Elk guides talk gear and tac­tics

TOP ELK GUIDES SHARE THEIR PER­SPEC­TIVES— AND GEAR PICKS—FOR AMER­ICA’S TOUGH­EST BIG-GAME HUNT

Outdoor Life - - NEWS - BY BRAD FITZ­PATRICK

Ex­pe­ri­enced elk hun­ters know the odds of suc­cess are as steep as the moun­tains they love. Months of plan­ning, miles of hik­ing, and hours of glass­ing rarely re­sult in an elk, at least sta­tis­ti­cally speak­ing. Across the West, har­vest rates are well be­low 20 per­cent.

But some hun­ters con­sis­tently har­vest elk year af­ter year, and we’ve asked some of them to share the se­crets of their suc­cess, not only with sea­son-spe­cific hunt­ing strate­gies but also the sorts of gear they rely on. Elk coun­try de­vours cheap gear, each of these ex­perts stresses. Ac­tu­ally, they note that elk coun­try takes its toll on all gear, but the rate of at­tri­tion is slower with high-qual­ity prod­ucts.

Meet your guides, who have a col­lec­tive cen­tury of elkhunt­ing ex­pe­ri­ence among them, and who have notched plenty of tags, both for their clients and for them­selves, and who have trashed plenty of gear along the way.

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