High Country Backpack Hunt

pyroducksx3

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,250
Location
Kitsap Co, WA
Well my first high hunt is in the books, no animals taken but a great expierence. This was the Washington High Buck and I was in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area looking for a big Mule deer worthy of the effort to pack out. The fires changed my plans just days before the hunt so this trip was a hail mary that although wasn't successfull I learned a lot. I went with a friend but he only stayed Friday night and headed back Saturday afternoon, which left me solo sat, sun & mon. So a call to the ranger district informed me fires were bad in the area I wanted to hunt and they were closing roads. A few paniced hrs of searching google maps produced a backup plan, but an area I hadn't even got to scout. This area was 8+ miles from the trailhead, I have learned this is just too far in to hunt for me. After the long hike in we saw an area we liked ahead and had an area east that we wanted to check out as well. Not having scouted the area before and my friend being tired from the 3 AM start we decided he was going to take a nap and I was going to dump all my gear with him and scout the area east and come back and decide which way to go. The area east looked good but was terrible to get to. Since his stay was short we decided to move up to the area ahead we saw. We immediately saw black bear on the hillside and spotted the hillside for the rest of the evening. The next morning we spotted the bear again but passed on shooting because we were so far in. We climbed the ridgeline and were able to spot both that ridgline and the next one over. The terrain looked great but ulimately only produced more black bear. My friend decided to leave that afternoon and left me to watch the area for the rest of the day. Watching only blackbear dominate the two hillsides for two days I decided to move to the first area I ran up to earlier. Getting to this basin was terrible. I had to climb a rock scree to get into it but it looked ideal. I learned this was spot had little hope of producing which I will explain later. I dropped all water and sent food back with my partner in hopes of lightning my pack up to make it into this area. So I got in set up camp, got water and set up my spotting location. Glassing all day produced a Single Mountain goat. I didnt see many track of anything and was not feeling very optimistic about the area. Monday morning brought the haze of the fires in and made spotting difficult. So with the lack of animals/sign and poor visability I came back a day early. This basin ultimately wasnt holding animals I have come to believe is because there was no way for the animals/deer to move in and out. The only way in was the rock scree I climbed in on or to come over the top of the ridgline. The basin was surrounded by mountain with a cliff where the water drained out and the one scree I came in on. So I have learned when looking for areas is to not only look for good meadows terrian(google maps) but to also pay attention to the ability of the animals to move in and out of an area. Stuff you guys probably already know but Im learning. Also I leaned my limit is about 5 miles in and still want to pack an animal out, unless I have more partner/partners willing to help me pack out. I also learned although doable I dont really like solo hunting, much prefer having a partner. I had a great trip it was hard pasing up the bears, never passed legal animals before but during the hike out I was thankfull I had.

Gear used
Kifaru t2 pack w/ horizontal lashing kit and grab-it
kifaru slick bag 20 deg
BA Q-core pad
Coccoon pillow
tarptent rainshadow tent
minox md-50 w slick tripod
kahles 10x42 binos
jet-boil stove
heavy as hell custom 7 mag (but allows me to shoot 700+ yards)
sawyer in line water filter w/ platypus big zip bag (with quick connects)
buck vanguard and piranta havalon knife(5 spare blades)
30 ft of paracord
20 ft of tent guy out cord
Caribou game bags

Clothing
worn in
Kuiu attack pants
addidas no sleeve dry fit shirt
smart wool socks
asolo sassalong boots
kuiu gray hat
first lite boxer briefs
packed
first lite allegheny pants
first lite llano sirt
first lite boxer briefs
1 pr smartwool socks
kuiu spindrift
kuiu chugach rain gear
first lite neck gaitor
kuiu guide beanie
1 pair of those cheap gloves with the plastic palms (which worked great)
under armour heat gear loose fit short sleeve in multicam
 
Last edited:
OP
pyroducksx3

pyroducksx3

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,250
Location
Kitsap Co, WA
Some pics
 

Attachments

  • 007.jpg
    007.jpg
    98.3 KB · Views: 238
  • 009.jpg
    009.jpg
    98.3 KB · Views: 217
  • 014.jpg
    014.jpg
    92 KB · Views: 249
  • 021.jpg
    021.jpg
    94.4 KB · Views: 218
  • 037.jpg
    037.jpg
    92.6 KB · Views: 277
OP
pyroducksx3

pyroducksx3

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,250
Location
Kitsap Co, WA
Yet more pictures
 

Attachments

  • 045.jpg
    045.jpg
    100.1 KB · Views: 201
  • 057.jpg
    057.jpg
    97.7 KB · Views: 218
  • 062.jpg
    062.jpg
    96.9 KB · Views: 205
  • 068.jpg
    068.jpg
    82.1 KB · Views: 197

fillthefreezer

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
2,804
Location
eatonvile, wa
sounds pretty successful, even though an animal wasnt taken.
we also had to come home from our high hunt a day early but will be heading back in thurs night
 

Ridgerunner

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
397
You learn something every time out for sure. Was a tough year up high for sure.
 

luke moffat

Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
20
Bummer on the no game, but sounds like you still had fun and learned a lot, which will pay divendends on the next go round as I imagine you are now hooked on the backpacking thing :D Thanks for sharing.
 

Brock A

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
2,814
Location
Buckley, WA
I just got back yesterday, very similar experience you had with the fire smoke, I believe we were in the same general area looking at your pictures. We only turned up 1 buck the whole 5 days and never could get a shot on him. Lots of goats and 1 nice bear though.
 
Top