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Author Topic: Mill Creek Watershed  (Read 2551 times)

Offline 1963Dan

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Mill Creek Watershed
« on: July 16, 2023, 09:11:55 AM »
At 60 years old I finally drew the Watershed tag.  It is my first quality elk tag after applying for many years.  I have hunted the East Wenaha with a buddy several years ago for 10 days, so I kind of know what I have gotten myself into.  I am spending about an hour a day in the gym with the help of a PT to get in shape for the hunt.  I spent last weekend wandering around the unit, trying to figure out where to camp, best ways to get into the unit, etc., and i would appreciate any pointers anyone would care to share.  I hiked the intake trail to Deadman Peak just to kind of get a feel of what it's like.  I also drove the 64 road down into Oregon and checked out glassing and camping spots along there. I would assume the majority of the people will be along here?  Biscuit Ridge looked pretty good as well as far as an access point from the West but not as good as far as long range glassing.  I am kind of considering coming in from Oregon to kind of distance myself from other hunters, and was wondering if anyone has info on accessing the unit through the Walla Walla City owned land in Oregon up into Mill Creek?  Looks like another option might be Paradise Ridge from Milk Shakes.  I plan on hiking into the border the next trip over.  I met the patrolman Abel Garcia and he confirmed most of the rules that I kind of knew about not going into the unit ahead of the season, number of people who are allowed to help pack out (3 plus the hunter) etc.  I would like to camp in my RV, but seems a little risky with the potential for snow, so will probably wall tent camp. 
I would love to get in touch with other current tag holders to kind of know their plans and I will share anything I know as well.  I plan on going over a few more times to get a more solid plan, so hopefully will gain more knowledge. 
Thanks and good luck to the rest of the tag holders!

Offline Boss .300 winmag

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Re: Mill Creek Watershed
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2023, 09:58:01 AM »
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Offline nwwanderer

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Re: Mill Creek Watershed
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2023, 11:52:03 AM »
If you are horseback going in from the intake makes sense, on foot not so much.  Crossing the creek several times in Oregon before reaching WA can be interesting.  With less than 50 permits for both states and something less than 30,000 acres split kinda even in WA and OR the much smaller elk herd has a bunch of space.  Very weather dependent, it might be 75 and clear or 25 with snow.  At 75 it is double tough, most of the elk are ruminating happily 2/3 the way down from the top.  With a bunch of snow they are either in the bottoms waiting for a chinook or have moved out.  Line up those three helpers, it is a bit steep.  Not unusual for FS to rescue people on this hunt, be careful out there

Offline 1963Dan

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Re: Mill Creek Watershed
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2023, 07:01:07 PM »
Thanks for the info nwwanderer, I realize it's going to be tough and that I will need to be flexible with my plan depending on weather. Either way I am excited to get in there

Offline nwwanderer

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Re: Mill Creek Watershed
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2023, 07:23:54 PM »
Truly a place with giants, good luck!!!

Offline EKU

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Re: Mill Creek Watershed
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2023, 01:47:23 PM »
I would plan on using your wall tent. Weather can make a trailer difficult to get out.  If you are accurate out to 400 or 500 yards that will help.

Offline RockChuck

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Re: Mill Creek Watershed
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2023, 06:46:52 PM »
I have the tag also and have taken a couple trips to check out camping and hiked parts of the trail, I was hoping to bring my trailer but probably going to sleep in the back of my truck after seeing the roads near the intake trail, would have to park the trailer a bit away and possibly further if snow and donít want to drive that far each day. Seems a lot more camping, access and possibility to glass from the east side.

Offline nwwanderer

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Re: Mill Creek Watershed
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2023, 07:38:54 PM »
Some of the best views are north side, table rock to the east is a long haul

Offline RockChuck

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Re: Mill Creek Watershed
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2023, 07:56:47 PM »
Is table rock accessible before the season? I pulled up to the gate a couple weeks ago  but didnít want to be on the wrong side of the ďlineĒ as it looks on the map.   

Offline nwwanderer

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Re: Mill Creek Watershed
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2023, 07:05:35 PM »
Forest service says FEB-NOV.  Would be a very easy place to leave a rig all winter, wind and a few feet of snow seals the deal.

Offline 1963Dan

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Re: Mill Creek Watershed
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2023, 06:13:26 AM »
RockChuck, Table Rock does not appear to  be accessible before the season. There are multiple Watershed boundary signs at Road 64. I did see there were a couple vehicles there this past weekend, one of them might have been Abel Garcia (Watershed Patrol), but couldn't tell for sure, I was a long ways away

Offline RockChuck

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Re: Mill Creek Watershed
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2023, 11:09:06 AM »
RockChuck, Table Rock does not appear to  be accessible before the season. There are multiple Watershed boundary signs at Road 64. I did see there were a couple vehicles there this past weekend, one of them might have been Abel Garcia (Watershed Patrol), but couldn't tell for sure, I was a long ways away

I see, thank you I didnít see any signs when I pulled up to the open gate, but wasnít going to drive down the road to find out the hard way.

Offline toyman2

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Re: Mill Creek Watershed
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2023, 10:25:48 PM »
Be smart about where you camp. It takes little snow and wind and itíll shut the road down at the first opening on 64, itís a well known drift.
Be prepared for all weather, seems to snow mid hunt, fog is also  most likely going to happen, as well as the wind. Able is a great help for information.
There are some great bulls in there. Good luck.

Online LDennis24

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Re: Mill Creek Watershed
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2023, 11:07:04 PM »
 :yeah:
This is correct. My FIL and BIL had the tag a couple years ago. They got snowed out before they could finish the hunt. They didnt bring snowshoes. Maybe consider bringing some. They have a cabin over by Slick Ear and Twin Buttes in the Wenaha. They know the area well and didn't have much luck. Abel had said that the wolves had pushed a bunch of the elk out that year. Hopefully you have better luck! Both of you keep us updated!  :tup:

Offline Klickitatsteelie

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Re: Mill Creek Watershed
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2023, 04:21:03 AM »
Maybe pm jphelps and see if he will share any info on the unit with you. He has a little knowledge of the unit. Glass glass glass abs be safe thatís one deep hole. Good luck and keep us posted on how things go for you.

 


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