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"Ultralight hunting"
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Jason Williams
(whiskey) - F

Locale: Middle Tennessee
shotgun on 02/26/2012 09:50:26 MST Print View

@ Mike D

I have two dedicated turkey guns. One is a Mossberg 535 Tactical Turkey with adj. stock and short barrel. It weighs in around 7 pounds but is small and handy.

The lightweight one is a Mossberg Super Bantom Youth 20ga Turkey model. It weighs just a tad over 5 pounds. The 20ga shells are lighter too. I feel it's effective out to 35-40 yards. That's 10-15 yards less than I consider the 12ga to be effective, but it's also 2 pounds lighter.

kevin smith
ul hunting on 02/26/2012 10:08:06 MST Print View

here is an example lol

Mike Dombrowski
(Bivy_Hunter) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: shotgun on 02/27/2012 09:16:14 MST Print View

@ Jason W

I hadn't considered a youth 20g for reducing weight. After a few miles, those full size shotguns can become awkward.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
H & R Handi for cost and weight savings on 02/27/2012 09:45:27 MST Print View

Consider a youth model synthetic Handi from H&R.
5.3 lbs with open sights.
Switch to a 12 gauge barrel and save another 1/2 lb for turkey season.
The short stock is helpful with bulky clothes and in a turkey blind.
Add other barrels for other game.

Cheap, durable, single shot simplicity.
Won't look as scary on the trail like an AR.
Easily breaks down to stow in a pack.

Also as mentioned, most compound bows come in under 4 lbs.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re H&R Handi on 02/27/2012 10:52:57 MST Print View

Good idea. Also check out the Thompson Center Contender with an aftermarket folding stock. Could be quit light and also very easy to pack around. If you wanted to do the paperwork a SBR version of this would be even easier to carry.
After the world as we know it ends I'm going to get one of these and become a hunter gather out west. Just kidding.

Jason Williams
(whiskey) - F

Locale: Middle Tennessee
H&R on 02/27/2012 21:08:38 MST Print View

The Handi-Rifle and Pardner Shotguns are good light choices too. Beware of the Ultralight Youth Handi Rifle. I have owned the .243 and the .223 and neither gun would shoot better than 3-4" groups at 50 yards. I tried all the tricks I could find on the net, but never could get them to shoot well. I have a kid that has grown up shooting the Mossberg, so it's just a benefit that I get to use it from time to time.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
RE: Ultralight hunting on 02/28/2012 04:50:00 MST Print View

Ultralight hunting = <20lbs.

Read the following to see how I came to this conclusion, and let me know if I'm about right, or way off base.

Personally, this is how I would look at it:

Create a packing list as if you were just going backpacking. (i.e. appropriate UL gear for the terrain, weather, etc. that the hunt will take place in) ~ <10lbs.

Then, just as you do for your UL backpacking, go over your hunting equipment and decide what you Absolutely MUST have, and what you can do without. For example:

* Substitute the pack in your UL list with an external that can comfortably carry your max load after you've harvested your game.
* Do you really NEED 50 rounds of ammo if you only have one elk/deer/sheep tag? I would take maybe 5.
* Change wood stocks to synthetic.
* Do you really need all those knives? Or can you get away with just a Mora and a folding fiskars saw and finish your work at camp/home/town.
* If possible/desirable, take up traditional bow-hunting with a recurve. (not a compound, weighs just as much as a rifle...)

What else do you need? Everything other than your weapon/ammo and field dressing gear should already be in your UL backpacking list. The only thing you should need to substitute is your pack.

So, what's considered a lightweight production rifle nowadays? 5-6lbs?
Here is my proposed UL hunting weight formula:

(UL gear list - backpack weight) + new backpack + weapon/ammo + Field dressing tools.

So using the above for a rifle hunting trip, using a scope would look something like this(weights approximate, substitute your own actual weights):

Weights in pounds: (8-1)+3+7+.7= ~18lbs.

In short I would say, if you are rifle hunting, under 20 lbs. would be considered ultra light hunting?

Randall Raziano
(rrazian) - MLife

Locale: SW Colorado
UL hunting on 08/10/2012 00:54:42 MDT Print View

Just a few things I've found useful (or hope to)
First lite merino wool...expensive but camo, breathes very well and won't stink like synthetics can wear for days
Ceramic knife (will try this get away from several knives/sharpeners) box cutter w/blades has been good too
Switched from boots with gaiters to wool socks and trail runners...much lighter and feet got wet anyway, now dry much faster
Nikon ed50 spotting scope--way lighter than comparables
Gossamer gear poles with tripod mount for above scope
Golite shangrila so poles r used for tent
Water rx with iodine tabs later neutralized with Vit c
Freeze dried meals

Edited by rrazian on 08/10/2012 01:02:09 MDT.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: UL hunting on 08/10/2012 13:00:25 MDT Print View

Highly advise against a ceramic knife, otherwise, great list!

Greg Fox
(Cabman) - F
Re: Re: Re: "Ultralight hunting" :-((( on 08/11/2012 11:16:41 MDT Print View

I guess Art and all others who oppose hunting are vegetarians. Many people hunt to feed their families, not just sport.
I am packing now for my season that starts in a couple weeks. I have lightned up my gear considerably over the years with the help of this site. I will be using an Exped UL pad this year that is saving me a pound over my exped DM 7 I used last year.I also have a KU pack that I use for most trips but will probably hunt with my Kifaru Longhunter as it hauls meat a bit better. I may hunt with the Ku as it is capable of carrying the first load of meat out, but will switch to the LH pack for the remaining trips.

Edited by Cabman on 08/11/2012 11:25:14 MDT.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
LIGHT LONG GUNS on 08/24/2012 19:58:12 MDT Print View

Yes, a shotgun with interchangeable chokes (rifled choke for slugs, modified choke for small game) would be the most versatile it you're going out for a months-long stay.

But in any case here are my LIGHTWEIGHT long gun suggestions:

1. synthetic stock -> lighter and weather proof
2. iron sights -> far less weight than a scope. But be SURE to use a hunting (larger opening) adjustable peep sight at the rear. Much more accurate than V shaped open rear sights.
3. stainless steel metal parts -> as with the synthetic stock, very weather resistant
4. an "all around caliber". -> like ,243 Win, .308 Win. 30-06, 6.5 mm, etc. Magnum cartridges require heavier rifles and heavier ammo. 12 ga. shotguns are OK. B/C smaller guages may not do all jobs well.
5. light nylon webbing sling -> very weather proof and light (use on a shotgun too).
6. nylon spare cartridge carrier(s). -> light and fairly inexpensive

P.S. an OTIS cleaning kit (W/ only the necessary components for your rifle) is a must - light and compact.


** UPDATE: I recently bought a Ruger American bolt rifle (in 22-250 for coyotes) and found it to be a light but a very well designed and ACCURATE rifle. Its innovative features for this price are truly amazing (no hyperbole here). Plus it's American made!

In 270 Winchester, 30-06 or .308 you will have a great "mountain rifle" for under $400. street price.
Top this "entry level" light rifle with a decent but lighter scope and aluminum scope rings and you will still likely be around the 7 lb. ballpark. That is "mountain rifle" territory. P.S. Buy an extra magazine - just in case. ($15.)

Edited by Danepacker on 01/30/2014 13:20:01 MST.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Light Bow on 08/25/2012 14:38:05 MDT Print View

1980's Browning
Not sure what it weighs, but I remember shooting a little Browning compound that seemed lighter than some longbows. It was pretty nice IMO. Someone probably still makes something similar.

Edited by staehpj1 on 08/25/2012 14:39:31 MDT.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Re: Re: "Ultralight hunting" :-((( on 08/27/2012 17:44:20 MDT Print View

this is somewhat off topic...

if you're hunting sustainable species it's fine.

Also... pretty sure polar bears would hunt you for sport. Same as a lion.

In fact lions are known to hunt for pleasure / sport

My domestic cats hunt for sport.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Re: Light Bow on 08/27/2012 17:49:07 MDT Print View

I expect a bow would work better than a rifle since the weight is uniformly distributed. You could probably just strap it to your pack.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: "Ultralight hunting" on 08/27/2012 17:52:04 MDT Print View

I have been wanting to pick up a little .22 revolver for backpacking. It would be a lot of fun to small game hunt with it. Challenging, but fun.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
weight on 08/27/2012 20:55:34 MDT Print View

backcountry hunting almost always equates to shoulder season weather, which equates to more sleeping bag, more pad, more clothing- that's a pretty good hit in itself

backcountry hunting almost always entails boning and carrying your game out, this eliminates pretty much all "regular" lightweight packs- you need good volume and more importantly a suspension that can handle 60-80+ #'s, hard to believe Kifaru was able to do that for under 3#- bully for them :)

I pack a small fixed blade knife and a Havalon w/ a few extra blades, I don't think you can cut much more weight out for dressing/boning

I use a now discontinued pair of Leupold glasses (10x28) that weigh in @ 10 oz, there are definitely times I wish had more glass

my rifle could be a little lighter, but it's got sentimental value :) it's a Winchester Featherweight in .30-06, topped w/ a Leupold 2x7 scope - it's just under 8 lbs w/ scope/bases/rings- not too shabby

if you're counting your rifle and optics into your base, you'd be doing really well to be under 25 lbs imo

Randall Raziano
(rrazian) - MLife

Locale: SW Colorado
Re: Ceramic knife. on 01/26/2014 05:08:32 MST Print View

-first year it was great, did a complete job without sharpening, it was a boker folding...
-second year, I brought the Timberline with guthook, was TERRIBLE. I don't know if it was a function of the knife not being sharp from the beginning (suspect this was at least a part of it) or if it was my somewhat more hurried technique, dulling it on bone....but after the second episode, I'll at least bring two, or possibly go back to steel and sharpener.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
A New Hunting/Backpacking Pack on 01/30/2014 13:27:56 MST Print View

Check out the article by Dave Chenault on the Paradox Evolution pack.

I'm selling my old Dana Terraplane pack and buying the Evolution for hunting and winter backpacking. It's much lighter (by almost half!).

Kevin, the company owner/designer, is working on a rifle scabbard for the pack. The shoulder harness has been recently re-designed to be more comfortable and for my needs it's a "modular" pack, good for general backpacking, hunting and carrying out deer or elk quarters on the bare frame.

"Gun control is hitting your target." :o)

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Ultralight hunting on 03/25/2014 18:17:41 MDT Print View

Want to thank everyone that's posted useful information to this thread. I am looking to add a hunting component to my outdoor pursuits primarily as a means of putting local, sustainable meat on my families table. I am blessed to have the camping aspects of this sport already very well dialed in but the hunting specific gear, practice, and techniques is still very new to me.

I seem to be leaning toward a synthetic stocked .308 Win rifle with a +/- 22" barrel topped by a 3-9x40 high quality optic and a simple nylon sling. Considering firearms from Savage, Remington, and Tikka at this time but nothing I've laid hands on thus far has felt like "the one".

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
Re: Ultralight hunting on 03/26/2014 09:52:43 MDT Print View

Two words... AIR RIFLE.

I can carry 2000 pellets for my 22cal air rifle, its subsonic so its extremely accurate, large game would be gone in weeks if the stuff really hit the fan.

Benjamin Marauder comes to mind. You can recast lead etc etc etc, light weight, simple, leaves plenty of room to carry self defense rounds in your pack since pellets weigh nothing.

Lewis and Clark carried an air rifle, not a powder burner, on their expedition.