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Author Topic: High Buck - Some Observations  (Read 13067 times)

Offline Bushcraft

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High Buck - Some Observations
« on: August 11, 2020, 04:13:31 PM »
I was asked about this the other day, so I figured I'd post my opinion(s) for those in the planning stages that are pouring over topo and aerial maps and Google Earth trying to find a place to go that won't have other hunters.

First...It's important to remember that you live in a state with ~7,500,000 residents.  You're not only vying for a place that holds deer and no other hunters, but also isn't overrun by hikers.

  • If there is a trail system that you can use to access the general area, you will definitely not be alone, especially if they are livestock accessible. (this includes basins you'll have to bushwhack into)
  • Big mileage and tons of elevation gain/loss from a trailhead are irrelevant filters. In fact they might be the worst filters since that's exactly what everyone else thinks, or has thought about and found out the hard way.
  • The more difficult it looks like to get into an area where you want to hunt...and then haul out a heavy load if you get one, the more hardcore your competition will likely be with guys that have been hunting it for many years and know the area like the back of their hands.
  • The true crazies that think about this hunt every day of the year (like me) have been training all year and don't care how much blood, sweat and tears they have to put in.  They relish a Fine & Pleasant Misery.  That's who you're up against.

Secondly...The Mountain Doesn't Care.

Use solid, proven, bombproof gear.  Crampons AND an ice axe or whippets are a damn good idea.  Keeping your feet healthy is everything. The weather can be awesome.  It can also really suck and try to kill you every minute of every day...for days on end. If you're the type that might go batcrap crazy from being forced to lay inside a snare drum (tarp, bivy or tent) in heavy wind, fog, rain, sleet, and snow for days and nights on end...then this hunt might not be for you.

Time isn't on your side since weather and travel will eat up a bunch of it. If you don't have 7-10 days, you're setting yourself up.

Deer are not behind every tree and rock. Alpine opulations densities are low. You might not even see a deer, much less a legal buck, much less a legal buck worth shooting many miles and lots of elevation gain/loss from the nearest trailhead. Huge bucks are EXTREMELY rare at altitude since they just don't have the same easy living as farm & ranch deer.  Success odds are in the low single digits and I'd bet it's the same guys every year that are responsible for most of those filled tags.

If you're the type of guy that is going to just barely stagger into some far flung basin and get upset after you put a long difficult stalk on a buck (if you can find one!) only to watch it drop right in front of your eyes to a friggin' predator that's scouted it and has been sitting on it for several days before the opener...then finding some private property you can access with a road might be a better option for you.

Regardless...good luck!

Liberalism is the philosophy of Western suicide. 

Work hard. Hunt hard. Lift other hunters up.

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Online jstone

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Re: High Buck - Some Observations
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2020, 04:33:56 PM »
Great read
I will be strep and deep for the archery deer season.! Caus e I love the high country
Good luck high hunt rifle hunters

Offline jackelope

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Re: High Buck - Some Observations
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2020, 05:21:32 PM »
Any sharable positive aspects of the high hunt?

 :chuckle:
:fire.:

" In today's instant gratification society, more and more pressure revolves around success and the measurement of one's prowess as a hunter by inches on a score chart or field photos produced on social media. Don't fall into the trap. Hunting is-and always will be- about the hunt, the adventure, the views, and time spent with close friends and family. " Ryan Hatfield

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Online jstone

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Re: High Buck - Some Observations
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2020, 05:47:31 PM »
Aim small
Miss small
 :chuckle:

Offline Colville

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Re: High Buck - Some Observations
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2020, 05:57:33 PM »
Any sharable positive aspects of the high hunt?

 :chuckle:

Yep.  Whatever your weakness;  gear, food, packing light, location choices, mental strength, physical strength, endurance....  you'll encounter it.  High hunt exposes flaws right now.  That's good news, to anyone willing to take her majesty's constructive criticism.  Exposing flaws isn't the same as fixing them.  Most people run with their hair on fire rather than deal with their flaws.

Online Buckhunter24

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Re: High Buck - Some Observations
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2020, 06:11:24 PM »
We'll be in there this year for the first time hunting, i sure hope we survive :hunter:

Offline Bushcraft

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Re: High Buck - Some Observations
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2020, 06:34:06 PM »
Any sharable positive aspects of the high hunt?

 :chuckle:

Hahaha!!!  Gonna need some Windex for my computer screen!


And yeah...but that would only serve to increase the hoards of people randomly tromping around the highcountry. ;)
Liberalism is the philosophy of Western suicide. 

Work hard. Hunt hard. Lift other hunters up.

*Proud supporter of NRA, NRA-ILA SCI, SCIF, SCI-PAC, NSSF, RMEF, RMGA, MDF, WSF, DU, WWA, HHC, WWC

Offline jjhunter

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Re: High Buck - Some Observations
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2020, 07:24:52 PM »
Iíve hunted high in WY, CO, ID and WA and always found the Sept rifle hunts to be tough physically, but extremely easy hunting.  You are hunting summer pattern mule deer with a rifle.  Pretty good gig.

Offline Bushcraft

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Re: High Buck - Some Observations
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2020, 07:49:33 PM »
Iíve hunted high in WY, CO, ID and WA and always found the Sept rifle hunts to be tough physically, but extremely easy hunting.  You are hunting summer pattern mule deer with a rifle.  Pretty good gig.

 :yike: :bdid: :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle:  ;)



Liberalism is the philosophy of Western suicide. 

Work hard. Hunt hard. Lift other hunters up.

*Proud supporter of NRA, NRA-ILA SCI, SCIF, SCI-PAC, NSSF, RMEF, RMGA, MDF, WSF, DU, WWA, HHC, WWC

Offline Jonathan_S

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Re: High Buck - Some Observations
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2020, 08:28:25 PM »
Have good gear, know your limits, get out there and experiment and don't be intimidated by the high hunt. Especially for rifle hunters it's just more days in the woods.
ďKindly do not attempt to cloud the issue with too many facts.Ē

Offline ctwiggs1

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Re: High Buck - Some Observations
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2020, 08:37:49 PM »
Have good gear, know your limits, get out there and experiment and don't be intimidated by the high hunt. Especially for rifle hunters it's just more days in the woods.

This whole thread would be a better read if this response was the OP.

Offline Onewhohikes

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Re: High Buck - Some Observations
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2020, 06:24:02 AM »
Folks here we have someone trying to "talk you out of the high hunt". You can make your high hunt as easy or as tough as you want.

Online Karl Blanchard

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Re: High Buck - Some Observations
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2020, 06:51:32 AM »
Ice axe and crampons  :rolleyes:
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Offline Maybach Outdoors

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Re: High Buck - Some Observations
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2020, 07:00:21 AM »
Ice axe and crampons  :rolleyes:

lol... until you need em. Been on a few snow trips and never really needed them but they would have been nice.  :twocents:

Online elkaholic123

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Re: High Buck - Some Observations
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2020, 07:05:10 AM »
Ice axe and crampons  :rolleyes:

lol... until you need em. Been on a few snow trips and never really needed them but they would have been nice.  :twocents:
For the high buck hunt in Sept. in Wa.  :chuckle:
elkaholic

 


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