GUEST BLOG: Tom Slaughter, Twelve Months of Hunting Part Two



As Tom explained in part 1 of his Filson Life blog series, he is a year round hunter, there is no off-season. With his second installment with, Filson Life, Tom explains how he continues to prepare for his hunts in order to execute when it comes time to hunt.  Good luck out there this weekend!

Location, check.  Tags, check. Permission, check.  Packing list, check.  With all of the planning completed for my Montana Elk and Mule deer hunt this fall, I am finally ready to continue with my year round rituals that keep me in the hunting spirit.   With the hunt just months away, there is still plenty to do.

Once my rifle/ammo is selected, I check my clothing as Montana has some of the most brutal winters and weather patterns.  I hunt with primarily Filson clothing and, through the years, have purchased different hunting clothes, depending on the climate in the area I am hunting.   For this hunt, I will need two sets of hunting clothes:  My Mackinaw wool bibs and jacket for the elk hunt and my double tin pants with either my sweater or my merino wool shirt.  These Filson garments have endured years of hunting and I try to take good care of them, taking a little time to prepare them for the hunt.  The Tin pants get waxed, the boots oiled, and the wool dry-cleaned and sewn where the occasional barbed wire fence has taken its toll.  Usually this ritual of preparing my clothes involves a nice glass of wine and patience.  For some reason, I have never had to change or replace a button on my Filson shirts.

In addition to my personal clothing, I need to ensure I have all my other equipment in check.  This includes everything from optics to processing equipment.  As I run through my list, I target all of the items needed for purchase.  Next, I start organizing the items to be packed.  I usually fly out with a cooler loaded with game bags, a vacuum sealer, the entire field dressing equipment, etc.  I always spend a little time packing a day pack that has the necessities for personal hygiene and first aid.  The first aid kit should be packed to the highest level you are comfortable with or trained at.  By starting this process early, I again give myself the best opportunity to be organized and well-prepared.

I look forward to this fall’s hunts all year long.  The process of researching and preparing for the hunt keeps my hunger for hunting alive all year long.  While I may not work on my hunting plans on a daily or even weekly basis, knowing that I am continuously preparing for a hunt “hands on” makes me a hunter even during the off-season.  With all the prep work done year long, I am hopeful that it will pay off.  This year my old man is going with me and if we don’t harvest the 6 by 6 or the 30″ Mulie, it will be just fine.  I will at least know that I was prepared to get the big one.  Good luck fellow hunters.