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High Buck Hunt

 
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  #15  
Old 11-10-2012, 11:34 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Colorado
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Re: High Buck Hunt

Great to see you guys getting out and putting in the hard work. Stick with it and you'll eventually find a place that really produces some animals.

I go back and forth about the best philosophy for how much gear to pack. In years past I really tried to save as much weight as possible. Like a few of you have mentioned, my pack was right around the mid 40# range not including gun or binos at the beginning of the trip.

Now I take the kitchen sink. 0 degree bag, thermarest plus a foam pad on top, tarp, lots of extra food, extra clothes. My bag was ridiculously heavy this year, but I figure it's just more motivation to get in better shape during the summer. And if you shoot an elk each pack load is going to weigh in the 70 - 80 pound range on average. If I were to pack in over 8 miles then I would definitely reduce weight, but just hiking in around 5-7 miles I would rather have my creature comforts and sleep better.
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  #16  
Old 11-11-2012, 09:55 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,454
Re: High Buck Hunt

Hi-Buck in WA is Sept. 15-25--almost totally in summer. Now, can it get cold up high? Sure. But the need for the xtra weight and bulk of a 0F bag is a bit much for that time of year in WA state. In WA, hunting consistently much above 7000ft. elevation would be rare as WA is far N enough that timberline is markedly lower than in more southerly states. Further north you go, the lower timberline is. I do hunt high buck just on both sides of 7000' and have gotten weather here or there, but it is typically not to severe or cold that time of year. In addition, if 'lightning struck' during High Buck and u did get down to 0F, I would likely be just fine for sleeping by wearing the xtra clothing layers brought along even using a 30F bag. I can't imagine taking more weight on a summer hunting trip in WA than, say, the 2 lb., 10F rated Western Mountaineering bag--and in most typical conditions, I would absolutely roast and be quite uncomfortable trying to sleep in a bag of that rating because of that--that quickly detracts from comfort. You don't use 10 blankets on your bed in the summer because you'd be too hot, right? One sleeping bag does not 'do it all', at least for me. For most of us, a high quality down bag at about 30F and about 10F or perhpas a bit lower, will cover comfortably the majority of hunting situations we would be in in the lower 48.

Things can always go awry, but you just can't take everything with you all the time. Reduced weight means more energy to hunt. Reducing weight, however, is expensive. It all depends on what know, have and are comfortable with, but there's no doubt that lighter, as long as it's safely lighter, is the way to go. I'd much rather pack 50lbs, than 75lbs. any day, especially when completely off trail and in very steep terrain, as I am on the High Buck hunt. In any terrain, but especially that just mentioned, lighter is safer for me physically. I'll be less likely to lose balance, etc., and likely reduce the potential for injury or the severity of an injury should it occur. I think it's worth taking a look at lightening your load, whenever you can do so and retain an acceptable level of safety. That level, however, is something we all have to individually decide on.

Yesterday, I did 2500 vertical ft. in 1hr 19min. with a 53lb pack, 13lb. rifle included, for a planned overnight bear trip. The difference between that weight of pack and a 75 lb. pack in terms of energy required to get it up to where I hunt is tremendous. Not worth it, if I don't absolutely have to.

Save the weight for your long range rifle. Heavier rifles tend to be easier to shoot accurately.

Jon
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"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?" Thomas Jefferson - Notes on the State of Virginia

www.wildsidesystems.com - Shelter for Your WildSide - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYwgo...&feature=g-upl
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  #17  
Old 11-11-2012, 10:37 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Colorado
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Re: High Buck Hunt

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmden View Post
Things can always go awry, but you just can't take everything with you all the time. Reduced weight means more energy to hunt. Reducing weight, however, is expensive. It all depends on what know, have and are comfortable with, but there's no doubt that lighter, as long as it's safely lighter, is the way to go. I'd much rather pack 50lbs, than 75lbs. any day, especially when completely off trail and in very steep terrain, as I am on the High Buck hunt. In any terrain, but especially that just mentioned, lighter is safer for me physically. I'll be less likely to lose balance, etc., and likely reduce the potential for injury or the severity of an injury should it occur. I think it's worth taking a look at lightening your load, whenever you can do so and retain an acceptable level of safety. That level, however, is something we all have to individually decide on.

Yesterday, I did 2500 vertical ft. in 1hr 19min. with a 53lb pack, 13lb. rifle included, for a planned overnight bear trip. The difference between that weight of pack and a 75 lb. pack in terms of energy required to get it up to where I hunt is tremendous. Not worth it, if I don't absolutely have to.

Save the weight for your long range rifle. Heavier rifles tend to be easier to shoot accurately.

Jon
I think that is just about the best advice you can get. Everybody has their own limit for how much weight they can carry for extended periods comfortably. If you don't know your limits and you carry too much it will absolutely crush you. Experience is king when it comes to this game.

BTW... I don't care who you are, 53#'s up 2500 vertical in 1.3 hrs is impressive!
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  #18  
Old 11-11-2012, 10:46 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Carey, Idaho
Posts: 965
Re: High Buck Hunt

Hey jmden, have you ever tried just using a fly set up with a set of poles??
I bought a tarptent contrail and used it this year but on some nights, we were way up high in rocks and it was tough to set up being that it is not freestanding. So................once again after hunting season, I am looking for more gear. (like I need anymore)
I started researching lighter weight tents and there are several possiblities on those especially if you just use the fly and the freestanding poles. And they are light weight although you would not have the securtiy of a completely enclosed shelter. You could always carry the whole tent setup if weather looked bad or just the fly/pole setup for milder weather although I think if you set up the fly setup, it could be a pretty good shelter. I've done the tarp thing and that always works okay but it is tough sometime to find ways to set it up if there is nothing to tie to. I am not a bivy sack guy as i like to have more room.

Randy
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  #19  
Old 11-11-2012, 11:52 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,454
Re: High Buck Hunt

edit: mtnrunner, I didn't do a good job of answering your question. No, I have not done that. I've got a thing about liking to keep the bugs out and preferring a real floor to help keep water away from me. Back to that comfort vs. weight thing. The Rainbows are not freestanding, but are pretty close. If you're in the rocks, freestanding is obviously the only thing that's going to work. Good luck!

The best combination of good size, good shelter, good price and low weight that I have seen on the market (others will sacrifice space or weight a bit more than I, but I like to have a decent amount of space) would be the TarpTent Rainbow (2 lbs. 3 oz.) and TarpTent Double Rainbow, all things considered. Check out the floor sizes on these and the have side entrance and side vestibules (easier to get in and out of generally, that tents with doors on the ends) Can you get lighter tents? Yes. Are they more comfortable for their size than these listed? Most likely not. Not that I'm aware of or if they are they are made from a super expensive sailing fabric (that I can't remember the name of right now). There's a point where I'm not willing to go with lighter smaller tents due to concerns of space and strength durability. Even on the above tents, the floor durability and waterproofness is at the absolute minimum I would want to have.

Join and spend some time on backpackinglight.com forums. That's one of the best places to really learn what's at the cutting edge right now. Much of the info there can be adapted to hunting and there are some hunters there. I've gotten into a few interesting discussions with non-hunters there on occasion.

TarpTent used a 30 denier silicone coated fabric that is made for parachutes as a zero porosity (no air flow through it) fabric. The silicone coating helps increase the strength of the fabric, so it is very strong for it's weight. Vented properly, it can make a great tent. I use the same stuff so I have a fair amount of experience with it. Can you use lighter fabric? Yes. Should you? That's another question.
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In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?" Thomas Jefferson - Notes on the State of Virginia

www.wildsidesystems.com - Shelter for Your WildSide - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYwgo...&feature=g-upl
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  #20  
Old 11-12-2012, 12:01 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Carey, Idaho
Posts: 965
Re: High Buck Hunt

So much gear, so much little time, so much money.
I did alot of research on the tarp tents and I really like the product and I like their company. Where I hunt, i most likely will have to come up with something freestanding. I spent alot of time sleeping in deer and elk beds as that is the only thing available sometimes up high that is actually somewhat flat. As I said before, alot of the times it is in rocks. If the weather is okay, spiking it out is a no brainer---as you know, the mountains have a way of changing things. As the saying goes, "You don't pick an epic, it picks you."
I am a FIRM believer that going light and being where you want to be either at dawn or dusk is the only way to go. I never see anyone and I can't tell you how many conversations that I have with folks who say they never saw any game or how there is no game left. I just shake my head and am glad that not everyone heads to the high ridges. I also am with you on having the bug shelter. So.......I am still searching. I'm not sure it will ever end!

Randy
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"Every man has a purpose---------mine is to be behind a rifle.........."

"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than be in any city on earth." ---Steve McQueen
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  #21  
Old 11-12-2012, 02:08 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,454
Re: High Buck Hunt

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnwrunner View Post
So much gear, so much little time, so much money.
I did alot of research on the tarp tents and I really like the product and I like their company. Where I hunt, i most likely will have to come up with something freestanding. I spent alot of time sleeping in deer and elk beds as that is the only thing available sometimes up high that is actually somewhat flat. As I said before, alot of the times it is in rocks. If the weather is okay, spiking it out is a no brainer---as you know, the mountains have a way of changing things. As the saying goes, "You don't pick an epic, it picks you."
I am a FIRM believer that going light and being where you want to be either at dawn or dusk is the only way to go. I never see anyone and I can't tell you how many conversations that I have with folks who say they never saw any game or how there is no game left. I just shake my head and am glad that not everyone heads to the high ridges. I also am with you on having the bug shelter. So.......I am still searching. I'm not sure it will ever end!

Randy
I wish I could help you out with a free standing idea... If I think of or see something, I'll try to find this thread and reply to it.

Yep, I think the same. You have got to leave camp and arrive where you want to be before first light and not leave until after shooting hours at least so that you arrive back to camp in the dark. If you don't, you are likely missing out. Once I set my camp up, I don't usually see it in the light until I'm packing it up to head out. Just the way it is.
__________________
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?" Thomas Jefferson - Notes on the State of Virginia

www.wildsidesystems.com - Shelter for Your WildSide - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYwgo...&feature=g-upl
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