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Double U Hunting Supply Trophy Bucks and Bulls

Author Topic: Peaches - Planning through the hunt  (Read 10244 times)

Offline scudmaster

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Re: Peaches - Planning through the hunt
« Reply #75 on: October 26, 2017, 09:24:39 PM »
Well????  I turned my tag back in.  I hope you made me regret it Stein???
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Offline Stein

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Re: Peaches - Planning through the hunt
« Reply #76 on: October 28, 2017, 01:13:27 PM »
Back from a great week and long story short, I'm trying to get out for the closing weekend.  That said, I had a great time, saw a bunch of stuff and really learned a few things that made me a better hunter.  I hunted harder than I ever had and gave it my all.

Friday - I wanted to beat Hellevue traffic, so I left the castle at 4:45 am, breezed over the pass and stopped in Yakima for a few odds and ends.  Rolled into camp about 10 am, set up the Bighorn, stove and gear and set off to cut wood.  The woods were very wet, but with the thinning off 19, it wasn't exactly hard to get a good load.  I put a new carb and chain on the saw and man did that make a difference. 

The fire was going by 2 pm with light rain falling.

Offline Stein

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Re: Peaches - Planning through the hunt
« Reply #77 on: October 28, 2017, 01:22:12 PM »
Saturday - Up early and up to Spot 1A.  Arrived to find a camp set up, not a huge surprise.  I hiked 2 miles behind a gate to be passed by a quad clearly in a place he shouldn't be.  I got to my glassing spot a bit discouraged, but set up in a light snow.  After about an hour, I spot movement and then glass up what appears to be a pretty decent bear.  I don't really want to shoot up my elk spot, but with the quad my hopes aren't great, so I do the scramble finding my rifle mag, getting loaded and set (I wasn't planning on shooting so wasn't fully ready to go).

Just as I'm getting settled, the quad rips right above the cut and the bear scrambles into the thick.  It wasn't a huge patch, so I watched and he never came out.  No biggie, cool experience.

I decided that since I was up there I might as well walk around.  I put a few more miles in and then turned around to notice a coyote in the middle of the trail looking at me.  He apparently didn't like the looks of me unslinging my rifle and booked.  I followed his tracks (loving snow hunting) for a bit then gave up the chase.

On my way back down, I ran across a second set of quad tracks and both riders just zooming all around at 10-15 mph not even stopping to glass.  I guess they were either patrolling for undocumented individuals or trying to hit a deer with their quad?  Never makes sense to me to rip around scaring all the game and then expecting to shoot one, but to each their own.  I decided to let them have the area rather than confront or call it in, there are plenty of other areas and this one is already burned.

On the way out, I checked out spot 1B nearby and it had a quad camp as well.  Both areas are clearly off limits to quads and here are these camps all set up with tracks going in and out.  Not too stealthy, apparently enforcement isn't that great.

I cut another batch of wood and then set out for the PM scout.  This was a spot hinted at by a fellow Hunt WA member, thanks!  It ended up being a nice little spot, but no recent tracks or sign but plenty of stuff leftover from the rut.

Offline Stein

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Re: Peaches - Planning through the hunt
« Reply #78 on: October 28, 2017, 01:29:29 PM »
Saturday Night

The rain really started to pick up.  Back at camp, I secured a few things and was ready to go out for the PM scout when the rain went from hard to crazy hard.  I wasn't exactly in a low area, but with this kind of rain any slightest elevation change can mean trouble.  Water started pooling at the rear of the tent which is where the stove and open part of the floor under the stove are.

I made a trench and berm around the back of the tent and figured that was that.  Well, it wasn't.  For the next few hours, I enlarged trenches, built up more berms and then started having to drain trenches.  The rain kept falling, steadily heavy with no break. 

By 9 pm, I had trenches in the front due to a nice pond forming above the tent door that I didn't want coming in.

By 10 pm, I had a full moat all around the tent that was filling with water every 20 minutes and then overflowing into the tent.  I had a sled and one gallon bucket and took 40-60 gallons out every 20 minutes!  I would go back in the tent, drenched and shivering around the stove until water started coming back in and then repeat.  Every time I went out, it seemed to be worse until the point where I emptied the sled 4 times (about 120 gallons) and wasn't even keeping up.

Running out of options, I secured my stuff in the tent as high as I could, stoked the stove and went to bed.

Offline Stein

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Re: Peaches - Planning through the hunt
« Reply #79 on: October 28, 2017, 01:31:34 PM »
Sunday - I slept in a bit and then had a fair amount of work cleaning up, drying out and regrouping.  Much water, mud, wet clothes, but nothing that a good fire and shovel can't fix.

I cut another small batch of wood and then headed out to check another dandy spot.  I took the long way in and crept through some pretty elky looking timber but didn't scratch up any elk or deer.  The spot was truly beautiful, but again no sign fresher than a week or so.

I worked my way back out and walked right by a game cam, gave a wave and made my way back to the truck.

Offline Stein

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Re: Peaches - Planning through the hunt
« Reply #80 on: October 28, 2017, 01:40:03 PM »
Monday - Opener!

I was really amazed at how few hunters were around.  Deer was still open and more people have left than arrived since I set camp.  Except spots 1A and B, I pretty much could hunt wherever I wanted without any competition.

I awoke early, drove, parked and started my pre-dawn hike in.  It was an easy mile or so to the end of the trail and then through some reprod to my spot.  Unfortunately, no elk joined me to witness the awesome sunrise but a coyote was right in the middle of the area.  We watched each other for a bit and then he jogged off.  I waited for an hour and then still hunted around the area not finding any new sign.

I spent the middle part of the day scouting for additional spots and covering areas I haven't been in yet.  My map was starting to get pretty marked up with additional spots as well as areas checked off.

I hiked a promising looking road that turned out to be not noteworthy at all.

I honed my satellite image scouting skills and found a better spot to hike to.  This spot turned out to be the first "Elk Park" of the trip, an area too small and broken to be a meadow, but open enough for grass to grow and have several linked areas in the same general spot.  Tons of sign all over and I walked a good four miles through and around the area without finding any living proof.  It was worthy of a future look, so it went on the list.

On the way back to camp, I drove two new roads, found a large camp just on the other side of a locked gate situated so you would literally have to walk between a few tents to get into the area.  Not my style at all, so I left it to those type of hunters to enjoy.

I also hit some really steep and deep area with a few hunters that were using multiple spotters on adjacent ridgelines.  There was no way to hunt this solo, so I had a quick chat and back to camp for the night.

Offline Stein

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Re: Peaches - Planning through the hunt
« Reply #81 on: October 28, 2017, 01:47:11 PM »
Tuesday

I was now in pretty good rhythm, up early to check a promising pre-scouted spot, spend the middle of the day lining up new spots and then setting up for the evening hunt.

I ended up seeing 5-7 elk in a nice meadow, but couldn't get an accurate count or look for bulls until there was more light.  I made what ended up being a not so great move and they were gone by the time daylight arrived.  I still hunted, but the snow was long gone and I couldn't determine which way they went to bed.

I checked the Elk Park, but no new sign from overnight so I crossed that one off the list at least for now.

I also checked Elk Park 2, nothing fresh there and struck out at another promising spot.

In the early afternoon, I found a great glassing spot, but to get to what I was looking at would take a 4 mile mostly uphill hike just to get to the hunting area.  I had lunch and glassed and only turned up a couple of mulies.

I drove a bit further in, parked and then hiked into what would become Trump Park - it was "uuge" and bigger than all the others, thus the name.  Sign everywhere and the largest elk track I have seen.  I could easily fit all four of my fingers inside the track and I'm 6'4" and wear 2XL gloves.  It was a tricky spot that I just lucked into and was pretty sure it didn't get much if any pressure, maybe not even touched during muzzy or archery season.

I had just enough time to head back into town for gas, laundry and a few nice to have items before rushing back to set up my lone game cam in the meadow I saw elk that morning.  I was pretty pumped as I had two spots with elk in them for the next day.

Offline Stein

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Re: Peaches - Planning through the hunt
« Reply #82 on: October 28, 2017, 01:53:31 PM »
Wednesday

Usual routine, I was parked one mile outside of Trump Park well before daylight and snuck in, arriving just at shooting light.  I hunkered down for 10 minutes and after not hearing anything snuck through and around the area using the wind in my favor.  Nada?  Plenty of new sign including multiple sets of beds clearly outlined in the frosted ground.  One area had a group of 6, then a group of three and several lone beds that were noticeably bigger, but nothing living.  I found the exit trail and followed in through two other mini-spots for about 2 miles and only scratched up a deer.  I followed another trail up and over Trump Park to another nice park where I found a fresh set of the Big Boy's tracks.

I went back to the meadow with the cam, found no sign of elk in the meadow or cam and then back to Trump to set the cam on the bedding area.  I spent a half hour arguing with myself whether I should set the cam on the bedding area or on one of the trails Biggie had used.  In the end, I went with the odds and hoped to see a bull in the bedding area.

I crept out and spent the rest of the day looking over old and new spots, nothing really exciting was found.

Then, the invasion started.  All day, rig after rig rolled in and camps were popping up everywhere.  I knew it was going to get busy for the Saturday general opener, but I didn't realize that Wed am was the last I was going to have the woods to myself.

I made a set on Trump for the evening and was treated to a cow coming in to about 30 yards, munching a bit and then wandering out.  I waited a few minutes to make sure a bull wasn't following and then stalked through the area she went to trying to make something happen.  No luck, but another amazing sunset to end a great day.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2017, 02:03:55 PM by Stein »

Offline Stein

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Re: Peaches - Planning through the hunt
« Reply #83 on: October 28, 2017, 02:01:46 PM »
Thursday

I decided to set up on a new meadow with fresh sign for a few minutes and give the cam time in the daylight at Trump to see if they were maybe coming in later.

I had the meadow to myself until one minute before shooting when a group scouting for the opener piled out.  They were actively moving through the area with near nonstop crow calling at each other at about 95 dB.  No elk were in the meadow or surrounding area, and I was tired of hearing the calling so I headed to Trump.

After stalking around with the wind, I looped back and picked up the cam.  Plenty of elk on the cam this time, but they all came in about an hour after shooting light, fed, bedded and bugged out promptly at 5 am.

I hit two more spots on the way back to camp, no luck.  Although I had seen and learned a ton, I had spent a week at it and work was starting to pile up along with family obligations.  I pulled camp and made the drive home.  The main factor driving the decision was that I didn't have any good spots left to try and nearly everything that held some promise was now getting hit twice a day by the general crowd.

I'm trying to make a second hunt work for the closing weekend, but I'm not sure I can get the time off and need to figure out either some new spots or try my old spots now they have been pushed around all week and hopefully aided with some snow.

I had an amazing trip, loved every minute except the deluge and saw some amazing sights.  Maybe I'll get back, if not I still have a good buck tag to pursue.  I would love to put a bunch of elk meat up, my kids really dig the stuff.  Who knows, maybe I'll be able to pull it off yet, season isn't over.

Offline Mark Brenckle

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Re: Peaches - Planning through the hunt
« Reply #84 on: October 28, 2017, 04:44:03 PM »
Sounds like you had a good hunt so far, hope you're able to get back out there.

 

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