Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Backpack hunting

So there I was, no shit, just looking for the perfect backpack. Scouring the internet in search of the a backpack that would fit my every need. Are you still reading this? Crickets? Anyway I'm just kidding. I have been seriously domesticated, but I'm not that bad yet. Really I'm not.

I'm talking about a bad ass elk hunt with nothing but a backpack. Five glorious nights camped with nothing but what your legs & back could bring in. We had done an early season rifle hunt the 2 years prior, with one year having a successful harvest and the second year no so much.

Our hunting plans festered all winter long. Then finally my hunting partner and I hatched them this late October. Much planning preceeded the trip as usual. Interestingly I seem to enjoy the logistical side of the extended hunts much more than I used to (see old and lame). As a result of the busy family schedule, work and life in general, I literally started packing for this hunt 2 weeks in advance.

I spread out the known necessities on the bed in the basement and then filled in the gaps with all too many trips to the sporting goods and grocery stores. Between a solid list and just one more double check, I only managed to forget 2 things: the gourmet salami and cheese in the fridge & dental floss.

We put up a respectable distance and set up camp at about 8000 feet. The valley floor still had the brilliant yellows clinging to the trees. The high country was ripe for some snow. One day prior to the opener we glassed our quarry. We hoped to find them in the right spots in the morning.

Hunting grounds all fogged in

We split up opening morning and as luck would usually have it, one of had more than the other. RS had the opportunity to pass on two bulls. I saw lot of squirrels and also snuck in to 20 yards of a decent mule deer buck. I watched as he lounged in his bed chewing grass, nonchalantly looking at me over his shoulder for a minute.

Through the rest of our hunt we shared much time around the campfire, telling half truths and discussing life in general. We heard wolves howl, but did not cut their tracks. We watched as our perfect setup on a mature bull was blown by sloppy ethics and bad shooting. Our freeze dried meals were complimented by Glenlivet, warming our bellies after our long days afield. The adjacent camps which were living high on the hog (with horses and wall tents), marveled at our dedication (or stupidity?). We watched 6 inches of October snow fall out of skies. A large grizzly bear followed us as we left the area.

The only things we brought out were memories, motivation and sore legs. Thanks for reading. Leave a comment if you feel so inclined?

1 comment:

Radd Icenoggle said...

Great story and images