wind and snow loads.
One thing for sure, you don't want to battle the elements in a cheaply made tent. You need to stay dry at the very least.
I do agree about moving a wall tent. While not hard or really time consuming to set up they are not really conducive to quick camp changes. Great for a base camp but not mobile.

You might also find a few canvas game bags helpful for hanging meat at camp. Keep your light weight synthetics in the pack for packing out. Our Caribou bags have lasted well.
 

Crowmangler

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
384
Location
North Carolina
While you're considering a wall tent check out the bell type tents. We used the White Duck 16' & it was great for 4 hunters + gear & a stove. They are much lighter than a regular wall tent because you don't have all the poles required for the full frame. They make smaller ones (10' & 13' I think) that should be a good fit for 2.

I wouldn't recommend the 5 x 8 trailer just to have a freezer. Those little things ride for crap & won't be worth the aggravation. Get a hitch hauler to put your coolers on. Stack them & strap them down.

+1 on the Black Ovis bags .. good quality & they're regularly on Camofire
 

Fridaythe13th

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Messages
514
Location
Minnesota
Pop up camper. We used 1 two years old way better than a trailer for gas mileage, 2 king beds for better sleep. Ours had heat and a water heater for showers. Freezer can go in the back of the truck. Found it used for $1500 buck. Last year we had a enclosed trailer with a awning and led lights.. worked good but the fuel bill was high.
 

Dwight2180

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
Messages
12
Make sure if you plan on boning out your meat you have a couple of structured zippered game bags. I have Kuiu bags. I'm not sure one brand is better than another, it just comes down to preference on what features you want....material color, closure type, reflective material, hanging options etc

I have a 10x10 Kodiak and love it. If you're only focus is truck camping I would say it is the way to go. Easy to set up, tall/steep sides make better use of the floor space, easy to use a propane heater (which I have) or add a stove jack (no experience there). We used the Kodiak on a family trip to Missouri in the middle of July one year. It was way more comfortable, temp and condensation wise, in the tent than any nylon tent I've ever used. I do have the model with the extra screen windows on the side, VX I think they call it.

I use an enclosed trailer in conjunction with tent on most trips. Sleeping only in the tent, clothes drying, food storage, cooking etc in the trailer. Never carried a freezer but I wouldn't do it on a 5x8 utility.

Fishing lures....rooster tails, rebel wee craw, road runner, beetle spin. Basically, any appropriately sized lure for the water that you would use for bass.
 

Indian Summer

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
901
Internal frame and external lodgepole. It’s nice to know that at the end of the day whether it’s cold and wet or snowy or it’s just been a long hard day you have a rock solid place to regroup. When it comes to base camp there are no compromises.
 

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fmyth

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
574
Location
Arizona
I’ve heard good things about those. It seems like I could put in a stove jack later, is that right?
Have you had issues with rot n mildew? my dad likes the synthetic wall tents and he keeps talking about rot n mildew.
Yes it's possible to have a stove jack put in a Kodiak. If you use the search bar up top you'll find a thread on the install. Canvas tents breathe so you don't get condensation like the synthetics. You do have to make sure that the canvas is dry before you store the tent after your trip. I was going to install a stove jack but my Buddy heater works so well I've changed my mind.
 

strugglesticks

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
32
Location
The Midwest
I usually buy once cry once on most things. But if you are just getting started, it's fine to try some lower cost items. Just don't skimp on boots!

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 
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