AB Mule Deer Cold weather hunt checklist
(Double click on the link to see the list.)
This check list is tailored for a hunt where airline travel takes place. I’ve tried to include only items that are necessary. Minimizing clothing is the key to keeping baggage under control.
I once purchased an archery South Dakota combination mule deer and white-tailed deer hunt. The hunt took place during the first week of December. My luggage practically buried me. That was about 20 years ago and since then I’ve been through the ordeal several times.
On this trip it appears that the temperatures will be between 10 and 20 degrees fahrenheit most of the time. In order to minimize the luggage load, I’m not taking any large coat or heavy wool clothing, I am taking wool clothing, but it’s all to be layered.
Maybe I’ll regret it, but I’m taking only one pair of boots. That helps luggage wise. And, I’m taking only one pair of wool trousers, but the wool trousers can be worn underneath two types of Sitka gear that is efficient.
The “90%” jacket and trousers are insufficient on their own, but there may be a day or two when they will work fine in combination with the medium weight wool trousers I’ll bring along with other layer options up top.
If the weather gets truly brutal, I’ll go to long underpants, wool trousers and the Sitka “Stormfront” top and bottom. The heavy-duty Stormfront clothes allow no air or moisture to penetrate. I had very good results with these on my last Bob Marshall Wilderness pack trip when the weather was brutal.
One of the nice things about a guided “prairie” hunt is you don’t have to bring your pack saw, skinning knife, rope, meat carrier or deer bags.
So here’s my check list. I’ve got a full day left to review, so I’ll probably find that I need to add a couple more items. I’ll have two bags to check on the way to Calgary. That’s my rifle case and one very large rolling suitcase that tops the scales at exactly 50 pounds.
The rifle case is large enough to hold my spotting scope, range finder and field glasses as well. Because we will be in a pickup much of the time, I’m bringing a window mount for my scope as well as a tri-pod mount that doubles as a rest for my rifle.
My carry-on bag is on wheels. I finally got tired of lifting. But it will be expandable to double the volume- the rolling bag plus a small pack.
If I kill a deer, I’ll purchase a cooler and pack it with about 45 pounds of venison and give any extra deer meat away. If the rack is a big one, I’ll pay a taxidermist to skin and salt the cape, clean the skull plate, build a crate and obtain an export permit so it can be shipped home.
Antlers from a big buck are nearly impossible to bring home on an airplane, unless you commit the crime of splitting them.