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LockNLoad Outfitting – Central Alberta Outfitter Quality Hunts for over 30 Years

Author Topic: How to find a place to hunt the High Buck wilderness season.  (Read 3686 times)

Offline Chesapeake

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I was going to respond to another thread, but figured it best to just start another that folks can add to and create a kind of tutorial.

On the internet you'll likely not have a person openly and knowingly hand out much useful info.

You need to research and read between the lines.

Start out by doing searches on hunting boards like this one. But dont just limit yourself to one board, search them all. Then read through all the posts, look at pictures, pay attention to little comments about what, where, and who.

Then do the same searches on the backpacking forums and boards. Those folks are all too happy to post pics and hand out all the details about trails. Read between the lines and scour the pics for good terrain. Take notes on trails, trail heads, ect...

Then hit the outfitters websites. Again look at pics, read between the lines, and pay attention to trail heads, drainages, ect......

Then hit up the forest service web sites and read about trails, trail use ect.... If you’re a year ahead on the game you can drive up after the high buck and look at trail sign in logs.

Once you’ve got things narrowed down to a few trails or access points that appear to offer the right terrain, lack of outfitters, not overly popular with backpackers, suitable water, or otherwise provide access or a jump off point for some or all of the above, then get on Google earth, get the Green trail maps, topo maps, and look it over.

You need to try and narrow things down to a few trailheads and a few areas. Once your there you need to put boots on the ground. August is a good time as you can bear hunt a bit while scouting if you like.

The goal:
A location that due to difficult access, or just being overlooked, offers decent hunting where you can have fun chasing deer and or bear and wont be overcrowded with others.

Those places are few and far between, lots of folks are looking, and no one is going to purposefully offer one up. Those who've had loose lips and let slip only to have their hard earned spot ruined by internet hunters know all to well how sacred such a place is.

Good luck, and have fun.
 

Offline netcoyote

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Re: How to find a place to hunt the High Buck wilderness season.
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2011, 03:10:02 PM »
Good topic. I got interested in High Buck hunts a few years ago. I had climbed for years in several of the wilderness areas open for HB hunts and really wanted to get back into them after my climbing career slowed down. It's tough country and demands respect but it's also some of the most beautiful places to spend your time.
Couple things to add to the list:
1) Like Chesapeake mentioned, you have to do your homework first and then spend time in the field. I started taking a small writing pad and a pencil to jot down as much information as I can on trips. Weather conditions, temperature, barometric pressure, wind patterns, animal signs, tracks, animal movement, anything that can help you put together a pattern that increases your odds of seeing game. Log tracks with your GPS that you can transfer to a map later on.
2) Conditioning is going to be a major factor unless you haul in with a guide. If you plan to hoof it in yourself you are going to be limited to how far you can move yourself and your gear. Practice camping light and get in condition early before the season starts. Once you've picked out a likely looking area from your homework, try out the route in a trial run before the season. I've crossed off a few from my candidate list once I got in the field and found them just too difficult. The flip side of that story is that the harder it is to access, the less likely it will be that you have competition and animals spooked by yahoos.
"...t'aint never a thing wrong with a man such that the mountains can't cure."

Offline NW-GSP

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Re: How to find a place to hunt the High Buck wilderness season.
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2011, 08:03:00 PM »
What lands are considered legal to hunt? Forest service land ect?

Online JimmyHoffa

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Re: How to find a place to hunt the High Buck wilderness season.
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2011, 08:21:24 PM »
What lands are considered legal to hunt? Forest service land ect?

First check the WDFW regs, as I believe not all wilderness areas are open to the High Buck Hunt.  Then grab a map and pick the one that interests you most.  I believe they all fall under US Forest Service control.  The actual boundary, however, is usually a little ways in (quarter mile? mile? depends in some cases).  Often times people assume that the high buck hunt requires going in 10 miles, but legally you only have to get within the boundaries.  The reasons for heading waaaaaay in are because typically it seems there are more and bigger/healthier animals the farther you get in.  One place, for example--the Colonel Bob Wilderness on the Olympic Peninsula is right up almost next to the road, so you can get into the wilderness quickly; but it is very steep and in a rainforest, so if you want to head into the center with the little valleys and such...it is still a tough hike.

Online bobcat

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Re: How to find a place to hunt the High Buck wilderness season.
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2011, 08:39:14 PM »
The area I've hunted most, I'm into the wilderness within less than half a mile, but to get to where the deer are, you still have to go about 3 miles and climb two to three thousand feet. The deer are up as high as you can get. Not down in the bottom of the valley where the trail starts.

Offline True Sportsman

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Re: How to find a place to hunt the High Buck wilderness season.
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2011, 08:49:05 PM »
Google Maps and Google Earth can be your best friends. I've discovered a few awesome spots with them.

One tip to strive to get good at would be interpreting aerial photos. If you can look at aerial photos and determine what the ground actually looks like, you can save yourself lots of scouting time.

If you havent started getting into shape yet, you should start.

Offline shanevg

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Re: How to find a place to hunt the High Buck wilderness season.
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2011, 09:07:51 PM »
I don't focus much on the High Hunt because for some ridiculous reason it is not open for archery.  :bash:

Online JimmyHoffa

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Re: How to find a place to hunt the High Buck wilderness season.
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2011, 09:16:48 PM »
I don't focus much on the High Hunt because for some ridiculous reason it is not open for archery.  :bash:
I believe some of the areas are open for archery, and archers get a head start in those areas AND archers aren't held to the 3 pt minimum rule like the others.  The areas I'm thinking of are open to archery Sep 1-23 and then to High Hunt Rifle/Muzzy Sep 15-25.  Basically the main reason I got the Multi-Season Permit for deer this year....so I can hunt-scout rather than just scout leading up to the actual High Hunt.  And those areas are open for bear starting in August, so even more scouting.

Online Bob33

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Re: How to find a place to hunt the High Buck wilderness season.
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2011, 09:28:08 PM »
I don't focus much on the High Hunt because for some ridiculous reason it is not open for archery.  :bash:
Buckhorn Wilderness is in GMU 621 which opens for archery on Sep 1 and runs through the 23rd.  What more do you want?
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Offline HoofsandWings

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Re: How to find a place to hunt the High Buck wilderness season.
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2011, 09:37:54 PM »
What I have found is some roads are close to the high buck units and some are not.
I would spend some quality time hiking this summer to see where the deer are.
The deer are sparse, so you have to spend time looking for where they are.
I have found lots of areas where they are not.
The trick is there are lot of places where their are a multitude of hikers. I think you have to avoid the worst of those places.
Gathering is easy. Hunting is a challenge.
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Offline shanevg

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Re: How to find a place to hunt the High Buck wilderness season.
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2011, 09:40:15 PM »
I want Pasayten and Glacier Peak Wilderness to be open for archery.

Offline shanevg

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Re: How to find a place to hunt the High Buck wilderness season.
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2011, 09:43:21 PM »
By the way. The original post gives a great summary of how to use the Internet to scout for any hunting trip. Goodie Earth and aerial images are God's gift to hunters. I have no idea how people used to figure out new areas to hunt!

Offline Lowedog

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Re: How to find a place to hunt the High Buck wilderness season.
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2011, 09:57:38 PM »
By the way. The original post gives a great summary of how to use the Internet to scout for any hunting trip. Goodie Earth and aerial images are God's gift to hunters. I have no idea how people used to figure out new areas to hunt!

Time in the field and word of mouth. 
"Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching- even when doing the wrong thing is legal."
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Online JimmyHoffa

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Re: How to find a place to hunt the High Buck wilderness season.
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2011, 10:15:26 PM »
I want Pasayten and Glacier Peak Wilderness to be open for archery.
Pasayten and GPW are open for the High Buck Hunt under the Modern Firearm General Season.  The tag required is the General or Multi.  You can use Archery equipment with either of these tags.  You would, however, be subject to the 3 pt minimum and hunter orange.  You would also be able to hunt the regular modern season with the stick flinger with these tags.  The only down I can see is if you don't have a multi tag, you would have to buy the modern and forgo the archery tag.  The muzzy tag wouldn't let you use the bow though.  Don't know if you looked at this option.


Offline alecvg

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Re: How to find a place to hunt the High Buck wilderness season.
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2011, 11:24:36 PM »
I want Pasayten and Glacier Peak Wilderness to be open for archery.
Pasayten and GPW are open for the High Buck Hunt under the Modern Firearm General Season.  The tag required is the General or Multi.  You can use Archery equipment with either of these tags.  You would, however, be subject to the 3 pt minimum and hunter orange.  You would also be able to hunt the regular modern season with the stick flinger with these tags.  The only down I can see is if you don't have a multi tag, you would have to buy the modern and forgo the archery tag.  The muzzy tag wouldn't let you use the bow though.  Don't know if you looked at this option.

I don't think he cares so much about just hunting with a bow, but wants the archery seasons, the option to shoot a doe over the counter, and not being limited to only wilderness in september.  There is no reason I see that archery tags can't hunt the high buck hunt in most areas it is open.
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Offline Chesapeake

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Re: How to find a place to hunt the High Buck wilderness season.
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2011, 09:09:04 AM »
Glacier Peaks and Henry Jackson fall in part or most in unit 245 Chiwawa.

My regs have that as open during General Archery sept. 1-23.

 :dunno:

Credit goes to Jimmy, he told you first, but in a manner more directed at making you look for yourself.

« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 09:16:38 AM by Chesapeake »

Online JimmyHoffa

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Re: How to find a place to hunt the High Buck wilderness season.
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2011, 01:20:35 PM »
I don't think he cares so much about just hunting with a bow, but wants the archery seasons, the option to shoot a doe over the counter, and not being limited to only wilderness in september.  There is no reason I see that archery tags can't hunt the high buck hunt in most areas it is open.

Ah.  I'm not sure how they choose what units get archery and which ones get muzzy.  I would really like for GMU 615 to be open for muzzy elk like it is for archery, but don't know who decided or why it shouldn't be.  I don't know who you/he would need to talk to about getting your units expanded.  I personally think all the units should be available for all the weapons--but I'll save most of those thought for other threads.

My understanding about the high hunt is that the dates are because of the weather.  If you wait until mid-October to try to send a bunch of hunters and outfitters up over 5,000 feet you will have people that go in unprepared and possibly be dealing with a bunch of SAR.  Last year during the regular season, I was able to make it to the high country the first weekend before the snows drove me to lower ground.  I can't imagine a bunch of guys on horse trying to move large camps out in early blizzards.  I had heard that the Forest Service requested to WDFW to move the seasons earlier or open a special season, because the Forest Service would've been responsible for the rescues.  From what I can tell, archery season (early) is complete
before the weather is likely to be a factor, and that would be why the areas it is allowed in don't get a special set of dates.
 

 



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