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Author Topic: Eastern Washington Mulies  (Read 6396 times)

Offline Dan/WA

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Eastern Washington Mulies
« on: June 01, 2007, 06:53:48 PM »
Being as I've primarily hunted whitetails, I honestly don't know where to begin.

A friend and I have decided that we're tired of hunting overcrowded private land. We're considering backpack hunting for both Mulies and Elk this fall, but we're unsure of where to start our search.

We're archery hunters and we're willing to hike quite a distance if the hunting will be decent. Any land we can get in 10 miles or so would be nice.

Any thoughts?

Offline ICEMAN

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2007, 09:07:46 PM »
I am not a bowhunter, so I can't help you there...but I would just be sure not to "bite off more than you can chew." If a warm weather hunt is in your future, and just two guys, you may have meat spoilage issues on your hands if you get too far away from the road.
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Offline Dan/WA

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2007, 09:17:12 PM »
I've got a lead from a customer at my store on a packer who will pack the meat out from anywhere, just so long as we can get him the GPS coordinates to a spot where he can realistically get his animals [mules].

Meat spoilage will be the least of our worries, if I can hire this gentleman.

Offline Ridgerunner

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2007, 09:41:19 PM »
If I were a bowhunter I would pick a wilderness area or a roadless area outside of a wilderness to pack into.  Picking one that is not open for the high hunt would probably be my first choice, those areas are probably overlooked by bowhunters.  High hunt areas get hit pretty hard.

Offline boneaddict

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2007, 09:49:38 PM »
Overcrowded private land.......you'll be amazed at how many folks are on public land, even 10 miles back. 

Offline Dan/WA

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2007, 09:52:04 PM »
That is what we're looking for primarily; something that isn't easily accessable to other hunters simply because they're too lazy to pack into it.

Large wilderness areas that hold decent animal populations that we can pack into 10+ miles.

Bone - When you're hunting a property that is 130 acres with six other hunters on it in any given season (who primarily bait), you're getting too crowded. I find it difficult to believe that we'll run into two other hunters ten miles in let alone a half dozen.

Offline boneaddict

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2007, 10:00:15 PM »
You'd be surprised, but I hear what you are saying.  Thats about where I usually am, so might see you there.  Opening morning two years ago, I was 7 miles in where I usually hunt for the most part by myself.  I counted 23 orange vests.  I was like WTF.  I walked out, and went in deeper and darker and found what I was looking for.  I'm not trying to rain on your parade, as you have the right idea.  Unfortunately so does half the other serious hnters in the world, or those that aren't serious and read thats where to go and try it one year until they down an animal or feels what its like to eat your knees for breakfast. Washington just isn't big enough.   Good luck and have fun.  Muley hunting presents a whole different set of challenges than whitetails.

Offline Dan/WA

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2007, 10:14:16 PM »
I definitely understand what you're saying and I sure hope that we don't put in all the work we're planning on putting in only to run into a bunch of other hunters. One of the reasons I enjoy bowhunting as much as I do is for the simple fact that there are less of us in the woods.

I rifle hunted state land up near Curlew for several years and ran into the same situation you described; a blanket of orange. Granted, I was ten and we didn't hike in any more than a half mile, but it was still discouraging, even for a young kid.

The only problem hunting this way will be time constraints. I work in the archery department at Sportsman's Warehouse here in Spokane, so come September, we'll be slammed with last minute tune-ups. I'll have two days a week to hunt, which means leaving after work, hiking in late that night, hunting for two days, hiking out and driving home late the second day/night. I'm committed enough to do it, I just need to find an area where my efforts won't be completely fruitless.

Offline ICEMAN

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2007, 06:37:38 AM »
I've got a lead from a customer at my store on a packer who will pack the meat out from anywhere, just so long as we can get him the GPS coordinates to a spot where he can realistically get his animals [mules].

Meat spoilage will be the least of our worries, if I can hire this gentleman.

He may be very busy when you call him, and be 100 miles away. He may tell you, "OK, see you in two days..."  You may wish to have an alternate plan ready to go. I would research some of the meat care techniques used in warm weather. It would be an aweful shame to see your venison go to waste. I admit it, once I ruined a bunch of meat on an elk I shot because I did not get the meat properly cooled quick enough. Many years ago. I will never let this happen again. The romance of a great hunt should never let us forget how crucial meat care in the field is. We owe this to our quarry, to not let anything go to waste.
molṑn labé

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Kill your television....do it now.....

Don't make me hurt you.

“I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.”  John Wayne

Offline boneaddict

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2007, 07:44:11 AM »
Here is my story for you...
My wife and I hiked in several miles and set up base camp, more like a spike camp.  We got up at o hundred its early and hiked to where we coud see half of the world.  My goal was to spot a brute then go to him.  We were set up when shooting light came.  Shots fired, lesson one, no matter how far back you re, there is alwayssomeone else farther back.  I heard a deer coming so we repositioned ourseves.  It was a nice four point, but he never presented with a good shot, so we let him go.  We decided to loop above him, just in case he circled back, and the thought maybe of more deer.  We did see several small threes, but nothing we wanted.  More shots...from yet another outfitter camp.  Here comes a nice buck walking right towards us.  He looked to be a brute, but It took me a second to grow a third point on him.  go ahead and take him, so my wife dumps him in one shot.  We started walking up a rock knife ridge to get to him when here comes a two point.  He stops at about 15 feet.  We just held still.  Here comes some more deer.  All I can see coming is over the knife ridge right on top of us is a 30 inch spread.  I swing up, the two point bolted and all I could see of the big guy was his eye when I pulled the trigger.  I missed and he and three smaller four points that looked to be cloned, behind him headed for the top of the ridge.  I ran up it as hard as I could to cut them off.  At this time it had strted to snow and blow right n my face.  When I got to where I could see the big one slipped over the top along with one of the other fours.  I busted the next one in line.  We gutted them both, then headed out.  On the way out coming down the trail, I ran into a gut pile.  Two guys had been hiking in, when the first fou point came strolling along and they shot him.  Here they were....five miles in.  When I got to them they were tryingt to drag him out.  I was like holy moly.  Lesson two.....be prepared at what you are doing.  This is what Iceman is telling you.  Mule deer hunting in the mountains is WAY different than busting a whitetail a hundred yards from camp.  Anyhow, I went out and rallied the mules and my trusty packer Idabooner.  My ife chose to let the boys take care of the rest.  When we got back in, lets just say the weather had turned for the worse.  Now about thosetwo guys.  They got their deer out.  I knew they would never be back, but what I didn't count on was their mouths.  The next year, there were orange vests everywhere, but not those two guys.  I gues they figured that since they woud never go back they would talk.  Everyone of those guys knew of them and their four point.  I was pissed.  So much for my honey hole.  Now I have another one.

Here is my wifes buck


« Last Edit: June 02, 2007, 08:11:59 AM by boneaddict »

Offline boneaddict

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2007, 08:08:55 AM »
Bowseason tends to offer a bit warmer temps and you need to get that deer out.  My big speech was to just warn you to be prepared of what you are biting off.  10 miles is a long hike with camp and a deer on your back.  A good book for you to read if you haven't already would be Eastmans High country mule deer hunting book.  I'm almost certain my packer is going to quite answering his phone during hunting season.  We almost shot and ate his mule on that trip as well.   ;)


here was mine.....

Offline WAcoyotehunter

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2007, 08:28:43 AM »
You won't see a sea of orange in the bow season.  If you find and area not open to the early rifle hunters you'll be able to get away from the crowds.  If there are other archers around, their disturbance will not be as much as it would with the firearm hunters.   How will you call your packer?  Satellite phone?   I have my wife at home "on call" with the horse trailer hooked up and ready.  The problem is i hunt two hours from the house and it's a five mile hike for me to drive twenty minutes to get cell reception...five or six hours from the time I decide to call to when she arrives.  It will be a challenging hunt...from your posts it sounds like your cup of tea!  Good Luck!

Offline Dan/WA

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2007, 10:41:20 AM »
I appreciate all the advice so far, guys!

As for the packer, it isn't his primary occupation. It is more of a hobby for him, so if I have him on retainer, he'll be where I need him, when I need him. If for some reason something comes up where he can't get to me, we'll just find another way. Cool the meat in a creek, pack it in snow, we'll figure something out.

We'll rent a SatPhone, they aren't expensive, and they're worth every penny.

Bone, you mentioned that no matter how far back you go, there will always be someone farther back. This is why we're looking for remote, rugged terrain. We aren't the type to be beat easily, so chances are we'll be those that are farther back from the rest.

I haven't read the High Country mule deer hunting book, however Backcountry Bowhunting by Cameron Hanes is absolutely my favorite hunting book.

Offline MichaelJ

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2007, 02:07:03 PM »
Dan/WA
A buddy and I are planning to do the exact same thing, however we're going into his area to hunt...  However I'm planning on hunting from September 1-30, 4-5 days a week.  And I believe we'll be in around 7-8 miles from a trail.  If you're only planning to hunt 2 days at a time and it's for archery, you better spend your time during the summer scouting your butt off.  In most highcountry areas, the deer density is pretty light, but if you keep scouting areas you should find a honey hole that seems to hold more than your average number of bucks...  Good luck!

Michael
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Offline WDFW-SUX

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2007, 02:12:27 PM »
Washington state has more roads per square mile than any other state in the west. Chances are that if you go ten miles it will only be three miles from a road on the other side.  The only way to get away from other people is to go places that are borderline dangerous because of terrain and accessibility issues when  bad weather shows up. Either way you need to be really well prepared.  Ten miles is a long way on a two day hunt IMHO.
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Offline Ridgerunner

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2007, 02:59:46 PM »
I agree for a two day hunt I would go maybe 3-4 miles in, otherwise you will be so worn out by the time you get there you won't be able to hunt effectively.  You should be able to find plenty of good spots doing that.  Just my 2 cents, if I was coming from Spokane I would head to the Kettle Range for big muleys or the Salmo Priest Wilderness area.

Offline boneaddict

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2007, 10:16:40 PM »
Quote
Bone, you mentioned that no matter how far back you go, there will always be someone farther back. This is why we're looking for remote, rugged terrain. We aren't the type to be beat easily, so chances are we'll be those that are farther back from the rest.


I wish you luck!

Offline high country

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2007, 08:50:36 PM »
high country wilderness hunts during archery season don't require a packer on most years. I have taken elk in william douglas and night temps were really cool, we just piled our bags on the meat for the day and all was well. if you think you can get away from people, even in stick season......good luck. Best advice is to use other hunters to your advantage. if there are big bulls, there will be hunters.

Offline Vek

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Re: Eastern Washington Mulies
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2007, 06:44:17 PM »
If you want to escape people, going "in" is only half of the equation.  Find someplace where you have to go "up" too, and I don't mean just following a streambed trail.  "Up" trumps "in" anyday.   

 

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