Lessons Learned in the Field - SHARE YOURS!

TheGDog

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Jun 12, 2020
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613
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OC, CA
Over on another thread, somebody mentioned about getting "cliffed-out". I was gonna reply with some uh-oh lessons I'd learned as well, but it was off-topic on that thread. Didn't wanna thread-jack, so here we are, a new thread!
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Bad sh*t can happen instantly... when doing things that don't even appear all that sketchy at first glance.

Day after Xmas 2015... crossing a creek.. not wide at all... last rock before reaching other side...slip and fall... wrist lands/smacks a stone embedded on the opposite bank... shattered my wrist!

It was 32 F that morning so probably a thin sheen of ice on the rocks? Underneath the thin amount of water which occasionally flowed over the tops of some of them?

Big point here is... when you're out there? First and foremost... you gotta remember to NOT take chances. If something you're about to do...gives you any mis-givings about it? Don't do it! Just DO NOT do it!

Be 100% sure you can execute the maneuver you are about to entertain doing, before you do it. And I know ya can't always know and be sure of that, but you get what I'm sayin'.

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Recognize that moment when you've gotten yourself into a situation, and be willing to accept that you'll have to take the long way out.

What do I mean? Working our way back up a very steep hillside (hangin' of Glendora Mtn Road, for my SoCal peeps that know the area). You might say hugging a sort of "ridgeline" of a finger on it. But it had many bushes to bust thru along that apex of the ridgeline. At some point... I spot a trail-line that crosses over horizontally and looks to connect over to another trail line that continues up but with less crap in the way going up. The small... and I mean small.. horizontal shift was like... maybe 8-9 foot? A very well-defined line cut/pushed into the dirt. But the dirt there was steep and soft and no growth on it.

I'm sure it would be fine for a deer. But for a heavy human, with a heavy pack? Nope! After my second or third step over into it I realized I'd just f*cked up. I could not return back to where I entered from. My steps were just sinking in and each step was making me slide further and further down the hill. Attempts to return back to point of entry were expending massive amounts of energy and just making the situation worse.

It was gonna suck... but I realized I was stuck now so I was just going to have to turn and ride-it-out and make my way down this slope/funnel of soft stuff that was funneling me towards a downed tree that I'd have to bust thru (with a bow in my hands too, ugh). And it probably dropped me down a good, I dunno, 20yds back down the hill that I'd have to redo the climbing of. Wasted soo much time.

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Had a downed tree cover up the whole trail at one spot. The line to go around on the downhill side was sketchy as heck cause very steep and soft and a bear to do when coming in the am in the dark. I'd decided to leave a little earlier so I could try to bore a hole thru that downed tree so I wouldn't have to do that sketchy line in the dark with a pack full of heavy meat. At least, that was my thinking.

I had a small 11oz pack hatchet. And had like a 4" bonesaw. Most of the stuff I just snapped off or stomped on to break since I'm decent sized. But there was some larger branches like 4"-6" that required you'd have to get onto your knees to go under, and other branches of same stout sized prevented climbing over it. The ground right there is always wet/muddy with a little standing water in the reeds/grasses lotta times because it's part of where a seep flows down from the uphill side at this spot.

Bonesaw not best tool. Slow going. So often cutting just enough... then pushing to bend limbs far enough until they break, then maybe cut or hatchet the remaining splintered up piece to free em up.

Well... after doing this a bit and getting tired, I wasn't thinking straight, wasn't thinking ahead properly. And on this one 4" branch. While pushing on it to bend and try to break it at my saw point... this branch was much more greener and flexible this time. I messed up and didn't think about the path of that branch for when it'd break and snap back. As a result... it clocked me somethin' fierce in the jaw. I got very very lucky. Doesn't seem to have cracked any teeth or my jaw. But I do have a molar that's been very sensitive ever since then. It's been greater than a year. (Xrays look fine. No dead nerves or anything either).

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I'm hoping others will share their lessons learned from experiences like these. I've found that these types of situation are unfortunately the ones you learned the most from. So figure the more we can share things like this... the more newer hunters (like myself) can take notes from.
 

Opah

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Joined
Jan 30, 2017
Messages
288
Location
California, Inland Empire
The last time I had to cross a creek Gdog I spent the morning gathering up some lumber, it took a while because i had to flip them over and check for venomous insets or snakes or rodents.
Then I started building the bridge, this also took a little while because I had to make the non-slip deck grip from the sand and mud around the Creek.
the good part of this story is I got done just in time for a bunch of girl scouts to use the bridge to cross into the area I was going to hunt. It really didn't matter because the deer were long gone from the noise of fabricating the bridge and the Girls scouts singing.
But you damn right I was careful and I bought some Carmel turtle cookie for snack time !
A grand safe day !:cool::cool: Just messing with you
 

USMC-40

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Nov 22, 2016
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328
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NW Missouri
Dont leave your pack. This has happened to me and the stalk ended up being way longer (in both time and distance) and then I had to retrace my steps for over 1000 vertical feet as I was losing light, then go back to the sheep, try to find it in no light in a place with sketchy footing...

Long story short I keep it with me now.
 
OP
TheGDog

TheGDog

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OC, CA
I always make sure to slip the headlamp into a cargo pocket, or hang it around my neck if I ever step away from the pack these days. And.. I always bring the rifle with me if I step away any appreciable distance. For nearby stuff, like processing an animal, I just transfer my little pistol over onto my person. Since the rifle will be laid down by the pack and likely out of immediate reach with the bloody gloved hands.

I always split my water up into more than one container now too. If a new area? I split it into two equal portions. So if I run out of water while going in? I know to STOP... make note of where I got to... maybe mark a way point, then realize I can't go any further away from camp or vehicle this day. I might hang out a lil bit nearish that spot until end of light. But yeah man... I won't go any further in if I've reached half my water. Had a real scary experience when I first begin hunting as a n00b, where I ran out of water and still had 3.5mi and 2300 ft of ascent to do to get back to my vehicle! One of the realist nights of my life man! Soo dehydrated by time got back to top. Tongue all the way bone dry as far back as your tongue goes. Heart Palpitations, since your body is stealing water from your bloodstream. Inside my clothing was sopping wet with sweat. Started ascent about 3:30pm. Arrived at top around 9pm. Had to do a lot of micro-rests to let my heart calm back down after each switch-back. You never take water for granted ever again! Since then? I always make sure I have like 20 gallons of Crystal Geyser gallon jugs in the inventory at home! I ALWAYS overshoot on how much water I will need for the trip. And for my multi-day hunts I pre hike-in and stash Gallons of Crystal Geyser out there so I won't have to murder myself on the hike-in come go-time.

EDIT: I also now make sure to just always carry a Gallon jug of Crystal Geyser in the truck to, just because. I never ever ever ever wanna feel like I did that day ever again!
 

11boo

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Messages
568
Location
Grand Jct, CO
I did this stuff for years. Never learned the hard way not to, something in my head finally clicked and told me “stop being a idiot”. Now I find a way around.

F8C5FD11-9044-4FEA-A16C-9B91D3649B27.jpeg
 

TBHasler

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
472
Location
Texas
I always make sure to slip the headlamp into a cargo pocket, or hang it around my neck if I ever step away from the pack these days. And.. I always bring the rifle with me if I step away any appreciable distance. For nearby stuff, like processing an animal, I just transfer my little pistol over onto my person. Since the rifle will be laid down by the pack and likely out of immediate reach with the bloody gloved hands.

I always split my water up into more than one container now too. If a new area? I split it into two equal portions. So if I run out of water while going in? I know to STOP... make note of where I got to... maybe mark a way point, then realize I can't go any further away from camp or vehicle this day. I might hang out a lil bit nearish that spot until end of light. But yeah man... I won't go any further in if I've reached half my water. Had a real scary experience when I first begin hunting as a n00b, where I ran out of water and still had 3.5mi and 2300 ft of ascent to do to get back to my vehicle! One of the realist nights of my life man! Soo dehydrated by time got back to top. Tongue all the way bone dry as far back as your tongue goes. Heart Palpitations, since your body is stealing water from your bloodstream. Inside my clothing was sopping wet with sweat. Started ascent about 3:30pm. Arrived at top around 9pm. Had to do a lot of micro-rests to let my heart calm back down after each switch-back. You never take water for granted ever again! Since then? I always make sure I have like 20 gallons of Crystal Geyser gallon jugs in the inventory at home! I ALWAYS overshoot on how much water I will need for the trip. And for my multi-day hunts I pre hike-in and stash Gallons of Crystal Geyser out there so I won't have to murder myself on the hike-in come go-time.

EDIT: I also now make sure to just always carry a Gallon jug of Crystal Geyser in the truck to, just because. I never ever ever ever wanna feel like I did that day ever again!

Okay...I’ve gotta ask, what’s with Crystal Geyser water?
 
OP
TheGDog

TheGDog

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Okay...I’ve gotta ask, what’s with Crystal Geyser water?
To me anyway... it tastes just sooo much better than the other brands. The worst are like... Sparkletts...Arrowhead...Nestle...Dasani. If I had to guess, either CG's source has some certain trace minerals in it... or perhaps they put a certain formula of trace minerals in it perhaps? Anyhoo... theirs doesn't give me acid and tastes fantastic!
 

ShawZaw

Newbie
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Sep 28, 2020
Messages
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Never never never drop your pack. You think you're just going 30 yards to set up, next thing you know you are 1/2 a mile and downhill from your pack, you have no water, and you still have a bull bugling 300 yards in front of you.
 

Opah

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Joined
Jan 30, 2017
Messages
288
Location
California, Inland Empire
Stopped at arrowhead at the bottom of the SB mountains, they were doing maintenance on filters, pumps and stuff then I noticed the water hose pumping city water into the system ?
They didn't need to filter the city water because it had already been tested, Pay all that money for water you get from your hose bib ?
But I do agree with Gdog Crystal Geyser does taste clean and pure.
 

Gunnersdad49

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2017
Messages
1,061
Location
Colorado
When hunting the coast, particularly in Alaska, bring a copy of the tide tables.

Ignoring this one cost me lots of hours of up and downs in the dark on Kodiak with a pack full of deer meat.
 

JFK

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
151
When glassing a long ways off take moments to scan with your naked eye in areas close to you. Many times I’ve been glassing a long ways off where the animals should be, take my eyes out of the binos and see them close to me, in an area that didn’t look ideal. Wouldn’t have seen them if I stayed glued to the binos.
 

MattB

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Sep 29, 2012
Messages
2,504
When bowhinting, shoot your bow every day during your down time. I must have bumped my sight this year and it cost me a bull.
 

rclouse79

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Dec 10, 2019
Messages
275
When in the elk glass after every step or two and don’t only look at the one you know is there. I got busted this year being in to much of a hurry. Most all of my archery elk advice is based on failure.
 

timberland

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
378
You can roll your bowstring back onto the cam with a partner and a length of paracord.
 
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