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Author Topic: Hirshey's Hunts 2018  (Read 26142 times)

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Hunts 2018
« Reply #165 on: March 12, 2019, 11:53:33 AM »
The first 5 hours was spent picking our way up the steep slopes to a small peak that would yield a great view of where the herd had been the previous day. On the backside of the peak, we each set down our packs and slowly worked around the slope. Slowly, our movements exposed the terrain we were eager to see. After a multitude of glassing sessions, the only things our efforts yielded were a nice buck and a handful of does. We knew our only option was to continue up. There was plenty of sign demonstrating the continued use of the area; ceanothus was manicured by teeth, tracks littered the hillside, and scat and elk scent lingered in the soil. Each track seemed to lure us farther than we ever intended. Finally, with only a few hours of daylight remaining, we spotted the elk on the next mountain over bedded below the peak. We knew we would have to work fast to try to get into position, but we all agreed to give it a go. We closed the distance in fairly good time, but our current stalk path only yielded a roughly 550 yard shot. Personally, I'm much more happy at 350 or under, so we backed out and made an attempt at gaining a little more elevation to cut the distance. The goal was to gain a small saddle farther up the hill which we estimated would have been a roughly 300 yard shot. As we continued up the slope, our potential plan was put in jeopardy by a mess of deer. Slowly working across the slope, we were able to coax most of the animals into a downhill escape out of sight of the bedded elk. One doe and her lovesick companion refused to commit as the light continued to dwindle. Eventually, she set her path up the ridge in full view of the elk. We paused for a moment before working into the saddle, but the damage had been done; we were gifted with one last view of the bull and all his companions headed farther into the folds of that steep, inaccessible terrain as they slipped into the darkening timber.

SHUCKS!  :'(

Jeff and I made one last attempt to get into position in the off chance they paused on the next open slope, but they refused us the opportunity. We turned downhill and took advantage of the last hour of light to book it off the mountain. Each of us took our own path, and mine took me directly to another prize; two bull elk sheds, but not a match. I paused for a moment to try to match them up before slinging them over my shoulder and clinking my way down the hill. Derrick heard my antlers, and in an attempt to locate me to see what I'd found he managed to glass up the match to my larger shed. A consolation prize for letting our protein escape across the wilds, I suppose.  :chuckle:

We made it back to camp under the chilly night sky, and cooked up dinner while discussing options for the following day. We didn't have much faith that herd would move back into an area we could capitalize on, so it was decided to go after the bachelor group of three at the top of a different mountain. Why don't these fellas exist in the valleys?  :chuckle: :dunno:
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 01:11:34 PM by hirshey »
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Hunts 2018
« Reply #166 on: March 12, 2019, 11:55:04 AM »
You complete me 😂😊
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Hunts 2018
« Reply #167 on: March 12, 2019, 12:07:06 PM »
We emerged from bed the next morning a little slower than the one prior; it turns out leaving it all on the hill the day prior might make you a little sore.  :chuckle:

But in the end, we all packed up and hit the steep terrain in search of our fellas from two days prior. The basin was just opening up to the first sign of light when we reached our first glassing spot. As I settled into a position of comfort and lifted my binoculars, a small surprised "OH..." escaped my lips as I tried to make sense of what I was seeing.

Elk and deer were pouring out of both sides of the basin and out of view. We were 2 miles out still, so it obviously had nothing to do with us. What on earth could have moved that many animals? I described to Derrick and Jeff what I was seeing, and they quickly pulled up their glass to witness the great migration. We would have continued to be baffled had Derrick not spotted them; four wolves stalking across an open slope. They seemed to vanish depending on their stance on the hill... but the size, behavior, and number made them unmistakable. We shifted our focus (knowing that those bull elk were long gone for the day) and decided to beat feet to put ourselves in position to fill a wolf tag.
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Hunts 2018
« Reply #168 on: March 12, 2019, 12:16:37 PM »
Two aerial miles in Idaho terrain can only be truly appreciated by someone who has stalked across that soil, but after hours of sweat and toil, we were closing in on where we had last seen them, with only small breaks to stop and appreciate the sheer wildness of the area and honor a few fallen mountain kings we found in our path. The rain, snow, and fog continued to ebb and flow as we made our way up the last snowy slope and in to view of the last known location of the pack. A lone set of wolf tracks mirrored our movements. Sadly, we were met by an empty basin and only tracks to accompany our morning memory. We worked across the basin through bouts of heavy fog and back down the ridge to camp. Tomorrow, Michael would join us and we would make an attempt at the only herd we knew was left undisturbed; the animals we had seen up at spike camp. It was back on Jeff to fill his elk tag now.

I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Hunts 2018
« Reply #169 on: March 12, 2019, 12:18:19 PM »
Fallen king of the mountain.
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Hunts 2018
« Reply #170 on: March 12, 2019, 12:19:49 PM »
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Hunts 2018
« Reply #171 on: March 12, 2019, 12:47:29 PM »
I'll write more later... its lunch time! :)
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline 206

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Re: Hirshey's Hunts 2018
« Reply #172 on: March 12, 2019, 01:06:13 PM »
It's freaking cold, we can't see anything, and we love it.

LMAO.  LIKE

Online jstone

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Re: Hirshey's Hunts 2018
« Reply #173 on: March 12, 2019, 01:23:51 PM »
I wish I was a talented story teller
Great job as always

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Hunts 2018
« Reply #174 on: March 12, 2019, 03:59:17 PM »
The morning was dedicated to getting base camp cleaned up and ready for Michael's arrival. He navigated to our location without issue, and we immediately started gearing him up for the hike to spike camp and reexamining his belongings to confirm he had everything needed to succeed in the wilds of Idaho. We took off around noon with a spring in our step and a plan in our heads; we were hiking to spike camp tonight and executing the perfect attack on the herd we had seen when Jeff harvested his buck the next day. We arrived at spike camp with no issues with daylight to spare. I couldn't shake the notion that we should take a peek into a small basin that looked divine from all the aerial footage we had seen. It had what it takes to hold elk, and if we continued with our current plan of attack, our path tomorrow would allow for minimal viewing of all it had to offer. Michael decided he would like to rest up for the big day ahead, and Derrick wanted to get spike camp tidied up, so Jeff and I went light for the hour-long hike, only taking binoculars and a rifle. As we were set to gain a small knob with good visibility, Jeff peeled off to go to the restroom. I continued up the rise, daydreaming of catching up to the wolf whose tracks mirrored my own from less than a day prior. The elevation was tapering off at the top when I found myself pinned down by a doe and yearling feeding up the opposing slope toward me. All my concentration on them, I almost ignored Jeff's excited whispers until the second time he called my name. I turned around to watch him fast approaching with wide, excited eyes. He put his hands next to his ears with flat palms and fingers pressed together. "WOLVES" he whispered.
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline hirshey

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Re: Hirshey's Hunts 2018
« Reply #175 on: March 12, 2019, 04:11:45 PM »
My heart raced alongside my legs as I fell in stride with Jeff. He plopped down on the hillside and started to explain where they were. The adrenaline eased out of my system as I realized they were too far away to pursue for the day. The skylined peak that hugged the other side of our narrow valley was draped with snow, and spread along a sub-ridge were dark figures trotting uphill, stopping momentarily to nip or posture at one another. In total, we counted seven when they reached the skyline; six pure black ones loping past a white one standing proudly on the top of a large rock. "That's just where a wolf SHOULD exist." "Straight out of a Discovery Channel film" we both said in wonder. And conversely, it was the ONLY day we didn't have a camera with us.  :yike: :bdid:

We watched the pack disappear into the terrain before turning our attention on the basin above us. A half hour of glassing into twilight produced nothing larger than a deer,  and we walked excitedly back to spike camp with news of our sighting, although we were both disappointed we had no photographic proof with which to enforce the story. We enjoyed good food and conversation over the campfire that night and felt confident in our plan to get on elk in the morning. Tomorrow, we had high hopes of coming back to camp with heavy packs.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 04:29:41 PM by hirshey »
I am not opposed to golf, for I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering deer.

Offline KillerBeee

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Re: Hirshey's Hunts 2018
« Reply #176 on: March 15, 2019, 01:05:59 PM »
Always a pleasure to take the time to live your adventures through your pictures and storytelling. Keep up the great work!

Online jstone

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Re: Hirshey's Hunts 2018
« Reply #177 on: March 29, 2019, 03:08:32 PM »
I
Am
Waiting
For
A
Story

Online jstone

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Re: Hirshey's Hunts 2018
« Reply #178 on: March 29, 2019, 03:08:56 PM »
 8)

Offline JWEBB

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Re: Hirshey's Hunts 2018
« Reply #179 on: March 29, 2019, 11:38:57 PM »
A wolf sighting in Idaho is becoming the norm. My wifeís family owns an outfitting business over there and the wolves are just getting out of hand.  I have seen wolves there the last 2 hunts Iíve been on
Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

 


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