Thoughts about fires?

Hawker

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How do you feel about having fires in the high country. I'm thinking about the possibility of spooking critters. Do any of you think that the smell of smoke sends critters running for the next mountain?
 

Aron Snyder

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I start them when I'm cold, but that's about it. It depends on how close you are and how far away from normal foot traffic as well. Everyone builds fires in the summer months (backpackers) and the animals seem to be use to that, but I wouldn't strike up a fire in the middle of a bedding area or anything.
 

luke moffat

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A lot of the time I camped higher than tree line so fires don't come by very easily, but when we do have the option to have a fire I certainly take advantage of it. Especially if we already got some game down on the ground.

11 miles in from the road here and planning to pack out the caribou and camp the following day so finishing off the rest of the box wine and eating some meat so we don't gotta haul it out on our backs. Not a bad way to spend an evening in the backcountry cuddled up next to the fire forced to polish the wine off early while dining on backstrap while watching the sun set.

 

Lawnboi

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Lots of people acually use smoke as a cover scent. Id rather smell like smoke then sweat.

I would only start a fire if i was really cold, otherwise i use a kifaru stove, and that thing puts out very little smoke once it gets going.

The flames roaring 2 feet out the stack may scare things away though :)
 

dotman

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It actually isn't to out of place in the animal world, they do not go running and i trust it much more then a spray as a cover scent.
 

hodgeman

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I'm in a bad wildfire area...some years the whole place smells like smoke all summer long. If I'm below tree line I'm going to burn some wood in camp.

Fire is a natural part of the Western mountains... critters are pretty well accustomed to it.
 

evan williams

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Hodgeman said it well. Burns are a big part of nature. There have been some good ones around here the last year and there are still animals around. I started one fire this year and than evening while it was burning I had a small 5X5 bull walk by camp about 20 yards out and chuckle. The next day as I was hiking back in to camp a doe and her fawn were in camp laying down 5 feet from the pit. Its a natural smell and honestly I love it :)
 

les welch

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A lot of the time I camped higher than tree line so fires don't come by very easily, but when we do have the option to have a fire I certainly take advantage of it. Especially if we already got some game down on the ground.

11 miles in from the road here and planning to pack out the caribou and camp the following day so finishing off the rest of the box wine and eating some meat so we don't gotta haul it out on our backs. Not a bad way to spend an evening in the backcountry cuddled up next to the fire forced to polish the wine off early while dining on backstrap while watching the sun set.


You guys are living the life Luke, love it!

No fires for me. Generally try to camp pretty close to the elk, but in an out of the way spot. I'll walk 6 hours round trip to swap clothes rather than chance busting out the animals.
 

treestanding

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We use a small cooking fire for trout and small game, but not so much for warmth. I always felt that the smoke smell was nothing compared to human.
 

ElkNut1

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Idaho
Agreed! Having a fire in the backcountry can be a comforting thing, it's like having an old friend there plus it can warm those bones up on those cold wet windy days. Use common sense in it's use & place & you'll do just fine with one.

ElkNut1
 

Lukem

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Nebraska
No fires for me. Generally try to camp pretty close to the elk, but in an out of the way spot. I'll walk 6 hours round trip to swap clothes rather than chance busting out the animals.

I'm guessing that walking 6 hours in a pair of clothes would do more to spook elk than any camp fire would. Fires are a natural and beneficial part of the forest where elk are concerned. I'd guess elk might be just as attracted to the smell of smoke as they would be spooked. I smoke my clothes for hunting whitetails, works way better than any carbon suit.
 
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