A list of supplies for elk season: Inside Cody McCarthy’s hunting pack
Article Written by M.D. Johnson
Featured Photo Credit: Jesse Cook
Almost without exception, we hunters carry quite a bit of “stuff,” which we refer to as “gear” in the field. If we didn’t, there would be no need for items such as turkey vests or waterfowl blind bags. Am I correct here?
For an elk hunter, day packs are as essential as the items inside. Over the past 20 years, I’ve written several stories detailing the gear items I, along with many, many other outdoor enthusiasts across the nation, carry with them afield. And while I don’t wish to brag — BRAG! — the stories have been quite well-received, since many of us are interested in what others pack afield.
This week, Slayer Calls spent a little phone time with 2021 World Elk Calling Champion and Slayer’s product innovation director, Cody McCarthy. I asked about his supplies for elk season, and what he carries inside his archery elk day pack. What he revealed was, not surprisingly, quite interesting.
The Pack: McCarthy uses a Mystery Ranch Pintler.
Author’s Note: As a wildland firefighter, I’m very familiar with the Mystery Ranch line of Engine/Initial Attack packs; however, the Pintler was new to me. She gets great reviews, though, and features 2,355 cubic inches of storage, while weighing only 5.7 pounds.
Cody McCarthy’s list of supplies for elk season
McCarthy began by explaining he’s a Type 1 Diabetic. Therefore, he includes the following specifically, should something medically occur while he’s in the field:
- Extra diabetes supplies
The following are his more common supplies for elk season:
- Hydration bladder
- Game bags
- Knives (Montana Knife Company blades by Josh Smith)
- Wyoming skinning knife
- Small bone saw
- Cellophane (for keeping skinned/boned meat clean)
- Snacks (e.g., trail mix and a sandwich)
- First aid kit
- Suture kit
- Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and Benadryl
- Antiseptic spray
- Bracing materials
- Hunting licenses and tags
- Mystery Ranch binocular harness
- Vortex 10×50 Razor binocular
- Vortex 1500 rangefinder
- Wind checker
- Extra calls
- Garmin InReach satellite phone
- Allen wrench
- Extra D-Loop
- Serving material
- Scent-A-Way wipes
Author’s Note: I’ll add my own two cents here and chronicle a few things I carry in my elk pack. Mind you, I hunt Washington’s October muzzleloader season, so my contents will differ slightly from McCarthy’s.
- Gerber Multi-tool
- #550 Paracord (50’)
- Menu 21 MRE (Chunk light tuna/lemon pepper)
- Drinking water
- Toilet paper
- Baby wipes
- Schumacher 800-amp battery charger (cell phone charger)
- Jersey gloves
- Extra socks
- Toboggan hat
- Walmart bags for chanterelle mushrooms
- 50-caliber Speedloaders and #209 primers
- Quart- and gallon-sized Ziplock bags
- Pen and small notepad
- Muzzleloader breakdown/repair kit
- Extra pair of eyeglasses
Meet M.D. Johnson
Originally from Ohio, M.D. Johnson, and his wife/business partner, Julia, spent 18 years in Iowa before relocating to her native Washington state in 2015. A full-time freelance outdoor writer since 1992, Johnson, with the photographic assistance of his wife, has authored and illustrated six full-length books, including three on waterfowl hunting. Today, The Johnsons reside in Wahkiakum County, where they both enjoy a 107-day duck season, salmon fishing, and everything the wonderful Pacific Northwest has to offer. Oh, and if you ask, M.D. will tell you he prefers 16 gauge doubles to anything else.