• Great series on your upcoming elk hunt! If I ever get to go on one, I know exactly who to ask!!

    • SoleAdventure

      Thanks, Ben! It is “when”, not “if” you get to go on one.

  • Good keys points, Mark. Definitely points that must be considered before undertaking a hunt such as this. Well done. Another factor to consider is if you can team up with a buddy to hunt with. If you can drive to an area together you can cut the costs of travel in half. Plus, with provisions you can split the cost of many items such as food, tent, etc. I also had to rent a vehicle which was another added factor I wasn’t counting on. Here’s the kicker… if you take a bull and decide to have it mounted, add in another $1200-1300 if you want it shoulder mounted or $300 for a Euro mount. The expenses can add up if you aren’t careful. My wallet was pretty thin after last September.

    • SoleAdventure

      Thanks, Al. Yes, a partner can definitely help decrease costs (and also pack weight!). Mounting that bull put a hurt on your wallet, but we all know it was well worth it! I hope I “have” to have a bill like that at the end of my trip.

  • Philip Peterson

    Another great write up in the series. You are so correct, the cost can really add up when you start thinking about all the gear and food needed for a trip like this. I am with you on finding used gear a decreased cost. Just because its a year or two old does not mean its still not quality gear, because once its out of the box its used already. Thinking of all these costs really makes you sit back and really consider what equipment is necessary and what are niceties.

    • SoleAdventure

      Amen, Phillip. It is all pretty overwhelming when you realize how easy it all adds up.

  • My “want” to go on a elk hunting trip, is quickly turning into a “need”.

    • SoleAdventure

      Just think…that youth tag will save you well over $400!

  • Jordan Seitz

    Great points Mark! Repurpose and reuse!! I still primarily use my old (from 5 years ago) climbing and backpacking packs and gear (granted, high dollar ultralight gear). Shot my first elk with a rifle while wearing my ice climbing boots and clothes! I often find camo pants unnecessary and usually wear black marmot screes for archery elk (and then wear them hiking rest of year etc). Paradoxically, I’m trying to add a piece or two of KUIU clothing (jacket and hats) to my arsenal each season and phase out some of my other stuff! I prefer to save and buy high quality. Lasts longer and generally outperforms cheaper stuff. For stuff that doesn’t have to be camo, backcountry adventure brands (like Outdoor Research, Osprey, Icebreaker, etc) make top of the line stuff that can usually be found half-off online. Finally, cleaning your own skulls can save a couple hundred. It’s not for everyone, but its worked for me so far!

    • SoleAdventure

      I’m with you on the non-hunting outdoor brands. Often times, hunting brands are just playing catch-up to the larger outdoor industry in terms of technology and performance. That is changing though, as companies like KUIU and First Lite are now cutting edge among the entire outdoor segment.

  • I recently discovered your blog through Wired to Hunt and really like all your posts about planning an elk hunt! I’m planning to go on one in 2015 (after graduating from college) and will definitely be going back through these posts.

    • SoleAdventure

      Thanks for reading, Aaron! Congrats on the upcoming elk trip. It is never too early to start saving for the trip and researching areas. Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Mark, like you I’m heading off to Colorado for my first DIY backcountry hunt this September. I recently just found your website and I love it. I’m looking forward to the experience as much as anything. But I think you hit right, I’ve bought gear off ebay, craigslist, amazon, etc. Anywhere I can find a better deal. I’ve been able to come with pretty good equipment even though due to budget isn’t exactly what I would like but is good starter and every year after I’ll upgrade on 1 or 2 things. I’m excited about the upcoming hunt and excited I found someone in the same situation and also from the midwest. Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading your articles.

    • SoleAdventure

      Hi Billy, thanks for reading and congratulations on your upcoming elk hunt! I’m sure that you are just as excited as I am!