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Author Topic: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly  (Read 6069 times)

Offline Timberstalker

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #45 on: September 22, 2020, 07:53:58 PM »
Nerve wracking!  Keep it coming.
If you aint hunting, you aint livin'

Offline whacker1

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #46 on: September 22, 2020, 08:09:10 PM »
enjoying the story telling.....keep it coming

Offline savagehunter

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #47 on: September 22, 2020, 08:33:42 PM »
15 minutes passed looking for obvious sign of the path the bear had taken into the woods and i was getting worried that the bear might have dropped down into the 300 yard huge stand of buckbrush that lay along the trees below us. Before I had come up the hill I had stopped and spoke to the hunters in the icecicle camp. They had 5 sets if eyes on everything that had transpired and had a radio dialed into chanel one. Unfortunately for some reason I could hear their transmissions but they could not hear mine. Their head guy called me on the radio and told me they thought the bear had entered the trees about 50 ft lower than where we had been looking. Very thankful for gracious neighbors.
Dropping down we quickly found several large drops of blood right at the treeline. We took a quick respite and pondered our task at hand. The treeline was about 100 yards wide and ran the full length of the slope down to the creek bed. Having hunted most of these divide stands especially during rainy weather I knew that visibility inside was pretty good. I spoke to my son about the importance of keeping his muzzle forward and that what we were attempting was pretty damn serious. I let him know that if for some reason the bear were to charge us in enclosed quarters that the bruin would be too quick to find a sight picture in his scope. I explained that if you see him and he's going away aim and shoot if he's coming at you wait until you can put the barrel on him and shoot. I let him take lead but was pretty nervous as I knew if anything ever happend to him while we are out hunting that my wife would never forgive me. I went on to tell him that I would stay 5 ft behind and uphill 5 or six feet and would back him up and play ranger.
We picked a spot 50 ft uphill from the blood at a place I could see 100 feet into the shady confines and entered the trees.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2020, 09:29:53 PM by savagehunter »

Offline jackelope

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #48 on: September 22, 2020, 08:40:31 PM »
Keep it coming...
: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 savagehunter

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #49 on: September 22, 2020, 09:19:08 PM »
Tracking blood trail is a very painstaking and tedious process that is made more difficult by the early fall foliage breaking out in more red spots than a kindergarten with chicken pox. Making matters worse in the highcountry, is adding blueberry and other plants that trend to the red spectrum.
As our eyes adjusted to the light change from full sunlight to the murkiness and shadows of the trees i scanned slowly around looking and listening for signs of movement.
Still as a grave with no air movement we moved slowly downhill to find the path the big black had taken.
We were about 50 ft inside the forest edge and quickly found a hand sized splatter of blood on the duff and a large smear of blood on the foliage on the uphill side of the game trail the bear had rumbled down.
I pointed out to my son that one the blood was dry even in the shade. I remarked that if the blood turns tacky or wet that we would be  close to the animal.  Very dark red blood above knee height on the uphill side meant that he had a nice sized exit wound that was fairly high.
Tracking the bear across the treeline proved to be the easiest thing we did that day. Straight lining down the game trail with blood about every ten feet. We stopped and listened and looked at each and every one. It took us about 15 min to cross to the far tree edge which opened out into sparse buckbrush and huckleberry bushes. There was a small edge of rock that dropped down about 3 feet into the clearing. Surveying the semi open terrain we stepped back into the full sun. It took about 15 min of careful searching on my hands and knees to find two pencil eraser sized drops on the lower leaves of some low growing plants that indicated the bear had followed the treeline down the edge of the meadow. 25 feet down i found where he had laid down for the first time. In the shade of a 15 ft tall christmas tree was a fairly good one foot circle of blood in the grass. By the size of the bed I was guessing he was about 6 feet long. I do not believe he stayed long and the blood was fully dried. I surveyed the landscape and it was an obvious path of layed over grass that quartered downhill and I knew we were heading into some thicker and much taller brush.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2020, 10:36:06 PM by savagehunter »

Offline Birdguy

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #50 on: September 22, 2020, 09:31:07 PM »
Fantastic so far!!! Right there with you!

Offline savagehunter

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #51 on: September 22, 2020, 10:29:05 PM »
Now one thing was running through my head. Something my dad who is the biggest mountain man I've ever met. He told me that a gut shot bear will go to water looking for a place to soak to take away the burn.
The creek runs along the base of the meadows between 400 and 600 yards below our current position. I figured our worthy opponent would take the short route to the nearest place he could soak.
I will not bore you with every drop of blood we eked out or every time we lost the trail and spent agonizing moments crawling on our hands and knees looking for specks of blood the size of a mosquito to find the path. Suffice to say dry blood even the smallest fleck will come off with your fingernail while the changing of the season remains on the leaf no matter what you do.
The bear proved to be much more worthy than a beeline to the creek.Three hours later and a full double z back and forth across the mountainside that took us along full fallen trees with blood sign showing the bear walking 60 feet on a log to a half hour stretch with only three drops of blood from 600 yards down valley to 50 yards behind the icecicle outfitters camp we found our first tacky blood. A palm sized puddle still wet in the middle at the base of a solo tree. A little further on a blood rub on a limb sticking out still tacky.
A small seep spring that cut a 2 foot wide channel down hill revealed a bathtub sized hole where the bear had immersed his lower half. The water was maroon with a large pile of regurgitated berries laying at the head of the pool. The dripping water and blood trail took us down the hill and into the creek bottom.
The creek meanders and splits and twists through grass fields and islands of buck brush and willows. His path in the grass took no field craft to follow and the blood was wet heading straight downstream.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2020, 11:16:15 PM by savagehunter »

Offline Ridgerunner

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #52 on: September 22, 2020, 10:57:32 PM »
Come on this getting really good...,,


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Offline Rainier10

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #53 on: September 23, 2020, 07:54:33 AM »
This is a great story so far...
Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.

Every father should remember that one day his children will follow his example instead of his advice.


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HuntWa or the site owner.

Offline savagehunter

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #54 on: September 23, 2020, 03:56:50 PM »
A couple of pics for an interlude. Our camp from last year
« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 10:54:36 PM by savagehunter »

Offline savagehunter

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #55 on: September 23, 2020, 03:58:57 PM »
God it was wet

Offline savagehunter

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #56 on: September 23, 2020, 04:05:19 PM »
Magic tree

Offline Birdguy

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #57 on: September 23, 2020, 08:21:19 PM »
Looks miserable wet! This year was much different than that for sure.
Will keep checking back for more of the story :bow:

Offline savagehunter

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #58 on: September 23, 2020, 10:38:00 PM »
As we headed downstream the creek split in two creating an island. The trail led us down the right fork. About 100 yards down a small slough came off the creek and meandered along the base of the hillside. The slough was about 3 ft wide and 2 ft deep of still water. On the left the the creek was about 12 feet wide and running ankle deep. The island was about 2 city blocks in size and completely covered with buckbrush growing out over the creek we found no blood or trail as we slowly moved down the dividing strip of grass. 100 feet down a log lay in the slough having came down the hill. On the other side of that vertical log we found a pool of still water 10 feet long and 3 feet wide . The pool looked like a halloween witches brew. Completely maroon  with thousands of blueberries floating on top. Our bear had lay in this pool for an extended time and I knew we were close. We scouted around the area and found no visible blood beside what stained the water. With the dry spell the entire area was bone dry. I knew the bear had come out soaked. I ran my hand through the grass and found the trail of moisture heading 50 feet to the creek edge and across the creek i could see the wash where the bear had entered the island of buckbrush. At the end of the island where the creek came back together was a triangle shaped meadow and not wanting to follow him into the brush we went down 100 feet and crossed the creek. Skirting the brush we looked for his exit No blood and no moisture as we slowly circled the island. A solid half hour later we found ourselves back at the bears wallow. Staring at the spot where he had entered the dense jungle of tangled wood. To say we were hesitant to enter would be the understatement of the year. As we sat down to discuss it one thing kept ringing in my brain."NEVER FOLLOW A WOUNDED BEAR INTO THE BRUSH".
In past years we have had to go into some pretty big thickets of buckbrush. The stuff is just nasty growing and twisting and grabbing you. Very hard to move in or through. I layed it out for my son. We have a bear though wounded has been moving quite well for about six hours.      He has been able to walk on logs off rock edges over 1.5 miles. If we wait and come back who knows how far down valley he might get. The forecast for tonight is rain around 10 pm so forget about tracking him after a rain. He might hole up in the brush and die but he will definitely suffer. At this moment I look up and 250 yards away I see two hikers on the trail coming in. They are standing at the edge looking like they are thinking about dropping down to the creek. Not good. I holler out to them " don't come down here we have a wounded bear". I don't think they believed their ears because they made me repeat my warning. They hightailed it up the trail looking not too pleased.
This ended up being the deciding factor. We were much too close to other people to leave a wounded bear on the loose and we had a responsibility to them and the bear.
We firmed our resolve and prepared to enter the brush.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 10:57:59 PM by savagehunter »

Offline Onewhohikes

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Re: Lessons from the high hunt the good the bad and the ugly
« Reply #59 on: September 24, 2020, 06:13:42 AM »
Better choice not to camp the dirt as this time of the year that leads to mud. :twocents:

 


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