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Food list for a backpack hunt: Amounts, recipes, & planning tips

By Andrew Skurka / November 2, 2016 / 13 Comments

Colorado’s third rifle season for elk and deer starts on Saturday morning, and so over the next few days I’ll be finishing my preparations for our backpack hunt. Tonight, the task at hand was food. I thought I would share some tips and a list of what I’m packing. How much? We are inclined to pack…

Download instructions: Backpack hunt gear lists for elk & deer

By Andrew Skurka / October 30, 2016 / 1 Comment

In a recent series I shared my backpack hunting gear lists for big game like elk and deer. Each post contains a detailed list and an in-depth discussion of my selections: Introduction Before the Shot The Shot After the Shot For reader convenience, I have made these lists available for download as a set of PDF’s and…

Backpack Hunt Gear List || After the shot: Field dressing & packing out

By Andrew Skurka / October 28, 2016 / 13 Comments

Backpack Hunt Gear List: After the shot For good reason, hunters often comment that, “The real work begins after pulling the trigger.” I can’t understate the effort involved in field dressing an animal and then packing out the meat (150-200 pounds for an elk), in addition to gear. Hunt with a friend — you’ll be glad…

Backpack Hunt Gear List || The shot: Rifle, scope, ammo & supports

By Andrew Skurka / October 28, 2016 / 18 Comments

Backpack Hunt Gear List: The shot After finding game and getting within range, it’s time to take the shot. My equipment: Long gun When shopping for my rifle I set a few parameters. It had to be: Suitable for elk and deer; Light, but still practical for target shooting and the shooting range; Reasonably priced;…

Backpack Hunt Gear List || Before the shot: Clothing, optics & calls

By Andrew Skurka / October 26, 2016 / 11 Comments

Backpack Hunt Gear List: Before the shot With the exception of a lucky outing, finding the game often constitutes the bulk of most hunts. In fact, about 75 percent of hunting trips in Colorado end without having taken a shot or packed out meat. If it were that easy, it’d be called shooting, not hunting. Optics and safety clothing…

Backpack Hunt Gear Lists for Big Game (elk & deer) || Introduction

By Andrew Skurka / October 26, 2016 / 10 Comments

Next month I will be hunting elk and deer during Colorado’s third rifle season. As with my previous fall hunts, this will be a backpack hunt: I will carry an overnight load and have a mobile camp. I’ll be joined by Steve, a friend and running partner. Essentially, we’re going on a conventional backpacking trip in the Colorado…

Notes for next time || My first successful elk hunt: Lessons, advice & tips

By Andrew Skurka / October 12, 2016 / 7 Comments

Fall is arriving quickly in Colorado. Snowfall is sticking on high and northerly aspects. My last ultra marathon of the season is on Saturday. Of course, the days are shorter, the leaves have turned, and my raised beds are no longer producing. And, finally, I’m also dusting off my hunting equipment for the upcoming big…

Assessment: Big game hunting in Colorado’s GMU 29 and GMU 371

By Andrew Skurka / April 2, 2016 / 4 Comments

The application deadline for Colorado’s big game hunting lottery is on Tuesday. For certain game management units, seasons, species, and sexes, the draw is your only chance. Otherwise, less coveted over-the-counter tags can be purchased starting July 26. For 2016 I’ve decided that I’m going to to hunt a new area for elk and deer, instead of GMU 29 or GMU 371, as I have…

Getting after it again: 2015 Year in Review

By Andrew Skurka / December 28, 2015 / 20 Comments

Fifteen months ago, my bitterness reached its peak. The cause was obvious: for four consecutive years, starting with 2011, I had worked too much and adventured too little. Essentially, I had stopped being me. During the first two years, I wasn’t bothered. My work — mostly guiding, speaking, and writing — was novel and challenging,…

Brown is down | Hunt Report: Second Rifle Colorado Elk

By Andrew Skurka / October 20, 2015 / 36 Comments

Last Saturday I shot and killed, and then — with the help of my hunting partner, Noel — field dressed and packed out a cow elk from Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness. It was my first-ever successful hunt, and the emotional and physical effort was about as significant as I expected. Next week I will share…