Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Backcountry Hunting => Topic started by: Ifinch36 on July 07, 2021, 07:56:50 PM

Title: Water source question
Post by: Ifinch36 on July 07, 2021, 07:56:50 PM
My group is gonna try a new spot for deer season this year, and I want to see what you guys would do. I've done the high hunts and deep back trips before, but water was never an issue in any places I've gone. The place we're gonna go is steep, and we'd like to get on top and stay on top. The problem is the only water sources I can find are at the bottom, and we're talking loosing 2500-3000 feet of elevation to get there. There are some springs, but my best guess are they are under ground. We won't have a chance to do a scouting trip, so what would you do? I feel like our options are either bring enough water for two days and hope the springs are usable, load up on water, but it'll make for one heck of a hike in, or try to camp mid slope to split the distance to hunting grounds and water source. Thoughts?
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Alchase on July 07, 2021, 08:40:41 PM
Sound similar to Stehekin, west end of Lake Chelan.
It would seem the only option is to pack in water. Either before season or when you arrive?
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Ifinch36 on July 08, 2021, 06:47:19 AM
Ya, I don't think we can rely on the springs. We just can't figure out if enduring one big suck(one haul of water and equipment) is better than a couple smaller sucks(a few days water at a time).
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: 300rum on July 08, 2021, 07:15:29 AM
It is absolutely miserable not having enough water and you likely won't be able to pack enough in on one trip for much more than a day.  I just plan on making trips out and hope for the best.  Sometimes I have gotten lucky.  What I have done, and what you already know, is that you need to set up a cache.   
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Stein on July 08, 2021, 07:38:22 AM
Yeah, in a long hike in hauling a load I can dust 3 liters without much trouble just getting in there.  I agree it's really hard to take more than maybe 2 days water up there unless all you are going to be doing up there is sitting.

I would probably make 2 trips, when you already have 50-60 pounds of gear it's hard to pack much more water.  Hike up, scout the sources, hunt 1-2 days and then make a trip down.

A scouting trip would be much better but it sounds like no go.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Ifinch36 on July 08, 2021, 09:01:38 AM
Ok, thanks for the advice. We would love to make a trip over, but we literally don't have a free day to head over there until the hunt. I guess we'll just bring enough water in for a day or two with the initial hike in and go from there. If anybody else has ideas or things that worked for them, we're all ears.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: walt on July 08, 2021, 09:43:20 AM
Hire a sherpa?  Find someone local (or a friend with time to kill) to pack in nothing but water and then hike back out same day?
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Cylvertip on July 08, 2021, 09:47:18 AM
Where are the animals getting water from?
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Ifinch36 on July 08, 2021, 09:58:07 AM
I might have a friend or two I could talk into doing that, not a terrible idea! There's water on both sides of the ridge, it's just losing and gaining the elevation every day would be a killer for us, nothing for the animals.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Jpmiller on July 09, 2021, 06:44:46 AM
I like to bring "just enough" water to make it through and either hope to stumble into some in the course of my normal hunting day or hike down to resupply if I don't. Realistically what it means for me is I don't drink enough water or do any washing and my rehydrated meals are all a little dry.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Ifinch36 on July 09, 2021, 09:30:43 AM
I like to bring "just enough" water to make it through and either hope to stumble into some in the course of my normal hunting day or hike down to resupply if I don't. Realistically what it means for me is I don't drink enough water or do any washing and my rehydrated meals are all a little dry.

This has always been my approach, but this area is a lot drier environment then we usually hunt. That's really the only reason I'm concerned about the water situation.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: MR5x5 on July 10, 2021, 10:13:01 AM
If there are animals there is water.  Bring a small shovel.  Try some holes in the crannies and hollows.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: mburrows on July 10, 2021, 11:14:47 AM
Been in similar situations before. I wouldn’t count on springs especially with how warm is been this summer so far. Animals will get a lot of their water from vegetation and feed. Since you will be unable to scout a source before I’d plan on having to spend a day or half day getting water if your set on that spot. If you don’t have accessible water or can’t find any you’ll be dropping down to get it or packing out. No water or very limited water is a soul crusher. One way to save water is to ditch meals you need to rehydrate and ditch coffee.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Ifinch36 on July 10, 2021, 11:41:47 AM
All good ideas. I'm good with not having coffee, but that could be a deal breaker for some people in our group!
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: mburrows on July 10, 2021, 04:35:23 PM
All good ideas. I'm good with not having coffee, but that could be a deal breaker for some people in our group!

Zip fizz, nun and things like that are good subs for coffee. I can limit myself to 50ozs~ per day but that sucks especially if you’re hiking a lot or it’s hot. I typically try to plan for 80-90ozs a day when water is at least somewhat easy to get to. Carry extra bladders or bottles and fill them up at every opportunity
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: HikerHunter on July 11, 2021, 06:36:18 AM
I would fill up at the last water source I’m confident in and only take about 2 days. A lot can happen in a couple days: fill a tag early, find a surprise water source, not find any game, etc.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Hillbilly Zen on July 11, 2021, 10:36:56 AM
Why not just hunt the water?  Legit asking.  Sounds like You know where it is, and how the animals get to it.  Is it heavy pressure down there and nocturnal drinking?
Title: Water source question
Post by: jackelope on July 11, 2021, 10:46:48 AM
I would either hunt closer to the available water or find a different place to hunt. I wouldn’t carry that much water in. If you really want to hunt there, suck it up and make the water trek every other day or so. I drink a lot of water. No way I’d be interested in going short/without or carrying it all in with me. I’d probably figure out a different place to hunt personally, especially having never scouted it. I’d definitely make a trip in there to see what you’re dealing with before going in. Are the deer really going to be on top if there’s zero water? Getting on top and literally staying on top will be a huge challenge either way.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: treeclimber2852 on July 11, 2021, 11:17:38 AM
If you’re on top, find a drainage on the north facing slope and start working your way down it.  You’ll find water before you hit it where it’s marked on the maps, even if it’s just a trickle or puddle.  Take a zip lock sandwich bag- it makes dipping water out of small puddles a lot easier - and be prepared to filter/treat it.  You’ll likely be drinking the stanky stagnant stuff…otherwise, yeah, you’re hiking down and back up a lot longer for the cool clear stuff. 
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Ifinch36 on July 11, 2021, 05:44:47 PM
We don't want to hunt the water because it's at the bottom on each side, and would really limit what we would be able to see. We're looking at this as a "high risk, high reward" hunt. There's no trails in and I don't think there will be much, if any pressure. We're ok with it being a total bust, but we won't know unless we try. The springs are on the north side slope, and there's definitely water, maybe just need to dig a bit.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Alchase on July 11, 2021, 06:41:22 PM
Funny, I use to carry a 1 quart canteen. I could make that last all day. Then I bought a 72 oz bladder, and now I drink the whole friggen thing.
For some reason sucking out of a straw, does not satisfy or quench my thirst like drinking out of a canteen use to. There have been times I will top off my bladder at mid day. I still suck most of it down.

There is no way I would hit the back country without a decent water supply.

Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Boss .300 winmag on July 11, 2021, 06:57:44 PM
We’ll post your adventure when done, successful, or bust a story is good no matter what happens.👍
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Ifinch36 on July 12, 2021, 10:12:39 AM
Thanks for all the input and suggestions. I'll definitely let you guys know how this turns out.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Hillbilly Zen on July 12, 2021, 10:32:07 AM
We don't want to hunt the water because it's at the bottom on each side, and would really limit what we would be able to see. We're looking at this as a "high risk, high reward" hunt. There's no trails in and I don't think there will be much, if any pressure. We're ok with it being a total bust, but we won't know unless we try. The springs are on the north side slope, and there's definitely water, maybe just need to dig a bit.
If you think you’ve found a no trail area with no pressure in Washington state modern rifle season, wanting to hunt it makes sense to me.  Hopefully you dont wake up opening day on a ridge full of headlamps!  Not many unknown hilltops in this state on that ten days in Fall, so if yours turns out to be one of them take it to your grave!  Best of luck to you, and bring down a monster!  Maybe it will snow, and all your water problems will be solved by a couple cans of stove fuel.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Magnum_Willys on July 12, 2021, 11:34:44 AM
Check your pack, start dropping gear and replace with water.  Every 4 lbs adds a day.  Me max is 38# pack plus 12# water = 3 days = 50# ( but if long pack in you might burn a day up and back leaving one day there )
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: 3dvapor on July 12, 2021, 12:33:34 PM
Hike in early to scout and stash water where you're going to hunt.  2 scouting trips you'll have all the water you need.  Just pack the bottles out.  Easy enough even to scrunch them down when you pack out. 
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Stein on July 12, 2021, 03:39:19 PM
I just did a 2500' elevation gain ruck and can say it would have to be awfully good hunting for me to make another trip for water after the first load ran out.

I agree, lower pack weight to a minimum, take as much as you safely can and call it a day when you run out.  Go slow, hike when it's cool and conserve as much as you can.  Then, when your buddies are napping, chug some of their water.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Ifinch36 on July 12, 2021, 05:16:44 PM
We're really trying to get away from people, and I honestly think we may be able to. We're hoping that that anybody else that look at this spot, looks at it and says "you're crazy". Unfortunately we won't know until we do it. Luckily two guys in our groups scheduled opened up together and it looks like we'll be able to get some water packed in, so that kinda solved our problem. Again, thanks for all the input, and I'll do a post after the hunt.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Stein on July 12, 2021, 05:33:47 PM
If there's a whopper behind every bush, PM me and I'll bring up some water. :chuckle:
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: MtnMuley on July 12, 2021, 05:42:45 PM
I've been in hunts with little water and never sweated it. If a guy gets thirsty enough, he'll drop the elevation to get water. Luckily, I don't require much water daily unless it's super hot. With meals like Peak Refuel requiring 5-8 oz each, it really helps on hunts like you're talking about. Sounds like you guys will be needing quite a bit of water, so I'd pack in heavy and if you need more mid trip, daisy chain down to the bottom with everybody and shuttle a big load back up once. :twocents:
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Ifinch36 on July 12, 2021, 05:50:53 PM
If there's a whopper behind every bush, PM me and I'll bring up some water. :chuckle:

Haha!!!👍
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: yakimanoob on July 20, 2021, 09:42:04 AM
If there are animals there is water.

Yes, the animals need water, but they don't think much of the 3k' climb between their water sources and their bedding/feeding areas.  I've seen plenty of animals 2mi and 3-4k' above the nearest water source.

+1 for filling at the last known water source and packing in 2 days.  When you start running low, follow treeclimber's advice re: north facing slopes and MR5x5's advice on digging for water; you'll often be surprised how little you have to dig to get to it. 

Personally, I'm with Jackelope.  You will not find me very far away from water.  Getting properly dehydrated in the back country is a recipe for disaster. 
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: grade-creek-rd on July 21, 2021, 10:01:01 AM
Pray for rain....joking aside, before you go look to the long range forecast and hopefully some weather is moving in by then. The High Hunt often starts hot and dry and by the end it's snowing or miserable cold rain. Maybe plan your trip for the second half of the High Hunt (or second weekend of it...) and more than likely water won't be an issue. Have a "Plan B" in case it doesn't rain/snow.

Grade
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Ifinch36 on October 30, 2021, 01:01:12 PM
Just wanted to do a quick update. Didn't get into this spot because of fires, but we're gonna keep in our back pocket for next year. Hope everyone is having a good season.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Bushcraft on November 30, 2021, 09:01:09 AM
Food.
Water.
Shelter.

I get the desire to gain some altitude for glassing purposes.

But, at a certain point, you need to question the efficacy and/or sanity of doing so.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Cougeyes on December 01, 2021, 12:01:00 PM
Give yourself an extra day or 2 on the front end of the hunt, pack your camp in then the next day drop down and fill up as much water as you can. I bought some sea to summit light weight water containers that collapse, they make them in all different sizes. Gallon of water is ~8 lbs so you could essentially load a bunch up in a couple packs and be set for several days of hunting. If there's snow then bring extra fuel to melt snow for water.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: LDennis24 on December 01, 2021, 12:46:12 PM
If you have a filter you can bring some large masonry sponges with you, they weigh nothing. And find a wet spot in a ditch, dig like you mentioned, and soak the water up with a sponge and then place it in the "dirty" receptacle and filter it into a clean one.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: OutHouse on December 01, 2021, 01:48:34 PM
If there are animals there is water.  Bring a small shovel.  Try some holes in the crannies and hollows.

Right right. If you find a seep dig a hole into it and if you have time place rocks in the hole to sort of line the sides and bottom. The hole will fill up with water that may be cleaner than the dirty seep water. Its work but it has worked for me in the past.
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Jpmiller on December 02, 2021, 06:43:08 AM
If there are animals there is water.  Bring a small shovel.  Try some holes in the crannies and hollows.

Right right. If you find a seep dig a hole into it and if you have time place rocks in the hole to sort of line the sides and bottom. The hole will fill up with water that may be cleaner than the dirty seep water. Its work but it has worked for me in the past.

I used to know of a couple spots kike this around that had clean clear water in them and one someone had rigged a pipe into so you could literally just put your bottle under the overflow
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: OutHouse on December 03, 2021, 02:02:44 PM
If there are animals there is water.  Bring a small shovel.  Try some holes in the crannies and hollows.

Right right. If you find a seep dig a hole into it and if you have time place rocks in the hole to sort of line the sides and bottom. The hole will fill up with water that may be cleaner than the dirty seep water. Its work but it has worked for me in the past.

I used to know of a couple spots kike this around that had clean clear water in them and one someone had rigged a pipe into so you could literally just put your bottle under the overflow

Ha haaa there used to be one up above my place in 231 but I think the burn melted the pipes
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: Jpmiller on December 03, 2021, 03:06:50 PM
I was wondering if the water would keep it cool enough? If we are talking the same one it was a year round spring I think
Title: Re: Water source question
Post by: huntnnw on December 05, 2021, 10:31:49 PM
probably depends on how good of shape you are in and how much weight you are willing to carry. Ive done 3 days solo where I had no clue where a water source was other than 2,700' feet below at 1mi in distance. It was not a option to do that for water.
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