another back country ?

trophyhill

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Feb 27, 2012
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Tijeras NM
so for those of you who have done it and do it, can you describe what a person feels like physically and mentally after 7 days in the back country? and what it takes to stay on top of your game once the fatigue and hunger set in? i know its no picnic. i have done a couple 2 and 3 day bivy's but i'm sure there is really no comparison.
 

evan williams

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Jan 28, 2012
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Colorado Springs
EXHAUSTING!!! I planned on a 7 day hunt this season and found the buck I was gonna hunt on day 2 and stayed with him. I tagged him on day 11. It was a much easier hunt than you would have thought just because I was on him and other animals EVERY day. So my optimism and energy stayed up. But there have been times when I am not seeing animals or anything that I feel like hunting and that just drags my mood and demeanor way down. But I was getting some great sleep at night thanks to some upgrades in my sleeping equipment. Food and water is sooooo critical on these extended hunts. You HAVE to maintain your energy or you get tired and fatigued and then you start to make mistakes and things register slower and it can end up being a very bad situation. As we all know. I count EVERY calorie for EVERY day so I know well ahead of time what my intake is. Gear becomes, in my opinion, even more critical. Weight, size, uses. You want to be able to take care of any emergencies without being overloaded with extra gear. It helps to have a mental plan going in as well. If things aren't going my way...if I am not seeing animals...what are my plans, where am I going. And there isn't just plan A and B. Have a plan C and D to be safe!!!
 

xXxArchery

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Feb 27, 2012
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longview Wa.
Its hard...I hit the wall on day 9...we killed a good bull day 6 ...but day 9 I was done...could not do it, felt like I could not pick my feet up to walk could not eat...thats what was getting me not eating ... called one of my partners back home said I quit....he said NO your not ...SUCK IT UP...went back to base camp and ate some junk food ...and said lets do this 4 more days ...some time that what you need someone to push you ..so day 11 I killed a great 6x6 bull ...
 

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luke moffat

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My experience doesn't exactly mirro Evan's all the time. There are longer hunts that are go-go-go from the time you jump out of bed to the time you crawl back in. But really that is rarely day in/out. Sure you will bust your butt getting your camp and what not in to where you hunt, but once you are in your hunting locale you shouldn't be hiking non-stop all day long. In fact once you get in the hunting area, SLOW DOWN. Glass early and often. Sit back and glass and enjoy just being out. Backcountry hunting can be as grueling as you want it. However, often times the more time I spend behind that glass and less time I spend hiking the more successful I am.

As far as getting hungry?? I don't. I bring enough food and there are times I am not hungry but I eat anyways knowing I am burning a lot more calories in teh backcountry when logging some serious miles or gaining some elevation that will require a LOT more energy than what my body uses during an an average day in the off season where I may only train for an hour of two vs. 12 hours of hiking/packing. Just bring as much food to cover your needs (I plan on 1.5 pounds per day) drink plenty of water, have a quality pack, and sleep system. Then go enjoy the backcountry for as long as you want so long as you got the food to do so. Really for me the only difference between a overnighter and a 10 dayer is the amount of food. I don't really feel as if I am falling off my game after a couple of days, maybe some do, but I haven't experienced that, well atleast that I've noticed.

You've already done 2-3 day trips so its just more food as I stated before to go longer. Have fun with it and don't try to make it harder than it has to be. Look forward to hearing about your longer endeavors on here.
 
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Ironman

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Feb 27, 2012
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My opinion is.... Wife? Children? Men do, what men do! I happen to have a Jewell, and a pretty one at that.
It all lies within, and that's all I got!
 

Jared Bloomgren

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Words cannot explain all the feelings that one goes through on these backcountry hunts. The last backcountry trip of mine was a 17 day hunt for a mule deer followed by another 12 days of hunting elk. When I came home I was 25 pounds lighter and my wife was sure I looked malnourished! Although tired and wiped out, I felt like I could crawl the tallest peak or swim the longest channel! There were days when I honestly thought, "What the hell am I doing here? Why do I put myself through this?" But that is very evident....."Because I love what I do and I love to hunt!" It has always been worth it in the end. There were times when bear encounters and wolf encounters made me wonder my place in the world. When you are out there in the backcountry all alone with nothing there but Mother Nature it really makes you realize how insignificant you really are in this world. Emotions are on a roller coaster, the highs and the lows, capatalizing on them when they are on a high is a must or your mental anguish will make the worst of you and you will not have a successful hunt. Staying on top of your game is a must!
 

Backpack Hunter

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My experience pretty closely matches Luke's. Honestly I normally prefer the longer hunts (10+ days) just because I think it gives me a better chance at success...you can't get them if you aren't out there.
 
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trophyhill

trophyhill

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Tijeras NM
good stuff and i hear ya Jared. although i haven't done a backcountry style hunt yet, most of my elk hunting has been solo from a base camp but i get into some very remote country and share some of those same feelings/thoughts. it really is great isn't it? we are living the dream when in the wild imho
 

les welch

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Luke summed up how I feel as a whole.

2009 I hunted Idaho for 17 days. Had a blast.
2010 I bombed into a NM wilderness unit 9 miles, set for two weeks solo. Killed my bull 2 hours after getting my tent pitched. Only slept 4.5 of the next 61 hours. 9 miles solo, is a long ways to have an elk down. That was as much mental as physical. I was in shape to get it done, but I had to mentally stay strong to do it.
2011 Was 12 days with 3 of nonstop rain in the middle.

I carry enough food so I'm not hungry, and then like Luke said just enjoy it. If you are working that fast and hard your probably not going to enjoy it as much and you are probably moving too fast.
 
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