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Author Topic: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In  (Read 2147 times)

Offline dgriffin

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Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« on: June 28, 2017, 01:53:31 PM »
***I've been scouting along the threads here for the info but couldn't find much.  Feel free to divert me if this information is in here***

Looking for advice on areas where it's worth time/effort to hike in several miles and set up camp around Western WA.  Spent quite a bit of time last year around 673 and 506 and while I'm not opposed to that area since the elk numbers are good, I'm trying to get away from trucks driving up right behind me.  Any tips on where I might be able to park a truck for a week and hike up and in to get away from the orange army would be great.  Have been looking at the numbers around ONF from last year and the numbers just don't seem high enough to warrant the time and effort to get way up into the mountains.  Wrong assumption?

Anyway, not looking for your hide out, just trying to get some advice as I prepare for this season.

Thanks in advance  :tup: 

Offline lord grizzly

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2017, 02:02:49 PM »
Goat rocks wilderness

Offline dgriffin

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2017, 02:09:58 PM »
Thanks for the quick reply. I'll give it a look!

Offline olesmokey

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2017, 07:37:26 AM »
Unfortunately Western Washington is a logging mecca.  Roads everywhere.  Hard to get too deep without meeting opposition from the other end of the road system.  Obviously National forest provide the most road less areas but typically not the elk numbers.  Be careful of the success numbers provided by hunters to WDFW.  I believe they lie!  too many hunters assume if they report the truth it will increase pressure in their area.  The hunter report option  of "I did not hunt" is an easy way of avoiding true data.

Offline dgriffin

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2017, 08:36:24 AM »
Thanks so much for the reply. Yeah I question the numbers as well. Kind of like waterfowl reporting :)

Will continue to scout!

Offline birddogdad

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 09:01:56 AM »
Thanks so much for the reply. Yeah I question the numbers as well. Kind of like waterfowl reporting :)

Will continue to scout!

pm sent
MMCM/SS USN retired
1981-2011
my girls- Large Munsterlander's Molly, Candy and Abbie.

Online JimmyHoffa

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 09:22:25 AM »
There are places for national forest, but the forest circus decommissions roads to the degree that it is an unpleasant hike (without gear or animals).  Plus the further in you get, the older the timber is; and when it blows down you're in a mess of a maze to get through an area at a decent pace.  If you get more than 200 yds in from a gate, you'll be free of 90+% of the hunters during mod elk. 

Offline NW SURVEYOR

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2017, 07:56:42 PM »
Griffin,

There are plenty of places to hike into, set up a camp and hunt in relative solitude.
The key word is "Relative".
You want to find an area where your camp is at the limits of the average day hunter.
At that point, you will have a four hour jump on him if you are hunting away from his point of entry.

Pull out a map and start looking at areas which abut closed units with no road access.
Also, those areas which abut wilderness with nothing beyond for 10 miles.
The east side of the Lewis River unit comes to mind.

You may have some company, but if you plan it right and do your scouting, you should be golden.

The real problem I see is this,
RAIN, RAIN, RAIN.
Did I mention Rain?

Having hunted elk in western Washington for 45 years, I can say that tent camping in November is tough.
Spiking out 4 4 miles from the road is tougher.
Have everything set us two months prior and bring a change of boots.
Also, hauling out an elk 4 miles is tougher than you may think.

The east side of the Lewis River unit is higher which may mean snow, and perhaps lots of it.
This can be a blessing and a curse, I'm sure that you are aware of this.
I have zero experience on the Olympic peninsula, but I bet it gets wet.

My advice if you care is this,
Find a few pockets of timber that hold elk and play em like slot machines.
Eventually one of them will pay off.
They can be a mile or so back, most rifle hunters will never go there.
This gives you the flexibility to change elevations for snow and dry out at night with a warm meal, ready to go in the morning.
Also, the first year is scouting and coming up with next years plan.

Good luck!
Rob.



Offline kselkhunter

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2017, 08:42:08 PM »
PM sent.

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2017, 09:12:48 PM »

Find a few pockets of timber that hold elk and play em like slot machines.
Eventually one of them will pay off.


Never heard this metaphor before but its a good one - I used to scout out about 5 different honey holes where I saw elk or elk sign regularly then when the season arrived hit these rotating at first and last light.  Usually about day 6 I would hit the jackpot.  Now I find it more enjoyable to hike out of a fixed base camp but success is not as high as developing a line of honey holes. 

Offline dgriffin

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2017, 11:14:57 PM »
You all are awesome. In honestly didn't expect to get any replies. Most hunters are pretty closed lipped. Appreciate all the advice and messages. I'll be sure to take them into account and spend as much time as I can scouting.

Rob I know what you mean about rain. Was in Naselle last year and got pissed on. Took that into account this year and upgraded everything but fully expect to get wet.

Offline Stein

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2017, 08:11:15 AM »
Get the Onxmaps online tool, click on the new Roadless Areas overlay and find something either purple or white and go there.


Offline dgriffin

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2017, 08:29:38 AM »
Stein- haven't seen that yet!! I'll have to go check it out.

Offline Stein

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2017, 08:44:47 AM »
Stein- haven't seen that yet!! I'll have to go check it out.

Shhh.  There may be a few other new layers.  Nothing worth checking out of course and definitely not worth the $30 a year.

Online JimmyHoffa

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2017, 08:47:55 AM »

I have zero experience on the Olympic peninsula, but I bet it gets wet.


It does, but since most of the GMUs that have elk are on the coastal side, the November storms coming in usually bring in some high winds.  When you are back in a ways, usually in old growth, not really an ideal place for one of the wind storms.  The tops of trees and higher branches really start coming down--sounds like a gunshot when some of those old trees finally go.  Usually better to have a reprod alternative on those days.

Offline NW SURVEYOR

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2017, 09:08:54 AM »
Griffin,
No problem, I probably didn't tell you anything you didn't already know.
As for people being tight lipped, you'll notice that I didn't reveal MY honey holes.
Like I said, that Lewis River unit is a decent bet.
We used to hunt it regularly and pulled out bullls.

True story,
Back in the day late 70s and 80s we didn't have much for scouting tools.
We would get the Weyco and Gifford Pinchot FS maps, a case of beer and some smoke.
My buddy and I would pour over those maps till we found the perfect spot on paper.
We would then spend $75 on gas, more beer and more smoke.
Drive up to the area and scout it out.
Sometimes we found the area promising, mostly not.
We did this for years and eventually had a number of places to hunt.

When we were looking at the maps we were searching for areas that had access with a sizable expanse away from the roads.
Of course we didn't have the means of buying 7.5' quads for an area prior to scouting.
So, we would figure out the areas we liked and then bought the maps we wanted.
All this lead us to areas which had game but much of which was inaccessable.
So we would hunt these Godawful canyons and sometimes shoot elk in places that we regretted.

My dad and I hunted with a guy who never got far from the road.
Pete would look at a canyon and state that there was no he would pack and elk out of that hole.
My dad'sresponse was this, we havn't shot the damn elk yet, Rob will pack it out!

Anyways,
Good Luck!
Rob.





Offline rosscrazyelk

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2017, 03:20:37 PM »
What kind of bull you looking for? Full Rosie by what the books say?
Or just a big elk?
If its brown knock it down

Offline dgriffin

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2017, 03:22:42 PM »
Ross - just looking to put meat in the freezer. Only my second year at it. Not chasin trophies

Offline NW SURVEYOR

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Re: Western WA Rifle Season - Hike In
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2017, 07:09:40 PM »
Any legal bull during the OTC SEASON is a trophy.
You see a legal bull you better be throwing lead or you'll regret it later. And don't stop shooting till he hits the deck.
I am still haunted by memories of elk that got away as I waited for a better shot.  Most were situations that I could have killed the bull, but for some reason I held off, expecting a better opportunity. If you think that the bull sees you, he probably does and he is as coiled as a clock spring. He will spin on a dime all the time as quiet as can be, put twenty feet behind him in a heartbeat and then turn on the afterburners.
 It's beautiful to watch, but it leaves a real pit in your stomach.
That's elk hunting.

 

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