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Author Topic: Was the vail permit worth it?  (Read 1792 times)

Offline BR549

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Was the vail permit worth it?
« on: February 20, 2017, 02:48:22 PM »
Howdy,

I'll confess right up front that last year I along with my buddy bought the permit for Vail.  It was more out of wanting to get back to the old hills we hunted back in the 60's through 90's. Seeing old hunting sits now grown up, or logged flat was interesting, as was getting back to some old fishing holes and mushroom pickings. Lots of blue and ruffed grouse along the roads the first week or two (we let them be) but they all got shot off the roads after two weeks of deer season.

We saw lots of does and the occasional spike or small forky but nothing worth dropping the hammer on.  We filled our tags in the Lincoln Creek area so the freezer is good to go. I mostly used the Pigeon Springs access and found the traffic and amount of trucks, active logging areas and other obstacles to be a real pain in the tush.  Found more deer down lower along the bottom lands, but a lot of full camo folks seem to be walking in and hunting there from private ground. The lack of blaze orange leads me to believe they had no permits and were keeping a low profile.  Combine that with the high access fees and low numbers of deer and I'm hard pressed to pay twice in a row. One of the game warden game check stations we went through was also pondering the low numbers of harvested bucks.

My question is this.
Did we just get a bad run of luck up there or did anyone else find the same poor conditions we ran into here on the south side of Vail?  It would be interesting to know how many damage kill permits Weyerhaeuser got issued over the summer. That would at least explain our low numbers.

Thanks for the read,
BR549

Offline Sitka_Blacktail

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Re: Was the vail permit worth it?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2017, 03:51:45 PM »
I bought an Aberdeen South permit and my biggest problem with it was that there were only about 6 or 8 gates that the keys worked on which would have been fine, but three of them were blocked by active logging. I realize it's a working tree farm, but if they don;t want people using the roads they are working on, it would have been nice if they put our lock on a couple different gates instead.  The southern section of the unit only had two gates for entry and one area was being heavily logged so you had log trucks using both gates. There were areas you could get too by taking some shaky roads that would have been simple if the lock was on an other gate and no hunters would have had to drive through the active logging. I think it was just bad planning as far as the seasons and where they were logging.  I'd just as soon leave the loggers to do their work and spend my time hunting as taking lengthy detours or scaring myself or a log truck driver to get to where I am hunting.  will appreciate the new clearcuts when they are done though.
A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears. ~ Michel de Montaigne

Offline Mudman

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Re: Was the vail permit worth it?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2017, 03:58:11 PM »
It was for WEYCO!  Very profitable I'm sure.  Let their deer eat their tree starts!
Drain The Swamp!!!

Offline actionshooter

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Re: Was the vail permit worth it?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2017, 04:41:55 PM »
Howdy,

I'll confess right up front that last year I along with my buddy bought the permit for Vail.  It was more out of wanting to get back to the old hills we hunted back in the 60's through 90's. Seeing old hunting sits now grown up, or logged flat was interesting, as was getting back to some old fishing holes and mushroom pickings. Lots of blue and ruffed grouse along the roads the first week or two (we let them be) but they all got shot off the roads after two weeks of deer season.

We saw lots of does and the occasional spike or small forky but nothing worth dropping the hammer on.  We filled our tags in the Lincoln Creek area so the freezer is good to go. I mostly used the Pigeon Springs access and found the traffic and amount of trucks, active logging areas and other obstacles to be a real pain in the tush.  Found more deer down lower along the bottom lands, but a lot of full camo folks seem to be walking in and hunting there from private ground. The lack of blaze orange leads me to believe they had no permits and were keeping a low profile.  Combine that with the high access fees and low numbers of deer and I'm hard pressed to pay twice in a row. One of the game warden game check stations we went through was also pondering the low numbers of harvested bucks.

My question is this.
Did we just get a bad run of luck up there or did anyone else find the same poor conditions we ran into here on the south side of Vail?  It would be interesting to know how many damage kill permits Weyerhaeuser got issued over the summer. That would at least explain our low numbers.

Thanks for the read,
BR549

I bought it 2 years ago and skipped last year, found the same thing you did.
I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people.     I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem work itself out

Offline Elkcollector82

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Re: Was the vail permit worth it?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2017, 09:22:31 PM »
Save your $300 and put it towards gear or out of state license. Plenty of free areas to hunt in this state that holds a lot more animals then what you pay to see on weyco ground. Cause if you wanna just  :pee: money away. I'll take the $300 and you will be in the same boat.  :chuckle:

Offline JeffRaines

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Re: Was the vail permit worth it?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2017, 12:33:55 AM »
I purchased the permit this year due to the proximity to my house... me and the wife had our daughter in August so I knew getting out was going to be a challenge.

I did end up seeing a ton of grouse and rabbit... one morning on the way in I counted 12 rabbits on the way in to a spot.

I nearly always seen a doe or two... sometimes many more. Since I also had multiseason I held off during early archery. One morning I did come across a nice 3x4 working across a cut with a forky and spike in tow... couldn't cut them off in time. General rifle season I didn't see anything. No grouse. No rabbit. No does. Nothing. A lot of vehicle traffic on the days I hunted.

I managed to get out for the first day of late season, and thats when I seen the most. I seen 6 bucks that day. The only two I got solid shot opportunities on I either didn't(very small spike at the end of the day) or couldn't(forky standing on the road) take advantage of. I did end up filling the freezer with a nice doe in late archery.

I wouldn't buy it again, especially since the permit will probably go up again this year. The thing that I hated the most about it was there are roads everywhere... its so hard to get away from people driving the roads. There are only a handful of closed gate/no motor vehicle areas. If road hunting is your bag, I'd say it may be worth it as I seen a ton of game on the roads. It may be worth it if you just want some meat and don't mind taking a small buck or doe... like my situation, it was close to the house, with a newborn at home offered decent hunting.  Just don't buy the permit expecting to tag out on a trophy animal.

Save your $300 and put it towards gear or out of state license. Plenty of free areas to hunt in this state that holds a lot more animals then what you pay to see on weyco ground. Cause if you wanna just  :pee: money away. I'll take the $300 and you will be in the same boat.  :chuckle:

Thats my plan this year, gonna head east. I'll probably hunt whitetail in NE washington and maybe mule deer in ID. Gonna do spring bear in ID if I don't get drawn for WA.

I didn't mention that I did hunt one day in Capital Forest during General Rifle with a buddy from work. I seen less people in Vail, but seen more deer that day than I had all rifle season total in Vail. Also seen a few grouse, which I seen none of in Vail. Actually, on the drive into our spot in Cap Forest we seen a 2x3 crossing the road... so I also seen more bucks, too!

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Was the vail permit worth it?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2017, 05:27:11 AM »
If this were a poll I would vote no.

Offline workstohunt

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Re: Was the vail permit worth it?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2017, 01:28:08 PM »
I have had the permit every year since they went to permit system.
This year was the worst I have seen since back when the gates were open and I have hunted here my whole life.
I did kill my first cougar and some bobcats, but a lot of cat tracks.
Probably do something different this year. I have bought the permit because I know the property, it is close, and I have 8 grandkids-4 who hunt! And when  I have to get a permit for my 82 yr old Dad and my oldest son so they can hunt with me---I can go hunt a lot of different places.

Offline huntbow

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Re: Was the vail permit worth it?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2017, 09:55:14 PM »
Im with Elkcollector82 on this one.  Put it to an out of state tag, $450 and your hunting deer in idaho

Offline JeffRaines

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Re: Was the vail permit worth it?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2017, 11:40:54 PM »
Im with Elkcollector82 on this one.  Put it to an out of state tag, $450 and your hunting deer in idaho
'

Hopefully its as good as they say it is!

Offline KillerBeee

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Re: Was the vail permit worth it?
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2017, 11:43:49 AM »
I've had the permit since it opened. The one thing you can say for it is that it allows lots of play time in a lesser crowded environment when it's not deer season. It's fun to go up there and take my son and cruise-walk-hike-sit. Mushrooms are plentiful. There are some grouse and deer. Coyote hunting is fun....Not for everyone but it's been OK for me.
    3 of my friends also have the permits so it's also fun to go up there together.

Offline huntbow

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Re: Was the vail permit worth it?
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2017, 01:32:45 PM »
Im with Elkcollector82 on this one.  Put it to an out of state tag, $450 and your hunting deer in idaho
'

Hopefully its as good as they say it is!

I did this last year for the first time.  With an any deer tag, i was seeing 12-20 deer a day. It was a great time

Offline Elkcollector82

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Re: Was the vail permit worth it?
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2017, 01:37:14 PM »
Im with Elkcollector82 on this one.  Put it to an out of state tag, $450 and your hunting deer in idaho
'

Hopefully its as good as they say it is!

I did this last year for the first time.  With an any deer tag, i was seeing 12-20 deer a day. It was a great time

You be lucky to see 12-20 deer all season on weyco ground.

Glad you had a good trip.  :tup:

Offline Mudman

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Re: Was the vail permit worth it?
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2017, 07:23:11 PM »
About 23 years ago Dad and I saw 21 deer road hunting in Vail.  1 spike.  Hmm.  As a kid we could see real bucks... :twocents:
Drain The Swamp!!!

Offline Elkcollector82

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Re: Was the vail permit worth it?
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2017, 07:47:42 PM »
21 years ago the wildlife was actually managed. You could actually drive from one side of state to the other without hitting a highway. Other then to cross it.

Offline BR549

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Re: Was the vail permit worth it?
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2017, 08:57:57 PM »
I remember those days of no gates and open access. We entered forestland at the end of Pole Line Rd in Roy and came out by Bear Canyon in Cinebar.   That's when the timber companies were pushing for a change in the timber tax system. Remember "Private forests do the public good" campaign? Then all those thousands of acres in Pierce County were subdivided by Weyerhaeuser and Uniland Reality then turned into housing plots. Tanawax Creek was my playground. Fishing and crawdad hunting in the summer, trapping and splitting firewood in the winter.  Sure glad Weyerhaeuser saved millions in tax dollars with all those sections of timberlands; made a lot of people rich when it got developed, so I guess it was worth it. 

I got to see some old stomping ground and relive a few hunting stories; the hunting sucked but the hills still looked like home. Too bad I couldn't finish the season out by duck hunting Elbow Lake; They sold all that ground too.   

I do wish I could have taken my Grandkids up there some day to pick apples and plumbs from one of the old homesteads north of the Nisqually River, but that's probably all dozed over too now.

If you're rich enough, access is never a problem.

 

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