By Tyler Ferris, February 2016
As western big game hunters, most of us endure several days of horrid weather, wishing we would have stayed in the sanctuary of our warm and comfortable homes. I know I sure have on more than one occasion. Having the proper clothing system can be crucial to keeping you in the field longer. No one likes to be cold, wet, and miserable, but Mother Nature has a cruel way of changing the weather patterns unexpectedly and rather quickly, without any concern for your well thought-out plans. Backcountry situations can get western in a hurry and you can get caught in a horrible position, ruining the hunt before it's even started.
For me, this year was one for the books. I was fortunate enough to tag along on hunts for all of the big three species. I chased Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in Wyoming in late August and Shiras moose and mountain goat in Montana in mid-late September. These are considered fairly warm months, but that may not be so in the backcountry. On every single one of these hunts, we were plagued with severe heat, brutal cold, rain, snow, and wind. Several of the situations we faced would have been miserable if we wouldn’t have been properly prepared. Even with everything Mother Nature threw our way, we still managed to stay dry and warm over the course of multiple 10 plus day hunts.
Here are a few key pieces of gear that helped make our hunts possible and kept us from succumbing to the elements that we were faced with on the mountain.