You MUST have waders!
Waders are your single most important piece of gear on a moose or bear hunt. You will live in these waders all day every day. Hiking boots are not acceptable. YOU MUST WEAR WADERS.
Do not come on this hunt planning to carry waders and put them on as needed – You ALWAYS need waders.
Without your feet in good condition, you can not effectively hunt. Wear your waders and hike in them to make sure they fit. Poorly fitting wading boots will at best make you miserable and at worst completely ruin your hunt.
Absolutely NO COTTON!
Hoody and Pant
Jacket, Parka, Pant
I prefer Synthetic Insulation for Moose and Bear hunts. Down is a fantastic insulator, compresses better, and weighs less than anything synthetic, and I certainly prefer it on sheep hunts and in certain situations, but even treated “waterproof” down is inferior in wet, humid weather to modern synthetics like Primaloft Gold, Climashield Apex, or many others. These hunts are very wet, and you will be damp. Synthetics handle this weather better than down. The choices below are all top-notch synthetic fill.
Buy only the best rain gear!
This is one of your most important pieces of gear. We strongly recommend rubber rain gear over breathable types for these extremely wet hunts. You will probably be wearing this every day. Even on days when there is no rain you often find yourself wearing your rain parka to break the cold wind. Because the majority of moose and bear hunting is stationary, we find rubber rain gear to be superior to “breathable” rain gear. Do not come with cheap rain gear. You will regret it. Get one of the choices listed below.
Only High-Quality Packs!
You MUST have a pack that is at a minimum, 3300 Cubic Inches, and I much prefer larger packs in the 6-7,000+ Cubic Inch size. Do not bring a small pack thinking you will have to carry less. A high-volume expedition pack weighs virtually the same as a small pack, and it will ride much more comfortably than a small pack will. You need the larger volume pack for this hunt. Your day gear, warm clothes, and rain gear are very bulky, and although it does not weigh much, it takes up a lot of space in a pack. It is also MUCH faster to throw your gear in a cavernous, large pack when we have to move FAST to go after an animal, rather than struggling to jam it into a pack that is too small and is bursting at the seams.
When moose hunting, the 30 calibers are ideal, and the 33 calibers are great as well. The 375s work great too.300 Win Mag., 300 PRC, 300 WBY Mag, 300 RUM, 338 Win Mag, 340 WBY Mag, 33 Nosler, 338 Rum, 375 H&H, 375 Ruger.
Finding the right balance between quality glass and lightweight is difficult, but your scope should not weigh more than 20-23 oz at the most. The scopes I have listed are proven very durable and repeatable. Adjustable elevation turrets for shooting long-range are of no concern when hunting bears, though can be very useful when moose hunting, although seldom needed.
Some of the best scopes for bear and moose rifles are as follows: Leupold VX3 2.5-8.5 x 33mm, VX6 1-6×24 or 2-12×42, Nightforce NXS 2.5-10×42, Nightforce NX8 1-8 or ATACR 1-8, Swarovski Z8 1-8×24.
I strongly suggest getting a Ballistically matched turret for your scope or knowing the MOA/Mrad come up at different ranges. This is the best way to shoot at longer ranges (beyond your 200 yard zero). Though elevation turrets are not recommended on bear rifles, you need to know how your bullet drops, and should know basic holdover values.