A Few Notes from Brad on his Training, tips, and Preparation
- I'm a bit anal when it comes to my gear. See the included
packing list to understand.
- Andy Cool seriously hooked me up from a communications
standpoint with an Iridium 9555 and all the fixins. If you need to rent a sat
phone for an upcoming hunt or travels, or if you're interested in buying a
phone, I'd highly recommend giving Andy or Nina (Zabuga) at Explorer Satellite
- You need a system for keeping your electronics running and
your batteries warm. I use one I learned about here on the Bowsite -- a pizza
bag with tons of chemical warmers.
- Winterization of cameras/video cameras is beyond my scope
here, but serious photographers traveling to the Arctic should look further
into this subject. You should definitely pack a spare disposable camera in
case your digital gets hypothermic.
- Remove all grease/lubricants from the moving parts of your
equipment. Some of these compounds can actually freeze in artic-level
- Turn off the heat in your home. Turn off the heat in your
truck. Shoot outside in your underwear.
- Also spend some time practicing with your clothes (meaning
your Arctic clothes) ON. Have a system for what you are going to change
into/wear for the final stalk/shot. Many bowhunters/archers shoot draw lengths
that are too long for them (probably the most common form flaw I see) - this
can especially be a problem when bulky clothing/sleeves are necessary.
- Acclimatization is important to both your success and your
enjoyment of the hunt. I'm an ultrarunner, so I spend lots of time outside
training in the winter. This winter I wore as little clothing as possible on
my runs - some of which are measured in days rather than hours. If you work
outside you are in luck, because that is the perfect time to wean layers and
- I actually tried to put on a little weight for this hunt. Fat is natural insulation. For the record, you will never hear me say this
about another hunt, but traveling to the Arctic is a bad time to get lean.
- I get asked a lot about mental preparation in the setting
of dangerous game bow hunting. You need to bring your mental "A" game for a
hunt like this. You need to spend time visualizing potential shot scenarios. You need to know exactly what standards you are going to hold for yourself and
your shot selection - i.e. shot distance, shot angle, wind speed/conditions,
the posture/mood of the animal, etc. You need to visualize these things enough
that they become second nature. Even with all of this - even when you do
everything right - realize that things can still turn into a giant gong show.