Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Elk Hunting => Topic started by: Bullkllr on June 11, 2020, 09:38:06 AM

Title: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: Bullkllr on June 11, 2020, 09:38:06 AM
So, drew the Norway Pass archery permit. I know a fair amount about this area. Have hiked it on and off and hunted it before (90's). So I basically know what the deal is.

So, after finding out I drew the tag I check the camping permits required for the Mt. Margaret backcountry during the hunt dates and they are basically...gone!

I can think of a couple alternates, none as good as actually overnighting in the area legally.

Anyone have any insights? Just didn't foresee dealing with this.
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: sagemd on June 11, 2020, 09:59:04 AM
So you drew a tag for Mt. Margaret back country  and now you can't get a back country camping permit?
That's no good. How are you supposed the hunt a back country if you can't camp there?
I applied for the hunt.  Don't know what I would do.
Sorry I'm not much help.
Let us know if you find a answer.
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: Bullkllr on June 11, 2020, 10:05:39 AM
So you drew a tag for Mt. Margaret back country  and now you can't get a back country camping permit?
That's no good. How are you supposed the hunt a back country if you can't camp there?


 Yes. That's the scenario.
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: luvmystang67 on June 11, 2020, 10:10:41 AM
So you drew a tag for Mt. Margaret back country  and now you can't get a back country camping permit?
That's no good. How are you supposed the hunt a back country if you can't camp there?


 Yes. That's the scenario.


They will send you a packet for the hunt with a contact.  I would just talk with them.  I'm 99% sure they'll let you camp in there.  You might try an email to Holman, Eric W (DFW) <Eric.Holman@dfw.wa.gov>  or    "Stephens, Nicholle R (DFW)" <Nicholle.Stephens@dfw.wa.gov> for clarification.  They were my contacts for my recent Pumice Plains hunt.  I'm not sure who the best contact is for the NFS there, but they would also be able to instruct appropriately.

You can also take a camper into the parking lot as a base camp (or at least I always have in the Windy Ridge parking area without issue).

Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: Bullkllr on June 11, 2020, 10:18:04 AM
So you drew a tag for Mt. Margaret back country  and now you can't get a back country camping permit?
That's no good. How are you supposed the hunt a back country if you can't camp there?


 Yes. That's the scenario.


They will send you a packet for the hunt with a contact.  I would just talk with them.  I'm 99% sure they'll let you camp in there.  You might try an email to Holman, Eric W (DFW) <Eric.Holman@dfw.wa.gov>  or    "Stephens, Nicholle R (DFW)" <Nicholle.Stephens@dfw.wa.gov> for clarification.  They were my contacts for my recent Pumice Plains hunt.  I'm not sure who the best contact is for the NFS there, but they would also be able to instruct appropriately.

You can also take a camper into the parking lot as a base camp (or at least I always have in the Windy Ridge parking area without issue).

Thanks. That's very helpful. :tup:
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: Dark2Dark on June 11, 2020, 11:07:45 PM
So you drew a tag for Mt. Margaret back country  and now you can't get a back country camping permit?
That's no good. How are you supposed the hunt a back country if you can't camp there?


 Yes. That's the scenario.


They will send you a packet for the hunt with a contact.  I would just talk with them.  I'm 99% sure they'll let you camp in there.  You might try an email to Holman, Eric W (DFW) <Eric.Holman@dfw.wa.gov>  or "Stephens, Nicholle R (DFW)" <Nicholle.Stephens@dfw.wa.gov> for clarification.  They were my contacts for my recent Pumice Plains hunt.  I'm not sure who the best contact is for the NFS there, but they would also be able to instruct appropriately.

You can also take a camper into the parking lot as a base camp (or at least I always have in the Windy Ridge parking area without issue).


I drew the ML tag last year and ran into similar scenarios. I noticed this year even fewer campsites were available a month ago.

WDFW Doesn’t have anything to do with the land management there, and in the emails I sent last year I didn’t get the feeling those that do manage it were the type to just “let” you do something outside of the rules for everyone else.

The letter WDFW sends out reiterates the rules in place for the Backcountry- no stock animals, no fires, no camping out of designated areas, etc.

Last year the weather was poor for the first few days, and although reserves, none of the camps were in use. By the weekend, the weather got sunny and there were lots of hikers in there. I also scouted it a few times around the archery season and there were plenty of non-hunting backpackers. So I wouldn’t count on the sites being randomly open.

If you have spent quite a bit of time in there, you might also recall that there are fairly limited places that would be very inviting to setup a camp outside of the designated areas. I imagine if you did that, you’d be wanting to take down camp every morning and set it up every evening to avoid issue.

I hope you are able to figure something out. It’s a great hunt, but a brutal one. And it would be even more brutal if you were having to trek into the hunting territory daily!
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: Bullkllr on June 12, 2020, 06:39:07 AM
Thanks for the replies.

So far, it doesn't look like I should expect any accommodations to be attached to the hunting permit.

Still checking options.
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: Wanttohuntmore on June 12, 2020, 07:28:04 AM
Just camp, and if stopped,  say you are protesting.  The state won't do anything.
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: furbearer365 on June 12, 2020, 09:26:36 AM
The F&G has nothing to do with the land inside Norway Pass. If you're trying to gain camping access through them, it wont happen, and there's really not much do other than getting a camping permit. Like was said earlier, unbelieveable hunt but brutal is an understatement if you're not careful. Have fun and I hope you have packers lined up
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: Bullkllr on June 12, 2020, 09:43:16 AM
there's really not much do other than getting a camping permit.

Thanks for the input.

Right now that's the fundamental problem- there are none!
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: Big6bull on June 12, 2020, 11:35:46 AM
My understanding is If you don’t print out your permit to camp a week before your trip it is invalid. Even if you paid for it. worst case double check the sites a week out or so.   
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: hunterednate on June 12, 2020, 12:02:10 PM
I ran into this problem with my goat hunt in the unit last year. Using the trailhead as a base camp is probably your best bet. The bio, Eric Holman, is a great guy, but he won't be able to secure you a campsite - that is all run through the USFS. The good news is for that archery tag, you should be able to run into elk within 2-4 miles of the trailhead. PM me if you want some info where I was seeing elk in that unit in Sept last year.
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: luvmystang67 on June 12, 2020, 02:23:36 PM
I ran into this problem with my goat hunt in the unit last year. Using the trailhead as a base camp is probably your best bet. The bio, Eric Holman, is a great guy, but he won't be able to secure you a campsite - that is all run through the USFS. The good news is for that archery tag, you should be able to run into elk within 2-4 miles of the trailhead. PM me if you want some info where I was seeing elk in that unit in Sept last year.

Sorry, I guess i gave some bad advice.
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: Bullkllr on June 12, 2020, 02:39:09 PM
I ran into this problem with my goat hunt in the unit last year. Using the trailhead as a base camp is probably your best bet. The bio, Eric Holman, is a great guy, but he won't be able to secure you a campsite - that is all run through the USFS. The good news is for that archery tag, you should be able to run into elk within 2-4 miles of the trailhead. PM me if you want some info where I was seeing elk in that unit in Sept last year.

Sorry, I guess i gave some bad advice.
Not bad advice. Seems like because of the limited "Mt.Marg Backcountry" camping they manage that differently than the Smith Creek and Pumice Plain hunts. Unfortunately those camping permits are popular with many hikers- not just hunters. Didn't figure they'd be gone. Anyway, thanks.  I'm still figuring to make the most out of it.
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: HikerHunter on June 12, 2020, 04:08:53 PM
I would keep checking to see if someone cancels their camping permit, but its probably not likely.
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: furbearer365 on June 12, 2020, 07:40:12 PM
I guess one question to be asked here is which way are you coming in from??  Coldwater, Hunters trail, Norway trail??  If you come in from Coldwater parking lot, there is no off trail access for the first 4.5 miles. Meaning you can technically hunt from the parking lot, but you aren't allowed to step off the trail till the back end of the lake, which is 4.5 miles. So in order for you to legally hunt that first 4.5, you would need your bull to expire literally on the trail. When I hunted it, I boated across, stashed my boat and motor, and hunted above Snow Lake, closer to Black Mnt.  Just something to think about
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: Dark2Dark on June 12, 2020, 08:06:29 PM
I guess one question to be asked here is which way are you coming in from??  Coldwater, Hunters trail, Norway trail??  If you come in from Coldwater parking lot, there is no off trail access for the first 4.5 miles. Meaning you can technically hunt from the parking lot, but you aren't allowed to step off the trail till the back end of the lake, which is 4.5 miles. So in order for you to legally hunt that first 4.5, you would need your bull to expire literally on the trail. When I hunted it, I boated across, stashed my boat and motor, and hunted above Snow Lake, closer to Black Mnt.  Just something to think about


I don’t think the area along Coldwater is in the Elk Area.

You really have to get pretty close to Snow Lake before you’re really hunting. The hike in gives you a good look at some country on the Whittier Pass side of the trail, but nothing in the Norway Pass side until the last approach to Snow Lake.

We took a boat across Coldwater- it saved some energy. But with the electrics only (even running “twins”), it didn’t save much time. That trail along the lake is pretty flat and you could cover the length of the lake pretty quickly if you’re in shape.

But on the way out, it was pretty nice to sit and relax while the motors did the work!!

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200613/365de7f7b0c9b01b90bede97851c9d0d.jpg)
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: jstone on June 12, 2020, 08:38:01 PM
Maybe use a boat to shuttle supplies in for a week?
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: Reinsurance shooter on June 13, 2020, 02:05:16 PM
I drew modern cow in the unit... as luck has it I also drew hangman antlered moose. Moose is priority one but if the lucky stars are out... I am keenly interested in following this thread.  Until then though,  I will put in the scouting and prep for elk - as the key to luck is putting yourself on a position to take advantage of it.
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: Dark2Dark on June 13, 2020, 02:24:20 PM
I drew modern cow in the unit... as luck has it I also drew hangman antlered moose. Moose is priority one but if the lucky stars are out... I am keenly interested in following this thread.  Until then though,  I will put in the scouting and prep for elk - as the key to luck is putting yourself on a position to take advantage of it.

Unless you’re looking for a grueling cow hunt with some awesome views, I would be hunting cows in a much different part of the elk area than I would be hunting bulls (think areas with easy vehicle access).
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: hunterednate on June 13, 2020, 02:41:37 PM
I drew modern cow in the unit... as luck has it I also drew hangman antlered moose. Moose is priority one but if the lucky stars are out... I am keenly interested in following this thread.  Until then though,  I will put in the scouting and prep for elk - as the key to luck is putting yourself on a position to take advantage of it.

Unless you’re looking for a grueling cow hunt with some awesome views, I would be hunting cows in a much different part of the elk area than I would be hunting bulls (think areas with easy vehicle access).

S :yeah: And congrats on the moose tag! Keep us posted how it goes.
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: Reinsurance shooter on June 13, 2020, 04:37:28 PM
I drew modern cow in the unit... as luck has it I also drew hangman antlered moose. Moose is priority one but if the lucky stars are out... I am keenly interested in following this thread.  Until then though,  I will put in the scouting and prep for elk - as the key to luck is putting yourself on a position to take advantage of it.

Unless you’re looking for a grueling cow hunt with some awesome views, I would be hunting cows in a much different part of the elk area than I would be hunting bulls (think areas with easy vehicle access).


I hear you there. I had the upper smith creek is about 5 years ago.  Spent 5 days up there camping with my brother off a spur road. I just love the scenery and enjoy eating elk. A bull would be that much cooler, but hell, I am fine just getting in a hunt and not wading through a sea of blaze orange. 
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: huntingaddiction on July 10, 2020, 09:53:45 AM
You would think that WDFW knows this can be an issue and reserve some camping areas for the hunters during season.  Of course they have to make it ridiculous to hunt even if you draw the tag.  What do they want you to do, go reserve the spots in case you draw every 20 years.
Title: Re: Norway Pass/Mt Marg Permits?
Post by: kentrek on July 10, 2020, 10:29:02 AM
I guess one question to be asked here is which way are you coming in from??  Coldwater, Hunters trail, Norway trail??  If you come in from Coldwater parking lot, there is no off trail access for the first 4.5 miles. Meaning you can technically hunt from the parking lot, but you aren't allowed to step off the trail till the back end of the lake, which is 4.5 miles. So in order for you to legally hunt that first 4.5, you would need your bull to expire literally on the trail. When I hunted it, I boated across, stashed my boat and motor, and hunted above Snow Lake, closer to Black Mnt.  Just something to think about


I don’t think the area along Coldwater is in the Elk Area.

You really have to get pretty close to Snow Lake before you’re really hunting. The hike in gives you a good look at some country on the Whittier Pass side of the trail, but nothing in the Norway Pass side until the last approach to Snow Lake.

We took a boat across Coldwater- it saved some energy. But with the electrics only (even running “twins”), it didn’t save much time. That trail along the lake is pretty flat and you could cover the length of the lake pretty quickly if you’re in shape.

But on the way out, it was pretty nice to sit and relax while the motors did the work!!

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200613/365de7f7b0c9b01b90bede97851c9d0d.jpg)

I believe they changed the areas up a bit back there...along the lake is lewit now until you get to the back end

Know the boundaries for sure

A mtn bike may be a good mlde of transportation to the back of the lake also...esp if the weather gets cranking