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Author Topic: 10th anniversary 3 tags in 4 days ode to Bill w. Talking about the high hunt  (Read 1288 times)

Offline savagehunter

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Ten years ago my son Darrick was turning 16 and all he wanted was to go do this High Hunt thing. Not knowing anything about hunting Washington let alone the high country I came to this forum looking for help. The main thing I heard was the number one rule of the high hunt. A lot of warnings and advice were thrown my way some very helpful some kind of frustrating but I feel they were all well meaning and I was grateful. I took the advice and used the resources and developed a plan to go into an area of the alpine lakes wilderness.  I gathered gear and tons of stuff to be prepared. I was a Boy Scout I figured having too much was better than not having enough. Looking back my initial plan would have been a disaster. A kindly veteran hunter with 30 years of high hunt was doing some timely forum surfing when he decided to join our forum and answer my plea in depth.
 Blessings come in many forms and our came in the form of a man in his late 60's that decided to break the number one rule in the high hunt. He talked about it. He told me a good place to go without too much elevation gain or too little water. A place that would hold other hunters as well as deer. A place we could learn and grow. He gave me a place that my son and I could share and my son would grow from a city boy who couldn't pick up his feet in the woods to a man who can get 20 yards from a deer and kill it with a bow.
Bill Warner gave us one of the greatest gifts anyone can give to another. He gave us a chance. The first year we went into the high country I was carrying 127 pounds all in. My sons pack weighed 70. Oh my lord a trip that now takes us 2.5 hours took 6.5 hours. We barely made it in we stayed 3 days and then barely made it out. We saw over 100 deer none of them legal. One day we spent 3 hours stalking two forkies within 50 yards just to find out no eye guards.
 We felt like we were gonna die at the same time that we never felt so alive.
The next year those forkies were 4x3's and my son got to miss one at 200 yards and I told Bill about all we had seen and learned. We upgraded and downsized and got different guns and we went for the experience.
On our third year my son killed his first buck and as we walked out 7.5 miles with packs pushing a 100# ea. I counted our blessing and was so stoked to tell Bill how he had made it all possible how that 16 year old kid was now and forever a hunter a lover of the outdoors and the creatures that were out there. 
Many of you read my story of the first bear my son shot and the 8+ hours we spent tracking and confronting that wounded bear in a stand of willows down in the creek bottom.
Standing shoulder to shoulder with him and dropping that charging bear will always be my most cherished hunting time.
Last year as always Bill messaged me asking if we were going in and I told him that we wouldn't miss it for the world.
It was a very uneventful trip no legal bucks seen we went in late on Tuesday and all the hunters were gone but there were 7 bear in there and I managed to miss 2 of those. Not much to tell so I never bothered messaging Bill on our return.
 A few years after we started this adventure we ran into Cal.
Cal used to be a game warden and through some conversations with him it came out that he was the man who had brought Bill W. Into the high country all those years ago. They had worked at Boeing together in the early 70's. Cal is 73 this year. Every year we are in there he covers more miles and gains more elevation than all of us other hunters combined. Dawn til dusk rain or shine he goes up and then he comes back down. The other thing that Cal does is talk about the high hunt. He schools us and tells us where they are and it all sounds so easy til you get in there and see just how tough it is.
 This year we went in early. Mostly to give me some recovery time before opening day. It had started to rain when we got above the treeline. It was getting late and we had about an hour of light left to set up our tent. Darrick is hunting with a bow more these days and had decided to bring his bow in. I spotted the deer before we even got to our tent site. 20 minutes later still no tent but we had already filled his tag. I got to watch him stalk these deer and come out the buck brush at 20 yards and then the work started.
The next morning as we boned out his deer Cal showed up and talked about the high hunt and with a tear in his eye informed us that our friend Bill Warner had died September last year.
Hunting is about a lot of things . Survival, sustenance, mortality, connection with our maker and the land.
My son headed out with a heavy pack of meat to be delivered back to everett so he could get his rifle and come back in after a bear.
I spent that evening alone in solitude an aging man thinking about an old man who I never had the chance to meet in person but who had such a profound affect on my life. At 4 am the next morning I prepared to take that hike in the dark wilderness alone I was focused and intent.
As shooting light rose I was in my vantage and I glassed the early smoke filled gloom for signs of movement. The meadow was still and quiet until light filled the valley.
At about 830 I heard a single shot about a half mile from me and quietly commended the lucky hunter that had earned an opportunity.
At 930 5 does and a spike lead a silent procession across my view at 200 yards equally spaced about 50 yards apart. It was like a funeral procession for the unlucky buck and our dear friend Bill.
At 1030 an ear flicked just behind a Christmas tree. It was small and didn't have horns but fewer bear means more deer in the meadows. Someone has to do it. My 6.5x284 barked once at 197 yards and another tag was filled.
I drug him down by the creek and processed him there in the shade and with a heavy pack descended toward camp.
Halfway there I ran into my son and he proved his worth by offering to take my pack but I wasn't having it as some things weigh more then a pack.
The next day we got a late start and headed back to my spot where my son left me as he likes to roam with those young legs of his.
Half an hour later he calls me excited he has spotted a big bear about a mile up the basin and asks me to come spot for him and back him up.
When I get there with both our packs I set up the spotting scope and watch the bear gut up on the cliff wall . I relay info as my son closes the distance. The bear moves left to right and stops at a draw that goes up to the next level of the Rimrock. I let Darrick know the bears position and he informs me he's out about 600 yards. The bear is a large very brown probably about 300 pounds.at that minute I spot another bear coming down the draw. She is black and about 250 pounds.
The two bears circle each other and the larger bear does a mock charge and the smaller bear turns tail and runs about 50 yards away. The larger bear starts up the draw. My son is at 300 yards and the larger bear heads up the Rimrock. 5 min later I see the black roll down the mountain and the brown run up it. I dont hear the gunshot til the black has found her final resting place. Watching this from so far away is surreal and as I pack up to start the climb it starts to snow and the wind picks up to 25 to 30 mph. Nothings ever easy in the high country but fate is funny as I think about the bears that switched places and how things seldom happen exactly as planned. Our third tag was notched and in the morning my son would take the meat out and I decided we would take camp out with the hide the next day.
It was our tenth anniversary hunt and we filled 3 tags but really the biggest story is that we lost a fellow hunter though by talking about the high hunt my son is right there to talk about it to the next generation and continue this great tradition and love of what we do. THANK YOU BILL WARNER FOR GIVING ME AND MY SON THE GREATEST MEMORIES .
                              R.I.P.

Offline savagehunter

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Pic

Offline savagehunter

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Deer

Offline savagehunter

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Bearskin and boy

Offline MountainWalk

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This is the best story Iíve ever read on this forum. Iíve got to tell you this.
 I can tell that this hunt, both of those men and your experiences mean so much to you and your son. I envy you, bud, I really do. I look forward to the day when my boy is ready.

   Hunt WA, and hunting in general needs more of this. No chest thumping. No bragging about how far and how high; no theatrics or gear endorsements. Just a father and son, enjoying our Lordís creation together, via a man who believed in what you were trying to accomplish. God Bless you, your son, Mr. Bill and gentlemen Cal. You are the Champ. Best story on this forum. I mean that.
The way that you wander, is the way that you choose
The day that you tarry, is the day that you lose

Offline bearhunter99

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Great story!  It is also a nice tribute to your mentor.  Thank you for sharing your story!
RIP Colockumelk   :salute:

"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." Ė Winston Churchill



Genesis 27:3
Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison

Offline HUNTINCOUPLE

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Perfectly played and the play will continue!!! :tup:
Slap some bacon on a biscut and lets go, were burrnin daylight!

Most peoples health is a decision not a condition?

Kill your television!  ICEMAN SAID TO!

Life Member of Hunting  Washington  Forum.

Time in the woods is more important than timing the moon.

Offline teanawayslayer

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Great write up! Thanks for sharing
Happiness is being in the woods!!!

Offline elkboy

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Beautifully written.  This is what this forum can and does accomplish!  Connecting good people. 

Savagehunter, thank you for sharing! 

Offline kellama2001

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What a great story to start the day today! Thank you so much for taking the time to share it with us  :tup:
It must be a poor life that achieves freedom from fear.
-Aldo Leopold

Offline full choke

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Re: 10th anniversary 3 tags in 4 days ode to Bill w. Talking about the high hunt
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2022, 07:30:19 AM »
Thank you for sharing your experience!  :tup:
"If you think our wars over oil are bad, wait until we are fighting over water..."

Offline Sneaky Squirrel

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Re: 10th anniversary 3 tags in 4 days ode to Bill w. Talking about the high hunt
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2022, 08:07:50 AM »
Yes, this is a great story to start the day for sure. We need more folks like Bill W out there....

I haven't been a member of here long but been lurking for years. I feel like there is a lot of Bill W's that are members on this forum. It might not seem that way as folks are hesitant to share spots on an open forum, which i am too but they are willing to share info via PM's.

Offline jstone

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Re: 10th anniversary 3 tags in 4 days ode to Bill w. Talking about the high hunt
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2022, 08:10:43 AM »
Great Story and Great memories.!! Thank You for sharing. Stories like this is what we need these days.!

Great Job

Offline WildBear

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Re: 10th anniversary 3 tags in 4 days ode to Bill w. Talking about the high hunt
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2022, 08:14:22 AM »
Great Read!! Thank you.
Worst day hunting is better than best day working!

Offline dyhardhuntr

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Re: 10th anniversary 3 tags in 4 days ode to Bill w. Talking about the high hunt
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2022, 08:18:12 AM »
Best post of the year right here! This is an amazing story and tribute. A little bit of help went a long ways. I wish more people understood that. Iíve helped people with minimal info about my locations. We need more of this as the older generation fades away. When I hunt and the action is slow that is when I think of family and friends long gone that helped me to where Iím at today. Congrats on your hunt!

 


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