Randy Newberg presents his top elk hunting gear picks – everything from bows and broadheads to boots and backpacks. I am getting a lot more emails about gear now that many of you are winding down your elk hunts.
Those who send me emails usually experience frustration during elk season and are looking for suggestions for gear that would prove more effective than what they used in the season.
We’re going to hear about what gear Randy Newberg uses from the professional hunter himself. Take this information with a grain of salt since hunting gear is a delicate subject.
1. Prime Rize Bow
Many of you know that I underwent a major change in my bow choice a few years ago, and I kept it in mind when I made that choice. To be more specific, I tested four different bows for over a month before settling on one.
My fingers constantly kept landing on the Prime Alloy that I had chosen, so that is the one I went with. A constant, smooth performance immediately won me over, and the tuning was too easy.
When Prime unveiled its new Rize product last winter, I decided to give it a try. With my bow, I have never felt more confident. Bows like this are absolute shooters.
2. Black Eagle Spartan Arrows
It has been a few years now since I have used Black Eagle arrows, and I have gained their trust. They fly well and are tough. It has been three or four seasons since I’ve shot the Rampage arrows and they have been flawless.
In the spring and summer of 2016, I began shooting Spartan arrows at 3D tournaments, since these new arrows caught my attention last winter. They are my favorite. I am placing my 440 grains at just over 15% FOC when combined with a 30-grain insert weight and 100-grain broadheads.
3. EXO 2000 Pack
My sincere apologies for the fact that I have abused EXO packs over the past 3-4 seasons, but in truth, I have used and abused EXO packs! It’s a good way to say it.
According to my understanding. As far back as I can recall, my ultimate goal has been to find a pack that could serve as a crossbreed.
One that could be lightweight and efficient for day hunting, but still allow me to carry heavy loads when I am successful. For the past three seasons, I have used the EXO 3500 as close to perfect as I could get.
4. Vortex Ranger 1500 Rangefinder
The rangefinder I upgraded this off-season was another item I purchased. It was working fine for me, and I had no complaints.
I was able to consistently hit objects out to 750-800 yards, making it a great archery hunting weapon. To get a reading, however, I had to push the button twice, which was not a big deal.
I decided to give the new Ranger 1500 a try after it was released and boasted single-push readings in addition to even more range. I had a blast. It has been more than 1800 yards so far that I have hit with the rangefinder. It is incredibly accurate.
With a single push of a button, it accomplishes all of this. I have my doubts about the need for the upgrade, but overall, I am very satisfied with the new model, and I can definitely see the improvements Vortex made.
5. Crispi Valdrez Boots
Boots annoy me. As for boots, I love them too. Trying to find a boot that fits me well is frustrating. There are some very weird things about my feet, and I’ve tried dozens of quality boots.
It took me several years before I could find a boot that would fit my foot and keep my feet comfortable and dry. Zamberlan Vioz 996 was the boot. Unfortunately, I had to get new boots this year because those boots were worn out. After trying on a couple of pairs of Vioz boots last week, I was pretty certain I would just get another pair of them.
It’s true that I had previously seen Crispi boots at shows, but I had never worn them. In February 2017, I tried them on at the Hunt Expo in Salt Lake City. Even though I found them super comfortable and light, I had no luck finding a pair to replace them with.
It ended up being the Crispi Vadrez I ended up getting and wearing throughout the elk season. The performance was excellent! The boots I wore did not let my feet get wet once throughout the season.
They fit me perfectly, too. The boots did not give me any trouble even though I didn’t have very much time to break them in before the season, and after 170 miles of rough terrain, they are very well broken in.
6. On X Maps GPS Chip
The state GPS chips I have used from On X Maps for several years have never been fully tested. In New Mexico, however, I did while hunting elk with Randy Newberg this year.
When I learned we were tagged with New Mexico, I immediately ordered the card, and it saved the day. We experienced a lot of difficulties finding elk in the area we were hunting because of the many property boundaries.
There were very few fenced or marked boundaries, so it was essential that we always knew where we were. The State of New Mexico does not allow camping on State-owned land, so determining who owned the land in addition to whether it was privately owned was important. In New Mexico, this product’s true value was evident.
7. Yeti Coolers
There are cheap coolers in my shed. As long as I didn’t need them to keep things cool for extended periods of time, they have mostly worked well and served their purpose over the years.
My first hunting trip this season was made more exciting by the fact that I took a new Yeti cooler. We were in grizzly country, and Yeti coolers are “bear-resistant”. I would not be able to access ice throughout the trip.
There has never been a cooler I have seen where the ice remains “unmelted” for so long! I was very impressed with how it turned out. My cooler was not raided by bears either. Yeti coolers have earned my vote when it comes to keeping meat and food cold for extended periods.
8. G5 Striker Broadheads
Two great bulls came my way in September, and I shot both within 100 yards of the target. Precision, toughness, and sharpness.
9. Crossover Stabilizer
My first point is that I am neither a “target” archer nor a “folk” archer. Every archery tournament I participate in and every practice I do is focused on one goal: to be a better elk bowhunter. My game doesn’t revolve around scoring, and I’m not the best “spot” shooter. However, I do a lot of bow shooting.
The exact distances at which my arrows group at 20-100 yards are well known to me and I know what my limitations are. However, I know that stabilizers have a role to play in stabilizing a bow, which is why I’ve always used the standard 10-14″ hunting stabilizers.
The next time I see a target shooter with a 36″ stabilizer, I always laugh and think to myself, “Why shoot with something you’re not planning on hunting with?”? My attention was then drawn to an interesting stabilizer.
10. Spot Hogg Sight
This stuff is bulletproof. Having my pins set means I never have to be concerned about moving or breaking anything. My eyes never even require me to think about these sights once I have them set up, so I sometimes forget how awesome they are. That’s great!
11. Tightspot Quivers
There’s nothing I don’t like about my Tightspot Quiver. My first Tightspot hooked me straight away. I’ve shot a lot of quivers over the years. IMHO, a quiver should do everything – sit closer to your bow to minimize torque, adjust to find your ideal balance, and don’t rattle when you shoot.
Prepare your “base pack” so that it goes with you wherever you go. It will be more accurate if you add some variables based on the season and species. Knowing you have it on hand is nice. And these are the top gears used by Randy Newberg.