Hunt trip planning: Your boots may be even more important than your firearm
As you can imagine, I’m really looking forward to my British Columbia mountain goat hunt this fall, even though I know it will almost assuredly be the toughest and most challenging hunt I’ve ever experienced.
I’m preparing for the pain by inflicting some on myself this summer, donning a 40-pound pack and huffing and puffing my way up hills I know would be considered mere speed bumps out in B.C.
Part of that look ahead also has me already planning my packing for the trip and the flight to Calgary, where I’ll meet my guide. It’s not something that should be done without some serious thought. Although you obviously can’t take your firearm onto the plane, there are many pieces of gear you can – and should.
I’ve always had pretty good luck flying with firearms – airlines have lost my gun just one time, and that was on a return trip from a Wyoming antelope hunt. It arrived home a day later, so no harm, no foul. I’d rather have it lag behind me on the way home from a hunt than on the way to it.
Aside from the firearm, on this hunt there is no more important piece of gear than my boots. I’ve already made the decision that they will be part of my carry-on baggage, tucked safely into the pack I’ll be toting on the the hunt – a Mystery Ranch Metcalf model.
Your gun can get lost in transit and the guide/outfitter can keep you in the game by offering up one. But quality boots are another matter entirely. There’s simply no replacing boots that are fitted to your feet and have logged many miles up, down and across in preparation for the hunt.
So my Kenetrek Mountain Extremes will be right with me every step of the way en route west. If I arrive, they will, too.
There’s countless stories out there of hunts ruined by ill-fitting boots and a lack of preparation by hunters who head afield, only to develop crippling blisters that render them immobile and unable to get where they need to get for whatever game they’re pursuing. The only way to avoid that scenario is by purchasing a quality pair of boots, getting accustomed to them and figuring out what sock combinations work for you, and then making sure they arrive with you for your hunt.
My Kenetreks will do just that. I’ll make sure of that.