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Author Topic: 17 year wait {nooksack archery }  (Read 3254 times)

Offline blackveltbowhunter

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Re: 17 year wait {nooksack archery }
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2020, 07:59:56 AM »
JK,  they will send you a letter ( I dont remember if it came with the permit or not) that will have info for a meeting with the bios, wardens, and SPI head. They give you a packet with information along with a key to SPI. It is also a good opportunity to network with other tag holders and get some information from those who work around and with the herds in the unit.

If you have a chance to get a walk in, it wont hurt.

  I hunted there with my hunting partner in 2015 and I drew myself in 2017.  Both hunts had similarities, but we hunted differently. His hunt we saw more elk consistently, It seemed more like your typical elk hunt. Calling in bulls and passing on several and he arrowed a nice 6x6 towards the end of the hunt. During my hunt action was more sporadic until the last week of the season and elk encounters seemed slow, however, I was able to get on some truly giant bulls.

A couple of challenges. Elk are very scattered it seems and its very thick. So you really need vocal elk for this hunt to be a win for archery guys. The upside is high Bull to Cow ratios make elk talk, but keeping tabs on them during the hunt was frustrating at times. There is TONS of prime habitat, but the actual spots that have elk in them are fewer. The unit is HUGE and there is not real direct access anywhere, no camping on SPI so most of the time there is significant travel everyday unless hunting the National Forest.

On a personal not and one I haven't shared before, try to enjoy the experience and not the outcome. Due to having high points, my first ever draw permit, and my prior experience in the unit I had very high expectations of myself for this hunt. My scouting had turned up a couple really good bulls, One disappeared on me 3 days before the opener, ( it was killed in 2018 by the governor tag) another taken by a tribal hunter. Seeing bulls like those and late in the hunt, even bigger, messed with my brain in a way I wasn't prepared for. I hunted harder than I ever have, lost 18 lbs, spent days cutting trails into remote canyons, passed on bulls I never believed I would, helped two fellow tag holders pack out very nice bulls, I was in tight to truly world class bulls on one two occasions and they slipped through my fingers. On the last day I dropped the string on the fourth bull called in that morning and walked up in disgust to the 5x5 smaller than several I have tagged on OTC tags in Washington. I'm ashamed of my attitude. It should have been a thrill like every other time, but I wouldn't let it be. Its taken me a couple years to forgive myself for the way I acted in that moment, I lost sight of WHY elk hunting means so much to me, and it truly became about proving I was an elk hunting god. I'm not. Its taken some time to accept, but I think that permit made me OK with that.

There are great bulls in the unit, they are tough to find. And there is very good opportunity at nice bulls enjoy the ride!!



 

Offline cougforester

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Re: 17 year wait {nooksack archery }
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2020, 08:12:14 AM »
That is some incredible advice on the unit and how to feel while hunting on a great permit. Iíve yet to draw a big tag like that but Iíll be sure to re-read this when I do draw.


In like 15 years  :chuckle:

Offline jk78

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Re: 17 year wait {nooksack archery }
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2020, 08:57:40 AM »
Thanks for you reply. I can see your frustration and pressure of high points and the chance at a once in a lifetime bull. Killing an elk with a bow Is a trophy no matter the size. Like you I also don't want to rush this time looking back at past hunts I regret not taking the time to live in the moment often chasing the end goal of a filled tag instead rushing all the events that lead up to it I have seen many of your posts over the years and your drive is inspiring. I do believe you and I have crossed paths in our travels and also share a common hobby. I find myself rushing hunts to get to hunts or states always wondering what is over that next ridge. I have found my extensive preparation for hunts and strong will have been a key for filling my tags as well with hunting partners. The idea of being a select few of archers to have this tag is making for restless nights dreaming of that rut crazed beast and hoping I don't blow my chance. MY bow is already feeling the abuse of repeated shots and new string is on order. Looking to get scouting and look forward to a bit more snow melt.  I have many NIGHTMARES of failed shots on trophy class animals and also some great memories of shots that I relive by looking at antlers on the wall.  My goal enjoy every second chances of drawing another quality elk tag in this state just got a lot more difficult.I would enjoy seeing pics of both your bulls.  The pressure I have building I sure you can relate. I both quality elk and blacktail archery this year going to be a ride. Pms welcome if you have time to share more. thanks 

Offline jk78

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Re: 17 year wait {nooksack archery }
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2020, 09:37:30 AM »
It seems we as hunters not just archery, dream to find a trophy on these dream big bull tags. Very often with the let down, no matter the tag its still hunting and truly giant critters get big for a reasons. The ability to target these certain age class animals and pass many chances to notch a tag is something myself am not familiar with. I have always taken the first legal bull hunting OTC units with very  high pressure. Many measure there success on antler points or even score. Hunting in general isn't easy yes some of us have more luck than others and a select few put the work in and truly live the lifestyle dedicated to the outdoors. I think you put a good perspective on the kind of hunter you are. I have a mentor that instilled that ( NEVER SURRENDER MENTALITY} in nature the weak never survive. That advise has  been etched inside my head go harder and farther,got me up earlier and kept me out later and truly a big key to me finding my place as a hunter.  I meant that killing any elk with a bow is a trophy. Many hunters idea of a trophy is different and change as you grow. Myself remembering the thrill of my first bow kill button buck xmas day so long ago the people I shared that with and how we all have progressed as hunters and one in a better place. The size of animals I chase have grown and the joy of taking smaller animals isn't what it once was. Spending time in the woods no matter the time of year is still where I find peace. I can see how you felt walking up to a bull under your expectation messed with your head. Seems it took some time but you found a way to get past it and more than likely are a better  hunter because of it. Missing opportunity at dream bulls has a way of eating at you and can truly change us all ask me how I know. Still that overwhelming desire to hunt drives me to answer that call of the mountains.  Just because you didn't kill the biggest bull on that mnt in my opinion doesn't mean you still aren't one of the best elk hunters around! Thanks for helping me realize even more what I want from this hunt and the kind of hunter I strive to become.

Offline slim9300

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Re: 17 year wait {nooksack archery }
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2020, 03:40:40 PM »
Good luck on your hunt!


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Offline jk78

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Re: 17 year wait {nooksack archery }
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2020, 09:17:41 AM »
Just sitting around fletching some arrows wondering if anyone else has pics of success for this archery tag? I have been trying the search function here but am lacking the tech skills or computer to find them. I realize the quality of bulls has been on the decline and many of the big mature bulls harvest. With just over 2 months to go time!

Offline jackknife

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Re: 17 year wait {nooksack archery }
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2020, 08:57:36 AM »
Lot people in that unit think you need to go step and deep. Lots of great bulls hanging low.

Online spin05

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Re: 17 year wait {nooksack archery }
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2020, 03:01:03 AM »
Lot people in that unit think you need to go step and deep. Lots of great bulls hanging low.

I hope so. I drew the next best thing. Skagit river bull archery tag. Been wanting Nooksack but getting excited for this tag now. Got the line on a couple places. Got to get some cameras out shortly to see whats there.

Offline johnnyaustin44

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Re: 17 year wait {nooksack archery }
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2020, 04:38:52 AM »
Got this bull in 18 out of there with the muzzleloader tag. Found most of the elk I saw and heard away from seirra land and the never ending logging operations and rifle toting natives. Weyerhaeuser came in clutch with zero other pressure and talkative elk. 

Offline jk78

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Re: 17 year wait {nooksack archery }
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2020, 08:31:12 AM »
Nice bull! Congrats on filling your tag on a great looking bull. Seems like many members are tight lipped on there success and I can see why. Many of you here look at post count and see me coming on the forum like all the other post of I just drew a tag help. I have met many members on this forum and most encouraged me to join over the years, several of you know me just not by my forum name. Thanks for giving me more hope for this season. Seems some hunters regardless of weapon choice still look out for others. Looking back on past post here many frown upon  hunters putting in for units they don't have boot on the ground knowledge for an area and I can see that view. It seems for me that exploration or that feeling of finding that new so called honey hole has always drove me to search out  new zones, hunts, states or just places I would have never seen. This tag is in a part of Washington I haven't put boots on the ground yet but will be changing that this weekend with a scouting trip and camera dump for some animals inventory!  MY e scouting of the unit has me a little overwhelmed with the amount of places to check out. I have some good intel on where to start and I also want to shout out to all the members here who sent private messages and were willing to help out a fellow hunter that came on this forum for help  dreaming of filling a bull tag. Hope I am lucky enough to find a mature bull along the way. The terrain just looks tough and I cant wait. Aug 24 cant come soon enough.

Offline jk78

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Re: 17 year wait {nooksack archery }
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2020, 08:48:20 AM »
Got this bull in 18 out of there with the muzzleloader tag. Found most of the elk I saw and heard away from seirra land and the never ending logging operations and rifle toting natives. Weyerhaeuser came in clutch with zero other pressure and talkative elk.
[                                                                                                                                                                                                         Curios if you had a walk in or drive permit?/quote]

Offline johnnyaustin44

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Re: 17 year wait {nooksack archery }
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2020, 09:15:33 PM »
Got this bull in 18 out of there with the muzzleloader tag. Found most of the elk I saw and heard away from seirra land and the never ending logging operations and rifle toting natives. Weyerhaeuser came in clutch with zero other pressure and talkative elk.
[                                                                                                                                                                                                         Curios if you had a walk in or drive permit?/quote]
I had the drive in permit for Weyerhaeuser. Sometimes you can sweet talk a permit out of Weyerhaeuser even though motorized permits are sold out. I had spent a few trips in the unit bear hunting but after drawing the tag I made 19 different trips in there looking for elk and running cams and just exploring the unit. Out of all of those trips I only saw elk in a clear cut twice, just cows. Itís a thick place to hunt but there is elk. Sounds obvious but when you find where the elk are up there, itís very obvious. They definitely have pockets they hang in and they really make it obvious. So concentrate on fresh sign. Most spots I went that that a previous tag holder took me to were void of elk and sign but you could still see that the year prior they were hot spots.


Offline jk78

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Re: 17 year wait {nooksack archery }
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2020, 10:36:53 PM »
 Thank you for sharing seems like solid info and a good place where to look for a spot to get away from rifle shy elk.  I don't know how others feel but a quality archery tag having to compete with rifles seems to cause a little conflict of interest. I realize this tag is about quality time frame and lack bull hunting pressure . I will try  to work a little harder than the boom stick hunters in the archery season.   Sounds like you put the work in scouting and it payed off best of luck this season! 

Offline jk78

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Re: 17 year wait {nooksack archery }
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2020, 06:19:53 AM »
Tried for one of the 4 drive in permits that were left over and ended not being fast enough. Decided to pick up a walk in. The race to get a timberland permit in this state is a joke. On a positive note I have no problem walking in just limited on distance do to the 1 hour before or after sunset rule they have in place and no camping.  Some of the worst pack outs over the years are now some of my best memories. If any members on here have the wco permit and happen to find where mr. big is hanging out and don't have a tag be great if you would pass it on. thanks

Offline redi

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Re: 17 year wait {nooksack archery }
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2020, 09:46:27 AM »
Well said black velvet I always enjoy your perspective good luck this fall

 


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