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Author Topic: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly  (Read 5911 times)

Offline savagehunter

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Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« on: September 18, 2020, 02:28:36 PM »
I can hardly believe this was the 8th year that my son and I packed up our lives and relocated to the alpine elevations of our beautiful cascade range. The memory of my 16 year old boy coming to me and telling me that for his birthday he wanted to do this high buck hunt seems so fresh and new. His birthday is Sept 11th and we had a month to get ready. I had no clue what this journey would entail or how to go about our planned adventure. I came upon this forum and asked for help and received a ton of response. Some were of the "number one rule" school of high buck while others were encouraging if not skeptical . And some very generous souls stepped up and pointed me in the right direction with sound advice and suggestions to make our hunt enjoyable and suited to our skill level. In the end making year one very successful without the harvest of an animal. I have been thinking about creating this thread for a while as I see prospective hunters come on here searching for a way to make the same journey that my son and I have had. I am going to recount all nine hunts and the lessons learned the successes and failures the triumphs and tribulations and hope that all of you that have great experiences will step up and share your experiences as well. Thanks to everyone who helped darrick and I have the best shared memories  that any dad could hope to have with his kid.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 10:02:50 PM by savagehunter »

Offline Dan-o

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2020, 02:40:30 PM »
Can't wait!!!
This will be terrific.
Member:   Yakstrakgutp (or whatever we are)
I love the BFRO!!!
I wonder how many people will touch their nose to their screen trying to read this...

Offline savagehunter

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2020, 02:56:34 PM »
2020 has been a very stressful year. A constant bombardment of fear anxiety and stress. I could not wait to make the trek and get up high.
We had our rifles zeroed unfortunately due to fire danger i could not verify my drops with my new rifle. No long range for me this year and since my son will not take a shot over 300 yards we decided to head in early on Saturday afternoon.
My son darrick had taken up archery hunting this year and planned on bringing his bow. His first archery buck a spike blacktail the weekend before changed that plan. Lesson one be flexible plans change and things happen enjoy what you can and take what is given. My son decided he would bring his rifle and if he had the opportunity he would shoot a bear.
The smoke had rolled into the valley as we hit hwy 2 to make the 4 hour journey to our trailhead deep in the glacier peak wilderness. We stopped and had dinner at our favorite restaurant on the way over a tradition that has practical as well as ascetic purpose.
Lesson two get started on the right foot . We planned on staying 6 nights and the chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes with summer vegetables really left a literal good taste in our mouths.
 The weather report looked amazing better than it had ever been. Mild overnight Temps with small chances for light precipitation. Perfect weather really but having spent some wet cold unforseen weather circumstance , I brought the whole kit of weather preparedness clothing with me. This made my pack heavier than normal and plus xtra food as we had never stayed more than four nights put me around 60 pounds without my rifle.
 Lesson 3 despite the horrible weather we had endured the year before which we came through fine with a 47 pound pack I decided to over prepare. Take what you need not what you want.
 I am a 53 year old smoker who had never done any physical preparation in 8 trips into the backcountry. I really thought last year would be my last climb and was very bittersweet on 2019s trip.
 My son was very insistent that I would be back. 4 months ago I started walking 5 miles 3 times a week with my wife. Often throwing on my pack and walking around downtown everett looking like a homeless vagrant.
Lesson 4 literally go the xtra mile. Time is valuable to all us working stiffs and if you can't afford or are unwilling to to spend cold hard cash to an outfitter to have the high hunt experience spend some hard earned free time preparing your body for the rigors of the trail and even more so the challenge of going off trail to retrieve  an animal.

Offline BD1

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2020, 03:34:33 PM »
Someone please start the popcorn  :tup:

Offline savagehunter

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2020, 04:51:50 PM »
Our hike in is six miles. Hydration is king just in front of good boots. Lesson 5 get a quality water pump that will filter water from a mud hole if need be during dry months , water you take for granted may disappear and once we did have to dig a hole in the mud and let it seep full to be able to filter it.
Once you start hiking whether it's hot or cold you're  going to sweat a lot. Lesson 6 choose your hike in clothes carefully they should breath well and dry quick. They will be used on the way out too and should dry while you are hunting. I like a lightweight pair of first lite merino pants a merino tee and  high quality merino socks. This allows me to use my hike in gear as backup hunting gear if I end up getting soaked first day like last year.
Hiking in early in the morning allows you to avoid the heat of the day and gives you ample time to set up camp and maximizes your time.
If you are young and strong hiking sticks seem like crutches for the old and unstable. Think about the horse 4 legs are better than two. A nice set of collapsible hiking sticks give you stability takes load off your legs and hips and come in handy for setting up makeshift lean-to or holding up your lightweight tent.

Offline savagehunter

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2020, 05:08:22 PM »
Let me quantify any of my gear statements. Use what you have. I'm going backwards in time on this thread. I have a lot of high quality gear now but it took years to gather it together. I'm not a rich guy and when you can spend 500 bucks on a set of rain gear bibs like my sitka cold front you might loose intrest in attempting to run with gear junkies. I buy almost all my gear on classified ads here on rokslide offer up craigslist I hit the thrift stores like crazy. There are a lot of hikers in Washington and they go through gear like crazy and alot of it can be bought for pennies on the dollar. That being said this hunt can be done with reg gear no frills old school. My kid wears old military wool pants and an old wool jacket under his sitka rain gear and can sit in 28 degrees comfortably. First year we went in i carried 125 pounds of gear thank God we didn't get a buck. Our tent weighed 8 pounds my sleeping bag weighed six heck I had pots and pans really the full boy scout experience.
Tons of choices on gear and as long as you can safely cary it being warm and dry makes for a much more enjoyable trip.

Offline jackelope

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2020, 05:29:44 PM »
Following along!
: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

My posts, opinions and statements do not represent those of this forum

Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2020, 05:33:57 PM »
Tag
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Offline Bowhunter3

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2020, 06:08:01 PM »
 :yeah:

Offline savagehunter

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2020, 09:51:58 PM »
The trip in is always the hardest for me. Standard is about 2.5 hours last year we hiked in with hangovers huge lesson there dont do that. We had a typical hike in this year with a nice half hour break at the halfway point. By typical I mean I was ready to call the whole thing off and take up an easier pursuit of happiness. Once past the halfway point there is nothing to it but to do it.
We hit our camping spot at around 11 am and the temp was about 67 degrees. The feeling of accomplishment you get from finishing the journey and the splendor of the alpine is a well earned reward and dropping our packs relieving ourselves of sweat soaked gear and losing the boots led to an hour of resplendent lounging on the high country carpet. The weather was perfect and setting camp waited for us to recover our motivation.

Online bracer40

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2020, 06:30:18 AM »
Loving this thread!
“Just give me a comfortable couch, a dog, a good book, and a woman. Then if you can get the dog to go somewhere and read the book, I might have a little fun.”
― Groucho Marx

Offline Bill W

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2020, 08:19:34 AM »
Our hike in is six miles. Hydration is king just in front of good boots. Lesson 5 get a quality water pump that will filter water from a mud hole if need be during dry months , water you take for granted may disappear and once we did have to dig a hole in the mud and let it seep full to be able to filter it.
Once you start hiking whether it's hot or cold you're  going to sweat a lot. Lesson 6 choose your hike in clothes carefully they should breath well and dry quick. They will be used on the way out too and should dry while you are hunting. I like a lightweight pair of first lite merino pants a merino tee and  high quality merino socks. This allows me to use my hike in gear as backup hunting gear if I end up getting soaked first day like last year.
Hiking in early in the morning allows you to avoid the heat of the day and gives you ample time to set up camp and maximizes your time.
If you are young and strong hiking sticks seem like crutches for the old and unstable. Think about the horse 4 legs are better than two. A nice set of collapsible hiking sticks give you stability takes load off your legs and hips and come in handy for setting up makeshift lean-to or holding up your lightweight tent.

As long as you drink from the creek or above the horses you will be ok.  If you drink from some of the standing water in the timber or ridgeline you will get beaver fever.  I came out one time and a group of us stopped at one of the hamburger spots.  Later I got a call asking if I was ok after eating my burger.  Turned out others in the group drank from a "pond" up on the hill and ended up with giardia aka, beaver fever.  I think one got a water filter after that.

Offline Widgeondeke

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2020, 10:12:47 AM »
Hope to read more in the coming week.
Currently 3 hours into our 20hr drive to SE Wyoming  8)

Offline Alchase

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2020, 10:20:18 AM »
Hope to read more in the coming week.
Currently 3 hours into our 20hr drive to SE Wyoming  8)

Reading on cruise control  :o

 :chuckle:
Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
The American Soldier and Jesus Christ. One died for your freedom, the other for your soul.

My rock,
He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144.1

Offline Widgeondeke

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2020, 10:22:43 AM »
Hope to read more in the coming week.
Currently 3 hours into our 20hr drive to SE Wyoming  8)

Reading on cruise control  :o

 :chuckle:

Yup, only I'm letting the boy drive. Dad will navigate  :IBCOOL:

 


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