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Author Topic: An update on Wenaha - Take 3  (Read 2152 times)

Offline LittleKiller

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An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« on: May 07, 2018, 07:45:21 PM »
I canít get any of my posts to upload from the app, and now I risk them all magically appearing and looking like a bonehead! But here goes nothing!


Day 1:
On April 26th, I got out of work at exactly 4PM in Pacific County, hopped in my car with my husband, and made the 11 hour drive to our camp. My father and long time friend were the real heroes who headed over early that day and set up camp & chased some turkeys. After being lost for approximately an hour with no cell service at 3 AM, a GPS telling me I was SOL because I donít have maps for Oregon, and a sleepy agreement between my husband and I to try one last time, we met the nicest log truck driver and the equally congenial loader operator who both pulled off the road and directed us through to our destination.

Day 2:
My eyes snapped open 2 hours later at 5:30 AM to a much brighter morning than I had anticipated. Praise the Lord for 5 Hr Energy, because I needed to go find a bear. Leaving my husband to sleep, the rest of us began Operation Spring Bear.
It was a very warm morning. First thing, Rob hopped out of the car, called for turkeys with an immediate reply. He rushed down the road and around the corner to find them 80 yards away, and aímoving. Busted.
We hiked up a ridge previously scouted by my father, checking the draws as we went. Iíve seen a lot of bears in my life, but Iíve never seen anything as beautiful as the first bear spotted on the trip. A beautiful chocolate bear, 200 yards, lumbering across the side of a ridge. A 120lb bear on the first day just wasnít what I drove 450 miles for. His tall, pointed ears reminded my of my German shepherd at home, so Iíve since named that bear TJ. The morning hunt was already a success, as Iíve never been able to say Iíve passed on the game Iím after. Heck, I shot a buck with my Entiat permit on the first day.
We made a nice long loop out of our ďquick huntĒ and I iced my previously-sprained ankle in a natural spring as I waited for my dad to fetch the truck. The rest of the day was incredibly hot, but as it got closer to evening, we went on an evening hunt with nothing noteworthy to report aside from how indescribably happy I was to be leaning against my pack in the wildflowers, pulling up and eating wild spring onions as I glassed the big country.
Hunting aside, this is the day we met the first ďhunt-wa guysĒ on our trip. He and his buddy were so friendly and chatting with them before they hiked into the big country was so pleasant. I got an update through  my dad ďwillapawapitiĒ  and hear  they didnít get one, but Iím confident he will.

Day 3:
While prepping for the trip my husband made some comments regarding my dad and I and our ďdeath marches.Ē I envisioned a march to kill a big animal, but Iím 99% sure he was implying his own death. I promised him that this trip was the scouting trip; Learn the country, glass some areas, plan for our May trip. 17 miles later on Saturday I had to apologize to him. We had to adjust our plans to keep from hiking in on top of some guys, but it was worth it. I was in some of the most remote and rugged country Iíve been in. In soaking wet but allegedly ďwaterproofĒ boots, nonetheless. I could almost make the statement that I went rock climbing. Almost. Haha. I passed on another beautiful bear, but I was NOT willing to cross the river for it. It was raging, and Iím not ashamed to say Iíve had enough near-death river crossings to justify my stance. By our collective judgment, it couldíve been 160lbs on a really really good day. Fair pass for Day 3. On our way out at the cabin we met another couple of hunt-wa guys who later joined our campís fire. Halfway up the switchbacks that evening I saw someone scrambling through the open hillside below us. Later found out it was the son from earlier after a sweet pair of matching sheds. I havenít checked to see if he posted them yet, but if not, this is me calling you out to do so!

Day 4:
On Sunday we were going to do another quick hunt, but decided against it due to my grandpa who was very ill and about to pass away. We packed up camp with a plan to head back this week. Met more incredibly friendly hunters. Weíre hiking in to spike camp to save miles and time this week with another permit holder and family friend. Iím so looking forward to this trip. Iíve waited 7 years to get drawn for Spring Bear, and Iíve already found the experience so fulfilling, the country so beautiful, and the camaraderie so uplifting, that this yearís adventure is already one for my wall of fame.

I hope to give you another update with bear photos next week! Or, I can shut up if Iím already annoying. Haha





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"The struggle of man against man produces jealousy, deceit, frustration, bitterness, hate. The struggle of man against mountains is different. Man then bows before Something that is bigger than he. When he does that, he finds serenity and humility and dignity, too." - William O Douglas

Offline jstone

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2018, 08:45:27 PM »
Very cool. Good luck. Thatís a big coyote track.!! :chuckle:

Offline Timberstalker

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2018, 09:10:07 PM »
Tagging along. Best of luck, LittleKiller!
If you aint hunting, you aint livin'

Offline trophyhunt

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2018, 09:27:35 PM »
Isn't that country heaven?? Good luck when you go back, you guys keep at it and you'll get your bear.  Good job passing up your first animal, that's a tough thing to do.
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Offline bowhunterforever

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2018, 10:07:04 PM »
Tagging along. Best of luck, LittleKiller!
:yeah: :tup:
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Offline Bob33

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2018, 10:19:35 PM »
What a great story so far.
Nature. It's cheaper than therapy.

Offline elkrack

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2018, 10:31:28 PM »
Great story so far. Canít wait to see the outcome! :tup:
life's tough its tougher if your stupid (john wayne)

Offline CaNINE

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2018, 11:38:32 AM »
I'm in
The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

Proverbs 12:27

Offline LittleKiller

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2018, 06:58:10 AM »
Isn't that country heaven?? Good luck when you go back, you guys keep at it and you'll get your bear.  Good job passing up your first animal, that's a tough thing to do.

Itís truly beautiful! As long as you can see beyond the ticks crawling up your legs. Ha.


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"The struggle of man against man produces jealousy, deceit, frustration, bitterness, hate. The struggle of man against mountains is different. Man then bows before Something that is bigger than he. When he does that, he finds serenity and humility and dignity, too." - William O Douglas

Online Duckhunter14

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2018, 07:32:13 AM »
Great write up! Good luck on your next trip!  :tup:
"I don't hunt to live, I live to hunt."

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My two favorite words? Take em!

Offline castnblast

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2018, 12:17:55 PM »
Great write up and pics so far LittleKiller!  It was awesome running into you and your crew at the trailhead that weekend. 

I may swing by your guys' camp at some point this weekend and say hello. 

Speaking of ticks...I counted 13 little hitchhikers on me (with one bite) the same weekend in there.  Not as bad as I thought they'd be.  Soaked everything in permethrin before so maybe that helped.

Offline DOUBLELUNG

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2018, 12:38:28 PM »
Really enjoying your write up, and I'm betting on you tagging out!
As long as we have the habitat, we can argue forever about who gets to kill what and when.  No habitat = no game.

Offline archeryfreak

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2018, 10:08:56 PM »
Great write up and pics so far LittleKiller!  It was awesome running into you and your crew at the trailhead that weekend. 

I may swing by your guys' camp at some point this weekend and say hello. 

Speaking of ticks...I counted 13 little hitchhikers on me (with one bite) the same weekend in there.  Not as bad as I thought they'd be.  Soaked everything in permethrin before so maybe that helped.

We were in Oregon Weneha last weekend and the ridge we were on was infested with ticks! I bet we (3 of us) had over a hundred ticks on us throughout the day.  Luckily my partner has the natural tick attractant and he was the only one of us that got bit.  The struggle is real!   
Just another squirrel tryin to get a nut!

Offline LittleKiller

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2018, 11:50:25 AM »
Day 1: We got in at 2:45, slept til 5:30, packed up and got to the camp Clearwater & my husband had set up from the day before by 11:30. Spotted a bear that first night across the river in the hillside at more than 700 yards. He looked like a grizzly in color, 250 lbs with a really wide head. He never moved more than 20 yards feeding on whatever these yellow flowers are up here. It was suuuper windy. Decided our best bet was to run down and try to cross, side hill, and see if there was a shot: nope. (Update: we have finally found a log to cross the river should we need to do so)

Day 2: Hiking back up the same ridge, I almost immediately spotted my bear from the day before. He was dead asleep on the end of a log. After looking at him for a while confirming it was the same guy Iím after we sidehilled to a nice rest. Itís REALLY hard to find a good rest to shoot across the canyon there when youíre a lefty. I shot twice and missed at about 600. He barreled down the hill, almost wondered if he was going to leap off the end into the river hundreds of feet below. I shot again at 530 yards and was about 1.5 feet too high. He quickly veered east and ran a couple ridges over. We waited and headed to where we could look back at him and eventually watched him flop down onto his side for a nice nap. It gave me plenty of time to build a GOOD rest and set up on him at about 526 yards. When I pulled the trigger I KNEW he was a goner... until the guy on the scope said it perfect... but was 10Ē high. Unfortunately weíve been guessing the difference in yardage due to elevation and at the last minute took the scope up one more click. I canít help but think ďif only..Ē but he took off like a bat outta down down down and back west until there was no sign of him. We spent the rest of the afternoon sidehilling to see if the change in angle would give us a view of him, if he was still around at all.  On the way out my dad spotted a huuuuuge cinnamon bear and radioed me saying it was ďunreachable.Ē It was a pretty good day despite the disappointing shots I made. My second ever miss.

Day 3: Iím sitting on top of the world. By some miracle I have cell service. Itís really hot and my socks are hanging out to dry as I type this. We have a pretty good view into large valleys/creeks on either side of us. Havenít seen a bear today, but weíll see what the evening brings. Will be sitting here glassing for another hour or so and will make a loop and try to hop onto another ridge that will drop us off a few miles off back at camp.

I should note that weíve hiked up south facing slopes as our research indicated... the bears weíve seen on both trips are on north facing slopes. Elevation: the bears are at several different elevations, unlike what we expected.


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"The struggle of man against man produces jealousy, deceit, frustration, bitterness, hate. The struggle of man against mountains is different. Man then bows before Something that is bigger than he. When he does that, he finds serenity and humility and dignity, too." - William O Douglas

Offline Timberstalker

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2018, 01:07:15 PM »
Good luck and stay after it!
If you aint hunting, you aint livin'

Offline IBspoiled

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2018, 03:03:36 PM »
This is so fun following along on your hunt, I feel like I was there.  Oh wait I was just there...thank you for sharing

Offline LittleKiller

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2018, 03:57:19 PM »
Still sitting. Weíre all sunburnt sitting under a juniper praying that the clouds in Idaho and Oregon would head aí this way. Hahaha


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"The struggle of man against man produces jealousy, deceit, frustration, bitterness, hate. The struggle of man against mountains is different. Man then bows before Something that is bigger than he. When he does that, he finds serenity and humility and dignity, too." - William O Douglas

Offline LittleKiller

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2018, 04:16:51 PM »
This is so fun following along on your hunt, I feel like I was there.  Oh wait I was just there...thank you for sharing
I saw that! Congratulations. Itís hard work finding a bear, I am already imagining how much harder it is on the pack out!


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"The struggle of man against man produces jealousy, deceit, frustration, bitterness, hate. The struggle of man against mountains is different. Man then bows before Something that is bigger than he. When he does that, he finds serenity and humility and dignity, too." - William O Douglas

Offline CaNINE

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2018, 07:06:57 PM »
Keep after it! 
The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

Proverbs 12:27

Offline SilkOnTheWetSide

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2018, 09:23:04 AM »
Day 1: We got in at 2:45, slept til 5:30, packed up and got to the camp Clearwater & my husband had set up from the day before by 11:30. Spotted a bear that first night across the river in the hillside at more than 700 yards. He looked like a grizzly in color, 250 lbs with a really wide head. He never moved more than 20 yards feeding on whatever these yellow flowers are up here. It was suuuper windy. Decided our best bet was to run down and try to cross, side hill, and see if there was a shot: nope. (Update: we have finally found a log to cross the river should we need to do so)

Day 2: Hiking back up the same ridge, I almost immediately spotted my bear from the day before. He was dead asleep on the end of a log. After looking at him for a while confirming it was the same guy Iím after we sidehilled to a nice rest. Itís REALLY hard to find a good rest to shoot across the canyon there when youíre a lefty. I shot twice and missed at about 600. He barreled down the hill, almost wondered if he was going to leap off the end into the river hundreds of feet below. I shot again at 530 yards and was about 1.5 feet too high. He quickly veered east and ran a couple ridges over. We waited and headed to where we could look back at him and eventually watched him flop down onto his side for a nice nap. It gave me plenty of time to build a GOOD rest and set up on him at about 526 yards. When I pulled the trigger I KNEW he was a goner... until the guy on the scope said it perfect... but was 10Ē high. Unfortunately weíve been guessing the difference in yardage due to elevation and at the last minute took the scope up one more click. I canít help but think ďif only..Ē but he took off like a bat outta down down down and back west until there was no sign of him. We spent the rest of the afternoon sidehilling to see if the change in angle would give us a view of him, if he was still around at all.  On the way out my dad spotted a huuuuuge cinnamon bear and radioed me saying it was ďunreachable.Ē It was a pretty good day despite the disappointing shots I made. My second ever miss.

Day 3: Iím sitting on top of the world. By some miracle I have cell service. Itís really hot and my socks are hanging out to dry as I type this. We have a pretty good view into large valleys/creeks on either side of us. Havenít seen a bear today, but weíll see what the evening brings. Will be sitting here glassing for another hour or so and will make a loop and try to hop onto another ridge that will drop us off a few miles off back at camp.

I should note that weíve hiked up south facing slopes as our research indicated... the bears weíve seen on both trips are on north facing slopes. Elevation: the bears are at several different elevations, unlike what we expected.


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Guessing the yardage?

Are you not running a range finder? Kestrel?


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Offline LittleKiller

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2018, 06:15:46 PM »

Guessing the yardage?

Are you not running a range finder? Kestrel?


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Not guessing the yardage. Using a rangefinder that doesnít have that ďtrue ballistic rangeĒ setting and at that yardage it probably counts for a lot more than youíd expect. So doing the math between my elevation and the elevation of the bear was tricky. Clearly too tricky. At least Iíd rather think thatís the case instead of admit I was shooting high. Ha.
"The struggle of man against man produces jealousy, deceit, frustration, bitterness, hate. The struggle of man against mountains is different. Man then bows before Something that is bigger than he. When he does that, he finds serenity and humility and dignity, too." - William O Douglas

Offline LittleKiller

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2018, 07:07:57 PM »
Day 3 (Part 2): Too hot. I have a hard time believing the bear were that laid up that they didnít get active as soon as the temp started dropping. So, the consensus was that there were no bear where we were. Hiked down the next ridge and headed back to camp

Day 4: Did an AM hunt as long as possible, but by 8:30 the sun had risen high enough to roast this wet-sider enough to run back to camp. With the temperature reaching as high as it did we didnít expect to see much. We packed up camp and made the miserable trek back to the Sub. Took a bath in the Grande Ronde and looked for more sheep on the way out. Stopped for Lucy Tacos in Asotin. Talked about the wildflowers, the bluebirds, hummingbirds, goats, and sheep. Looked up how and why elk were reintroduced into the Blues, googled how the Blues came to be. Iím really happy with my experience so far. The only things  that I would change are my wet leaky boots, and make sure that we have one range finder that can range far enough AND calculate the tbr, because we had one with each and that just wonít do.

Iím not positive if/when Iíll be back. Iíve been really determined to get this bear, but I am not available to head back until Memorial Day weekend, which is when I expect other weekend warriors to arrive. I donít have much vacation time to take as Iíve only been at my current job a year. My pack mules (family, friends) are running thin, too. Iím so appreciative of the people that have come alongside me that have been so willing to help pack out a bear.

Iíve never felt so fulfilled by an experience where I very well may eat tag soup for dinner. Iíll update again if I get a chance to head over again. :)
"The struggle of man against man produces jealousy, deceit, frustration, bitterness, hate. The struggle of man against mountains is different. Man then bows before Something that is bigger than he. When he does that, he finds serenity and humility and dignity, too." - William O Douglas

Offline Timberstalker

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2018, 07:47:00 PM »
Youíve got to go back and give it one more go. Thereís a bear waiting for you.

 :tup:
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Offline LittleKiller

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2018, 09:51:05 PM »
Edit: the bear I said was spotted by my dad was spotted by Cimmaron. Additionally, he got this sweet pic just through his sorting scope without an attachment...
"The struggle of man against man produces jealousy, deceit, frustration, bitterness, hate. The struggle of man against mountains is different. Man then bows before Something that is bigger than he. When he does that, he finds serenity and humility and dignity, too." - William O Douglas

Offline jackelope

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2018, 10:02:56 PM »
Youíre going back.

I had a helllll of a tag last fall that I seriously thought was going to end up not getting filled. I went back. We found a way and filled the tag. Go back.
:fire.:

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Offline SilkOnTheWetSide

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2018, 12:12:07 AM »

Guessing the yardage?

Are you not running a range finder? Kestrel?


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Not guessing the yardage. Using a rangefinder that doesnít have that ďtrue ballistic rangeĒ setting and at that yardage it probably counts for a lot more than youíd expect. So doing the math between my elevation and the elevation of the bear was tricky. Clearly too tricky. At least Iíd rather think thatís the case instead of admit I was shooting high. Ha.

Iíd definitely find someone with a rangefinder that gives true ballistic range. Otherwise youíd have to do trigonometry on the side of the mountain 😂😂

At those ranges your margin for error is small anyways.

Also, did you account for the elevation difference compared to where you sighted in your gun at?


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Offline toyman2

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2018, 05:40:11 AM »
That was the bear you shot at!.
 If I get a chance ill put up the other bear.

Offline trophyhunt

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2018, 05:58:06 AM »
If you can, go back memorial day weekend, that is the time I always go when I draw.  Sometimes I see one or two people, sometimes I don't see anyone, you never know.  But I have had success on that weekend.  Good luck
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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2018, 08:33:44 AM »
At least you saw some!
We saw zero bear, 1 rattlesnake, and 1 tick burrowed in my leg.




Offline LittleKiller

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2018, 09:42:33 AM »
I do have some time Memorial Day weekend, but not enough to hike into the Three Forks by myself. Thatíd be a long pack for such a little girl. Hopefully Iíll be able to access from the top by then. In the meantime, it sounds like itís my husbands personal goal to sight in the 7mm again. Lessons learned on  the east side. 😂

The photo is of the bear where I spotted him, hung out to dry on a log for the better part of an hour. It was around 8 AM on that north facing slope.
"The struggle of man against man produces jealousy, deceit, frustration, bitterness, hate. The struggle of man against mountains is different. Man then bows before Something that is bigger than he. When he does that, he finds serenity and humility and dignity, too." - William O Douglas

Offline LittleKiller

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2018, 09:51:03 AM »
At least you saw some!
We saw zero bear, 1 rattlesnake, and 1 tick burrowed in my leg.

Bummer! We saw a couple rattlesnakes. My dad had a burrowed tuck, but the rest I was able to get off of us all. I got 4 out of my hair, we will see how many I find today...

We never saw a bear on our side of the river where we could close the gap easily. It wasnít necessarily frustrating, but Iíve got to regroup. Did you notice that the onions they were feeding on last trip are just GONE? They were feeding on the yellow flower that look like basalmroot (maybe someone can ID?)
"The struggle of man against man produces jealousy, deceit, frustration, bitterness, hate. The struggle of man against mountains is different. Man then bows before Something that is bigger than he. When he does that, he finds serenity and humility and dignity, too." - William O Douglas

Offline toyman2

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2018, 07:01:01 PM »
Here is the big bear

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2018, 07:06:16 PM »
Nice bear. How big did you guys have him at?
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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2018, 08:30:28 PM »
350 plus, he was almost 2 miles away. That was threw the spotting scope.

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2018, 08:40:12 PM »
 :tup:
If you aint hunting, you aint livin'

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Re: An update on Wenaha - Take 3
« Reply #35 on: May 14, 2018, 09:05:32 PM »
350 plus, he was almost 2 miles away. That was threw the spotting scope.

Itís a nice bear but it isnít 350 lbs.


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