In this video I walk through my new elk hunting pack, The Exo Mountain Gear 3500, and talk about the overall layout, features, and design of the pack. To show you how much the gear the 3500 can handle (and why that number is somewhat deceiving), I have the pack loaded with almost everything that I take on a weeklong backcountry hunt. This is an informal, rambling review, so feel free to skip around…
I will be sure to follow-up with a full review after this hunting season. If you have any questions about the pack, please let me know in the comments below.
I have been published in Field & Stream. I still can’t believe it, but it showed up in my mailbox, so it must be true!
The article, “Pitch Tents, Punch Tags”, is about camping strategies for hunting elk during archery season and features some great advice from Steve Speck. Be sure to check it out in the September 2014 issue.
I have to say thank you to the editorial crew at F&S for giving me this opportunity and teaching me so much along the way. And this would have never happened without the supporters of this blog that inspire me to keep writing – so THANK YOU!
In just a few short weeks I’ll be headed West, toward the Colorado backcountry. This “style” of this year’s will hunt will be much like I planned last year – we are going to backpack into the wilderness with a week’s worth of gear, and have no intentions of leaving the backcountry unless we are loaded down with elk meat. We will establish a “backcountry basecamp”, but will move to a different area of the wilderness if needed.
Gear selection is obviously critical for this type of hunt, and I get a ton of questions about what I bring for this type of trip. I have posted my list for this year below, but to learn more detail about the philosophy behind much of this gear, please refer to these previous posts…
“Should have, would have, or could have…” – We often think that way when things don’t go right in a hunting situation. After last year’s elk hunt I was left wondering if I should have brought an elk decoy along. On one hand, a decoy is something that I don’t want to worry about packing, lugging up and down a mountain, or struggle to setup “in the moment”. It would only complicate things, right?
But, there are numerous situations where a decoy could be well worth the hassle. And if you can find a decoy that is light, packable, and easy to deploy, then the hassle virtually eliminated.
I spent quite a bit of time researching decoys over the off-season and ultimately decided to go with the “Eichler Elk” from Montana Decoy. This decoy is lightweight, extremely packable, incredibly simple to deploy, and it looks great! Another great benefit of this decoy is that it comes with a DVD from the man himself, Fred Eichler. The included videos cover decoy setups, strategies, tips, and instructions.
The Eichler Elk decoy package weighs 40 ounces, but much of that weight comes from the stakes/poles. Thankfully there’s another way setup the decoy, which is not only faster, but much lighter. Since we I will be hunting in areas where we’ll have plenty of trees, I am going to leave the poles at home and bring the included string and alligator clips (as seen in the video above). The weight of the decoy and clips is only 16 ounces!
I celebrated my 30th birthday last week. I’m not in mid-life or existential crisis territory yet, but this new decade has caused me to reflect on my life – where I’ve been, and where I’m headed.
Every day we make choices – some big, some small – that shape our lives and influence those around us. These choices (even the small ones) matter.
Decision is action. Action is movement. Movement creates momentum. And momentum, when paired with direction, determines our life’s destination.
It all comes back to choice and decision. What we chose to do, and whom we decide to become; that is the pursuit we call life.
In Pursuit Challenge
Along these lines, I want to invite you to join me in pursuing something greater than a successful hunting season this fall.
Pastor, author, and my friend, Zeke Pipher, has released a new book for sportsmen called, In Pursuit: Devotions for the Hunter & Fisherman. He has also put together a 90-day challenge for men to work through the book together throughout the upcoming hunting season – from September 1 to December 31.
To learn more about (and JOIN!) the In Pursuit Challenge visit: