Deciding on clothing for an early season elk hunt can be surprisingly difficult. After all, this is where desert, high plains and Rocky Mountains meet. The weather here in New Mexico is highly variable. You could experience hot temperatures, intense sun, rain and even snow in a matter of days – sometimes hours.
We frequently receive questions from hunters about what they should bring on their early season elk or pronghorn hunts. So outfitter Jerry Blake took a few minutes to go through his layering system (by the way, if you’re interested in our cold weather kit, you can find that here.)
Check out Jerry’s recommended clothing for an early season elk hunt:
For your base layers, we recommend merino wool and lightweight synthetics. Absolutely no cotton. Merino wool and technical synthetic blends manage moisture, help regulate temperature and dry quickly. What’s more, merino wool is naturally anti-microbial and odor resistant – perfect for those layers that tend to get sweaty.
Socks and Boots
Again, ditch the cotton. We highly recommend merino wool or merino-synthetic blend socks with a sock liner. This provides excellent moisture management which will help prevent blisters. And again, merino wool is naturally odor resistant, allowing you to wear the same items for multiple days.
When it comes to boots, we swear by Kenetrek. They are tough, extremely comfortable and can stand up to the rugged New Mexico elk hunting conditions. With a waterproof-breathable membrane, Kenetrek boots will keep your feet dry and comfortable.
Mid Layers and Insulation
The crazy New Mexico weather requires the ability to add or remove layers as conditions change. We recommend bringing a few different mid-layers. Bring a mid-weight hoody for chilly mornings, as well as a packable down vest for those colder days.
Jackets and Pants
We recommend bringing a lightweight softshell jacket. This is something that will keep you warm and block wind, without adding a ton of weight to your system. Next, it’s important to pack a quality rain jacket. Lightweight, breathable rain gear isn’t cheap. But when hunting elk in tough conditions, great rain gear is worth the investment.
In addition to a quality rain jacket, rain pants are essential. High quality rain pants should be breathable and relatively lightweight. For your hunting pants, we recommend brining two pairs for varying conditions. It can be nice to have a very lightweight pair for hot weather. Plus, bring a mid-weight pant that can be versatile if the weather turns cold.
Early Season Elk Hunts with LOH Outfitters
We hope this provided some insight into the clothing that we pack for a New Mexico elk hunt. If you’d like to learn more about our guided hunts, please explore the rest of the website. If you’d like to know more about availability or other specifics, don’t hesitate to send us a message. Or, call Jerry directly at 315-374-8209.