High Buck Hunt

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by 1SevenZero, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. 1SevenZero

    1SevenZero Well-Known Member

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    Well...went for my first backpack hunting trip. Got skunked, but got hooked. Thought I would post a few pics.

    I did the High Buck Hunt here in Washington State. Fore those interested in knowing, my buddy and I hunted in the Buckhorn Wilderness (Olympic NF), near Silver Lake. Apparently we didn't go to a remote enough place, because we saw 7 other hunters hunting the same area as us. Kind of suprising to me, because it was a 5.5 mile hike to the camp site up rediculous terrain (IMO).

    Learned alot for next year. A couple of things I would change is....1. Camp Higher than I intend to hunt. 2. Carry extra empty water bottles/blatters. This way when I'm approaching my camp I can fill them and only have to walk down to a water source every couple of days. 3. More time to hunt (Dang you work!). My strategy next year will be to hunt a given area 1 to 2 days and then move to my next area, and have about 4 areas scouted out. 4. Go further out. 5. Consolidate gear with my buddy to help reduce weight. This year with rifle and optics I was carrying about 64 pounds.

    Everyone feel free to post your pics, tell your stories, and give some pointers to us new guys.
     

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  2. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for pictures of places I can't get to anymore. Washington has a lot of good hikes. The only advice I'd give is if you're going to work that hard-take on a British Columbia goat hunt, or some of the other states for deer.
     

  3. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    1sevenzero---great job in getting out there and i always love the photos. You'll obviously gain alot more experience the more you do it. I am certainly no expert but I think you would be alot more happy if you got you system down to about half of what your pack weighs. 64 pounds is alot of weight. By comparison, my spike camp system is about 25 pounds for two days. It would be more the longer I stay out (food and water) but there is so much quality lightweight equipment out there, you have a multitude of choices.

    Have fun!

    Randy
     
  4. 1SevenZero

    1SevenZero Well-Known Member

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    HARPERC - I've gotten to Texas for some deer and javelina hunting. Both an excellent time. And as for hunting B.C. I would love to and I hope one day it works out.

    mtnwrunner - Most of my gear is name brand backpacking gear. The lightest I could find at the time. My pack, pre rifle and optics, was 44lbs which is still to heavy. I'm guessing it came from the water proof bags I used and my cold weather/rain gear. My rifle and optics came out to around 20 lbs. I know that is crazy heavy for backpack hunting, but I love my rifle and optics.
     
  5. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    I know what you mean about BC seeming out of reach. I thought I'd draw a goat tag here years ago, back when I was at least as photogenic as a dead goat. It took me until 50 + plus years, and one weathered out trip. As proud as I am of that goat, and the guides, and friends that made the commitment to get me there. Going younger to hike more distance in different habitats has a lot to offer. In hindsight most of the issues aren't as big looking back. First step sit down and plan it like it was a done deal. You could be closer than you think. Not advice cause your getting it done without my 2 cents, just encouragement cause there are a lot of great hikes out there, some have more game at the end.
     
  6. Salmo

    Salmo Member

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    That looks like some nice country! I really like the looks of the hillside just above you in the 5th pic. 64lbs isn't all that bad for your first trip.. =)

    Its an addiction! The better the shape your in the more you'll enjoy it! Enjoy finding what works best for you!
     
  7. Duckman208

    Duckman208 Well-Known Member

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    If your rain gear is weighing you down I would consider leaving it behind and wearing wool. I have given up trying to stay dry weather it's rain or sweat. I carry a light weight goretex jacket just to put over my down. I am a gear nut myself so I have struggled with lightening my start weight. As you get a few more trips under your belt you will have a lot better idea what is a necessity and what you can leave at home. Depending on the area you might be better served to carry a water filter and only carry a minimum of water. I hope this helps sounds like you are on your way to a lot of great hunts.
     
  8. 1SevenZero

    1SevenZero Well-Known Member

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    Definitely going to go with lighter wet weather gear. Also thinking about carrying a little less food, or lighter food. I have an old internal frame pack that is lighter I'm going to experiment with. I need to sew some optics pouches on the sides and molle webbing on the front of it.
     
  9. HellsCanyon

    HellsCanyon Well-Known Member

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    What does your gear list look like?

    Shelter/sleep system?

    Clothing list? Bring extra socks and underwear and wear everything else day after day. This is where a merino wool base layer works awesome as you don't stink at all and it is warmer when wet and driers real quick as well.

    Did you guys really carry in your rifles in rifle cases? It almost looks that way in one of the pictures. Get rid of that thing! Its a field rifle and if a little rain/mud/dirt would cause it to fail, get a different rifle.

    What kind of food are you bringing? Try to keep your calories/weight ratio around 100 calories per ounce of food. Should keep you under or around 2.5 lbs of food per day EASY. However food is one thing I will not worry too much about weight if going for less than 5 days. You can always eat it before coming out and not having enough sucks! But start counting calories and depending on what kind of hunting you're doing, shoot for anywhere between 2500-4000 calories per day.

    Looks like you guys had a good successful first trip which is what it is all about! 60+ lbs for a few days hunting is nuts though lol

    Mike
     
  10. 1SevenZero

    1SevenZero Well-Known Member

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    Shelter - OR bivy sack & nylon ripstop ground cover.
    Sleep - Sierra Designs 0 deg bag.

    Clothes - spare shirt and spare pair of pants. 3 pair of socks and undies. Thermal top and bottom. Fleece under pants and down vest.

    Rain Gear - gore tex pants and water proof fleece jacket.

    Misc. - MSR pot and their smallest stove. 2 cans of gas. Spork tool thing. Skinning knife, first aid kit, game quarter bags.

    Food - 6 freeze dried meals, 1.5 # of trail mix, 6 cliff bars.

    Pack - Molle 2 frame, (2) 40 liter waterproof bags.

    Shooting - 11.5 # rifle, spotting scope, tripod, range finder, binos, shooting mat/bag

    My pack prior to shooting stuff is right at about 45 #s. I would consider replacing the rifle bag with something lighter. I will say that rifle bag is awesome though. Has back pack straps, so wearing it on hikes in out of hunting area was awesome.
     
  11. HellsCanyon

    HellsCanyon Well-Known Member

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    Not a horrible list. But I would look at getting a pack or gun attachment that allows you to carry your gun strapped to your pack. I too tote around an 11.5 lb gun but it gets strapped into my kifaru grab it most the time. This Sept for the high buck hunt I was at 29 lbs before optics, water and gun. Add another 4 lbs water for hike in, couple lbs for binos and then rifle.thats around 45 lbs which is pretty ideal I thought.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  12. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Consider a 30F rated bag vs. a 0 F rated bag. Could save a pound or more (probably more) right there. I picked up a 1 lb. 8 oz. Marmot Hydrogen 850+ down fill power this year that helped cut a couple of pounds off my pack weight. I've had it down to mid 20's F weather and been fine in it. Western Mountaineering has the 10F rated Versalite that weighs only 2 lbs. This is an area that most of us can save a chunk of weight and bulk in by purchasing hi fill power sleeping bags made by the better manufacturers such as those listed above or Feathered Friends, etc.

    MSR has a fairly new water filter that is much smaller and weighs quite a few oz. less than my old filter and it's designed to filter right into Platypus water bags.

    You can fit the MSR MicroRocket stove, a 4 oz. cannister (1 cannister lasts days for me--but if I'm in an area with little to no water, I often won't take a stove in summer at all...if you think about it, the amount of water for a dehy meal is 2 cups typically. Which is 1lb of water. A can of Nalley thick chili weighs less than that has had 530 calories and is way cheaper than a dehy meal and often tastes as good or better. The waste from a can vs. a thick foil bag of a dehy meal is pretty comprable. Just saying that often the dehy meals may not be the way to go if water supply is at all an issue.) all in the MSR Titan TeaKettle for packing for a very low bulk, low weight cooking system.

    Just little tidbits...every little bit helps.

    2 or 3 layer GoreTex is often very heavy compared to some of the w/b stuff out there now like North Face HyVent of the Mountain Hardwear Dry Q (think that's it). You can often save a few oz. and bulk in your pack by picking a set of rain gear made of this stuff in the off season. Some serious hunting on the net can often yield surprisingly good prices.

    Some bivvy sacs weigh as much as some lightweight shelters now. An older completely Goretex bivvy I own actually weighs more than a TarpTent Rainbow I picked up this year and, obviously, the Rainbow is many times more comfortable. At 2lbs. 3 oz., it's pretty hard to beat for some real shelter that's truly easy to use large and comfortable.

    For summer hunting, I've found that the fairly cheap zip off hiking pants/shorts are pretty light, dry out fast and quite versatile vs. buying some expensive 'hunting' pant. Patagonia Capilene 2 long underwear if necessary and 5 oz. w/b rainpants will take care of most summer weather issues. Capilene is still the best wicking in tests. Some like the merino wool underwear, but you can't argue the fact that wool is hydrophilic (like cotton) to the core and soak and holds water to the core of its fiber. It just does. I find that even the 'best' merino wool gets damp and saggy (because of water weight) and stays that way for a much longer time than does Capilene. Just me. Others seem to love it.

    Cheese is one of the densest calorie per weight foods there is. And, it tastes very good (to me) in the back country with some crackers (I like wheat thins as they seem to withstand packing better w/o crumbling as much as others). Swiss, pepper jack, chedder--none of it needs refrig for quite awhile. Europeans typically don't refrigerate their cheese.

    In an area with snow, but you don't have a stove to save weight, but there's not enough snow to create water flow, I've put snow in gallon ziploc and put it on top of the black garbage bag I always have to line my pack with when hauling meat. Out in the sun, this will melt in a few hours with almost zero effort and then you can filter it.
     
  13. 1SevenZero

    1SevenZero Well-Known Member

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    I will drop to a 30 deg. bag, because I already own one, and I anticipate saving a pound or more from that. Definitely changing out rainwear, which should save me a pound or so. And I like your food ideas. I need to refine my menu. And lastly I plan to build a frame for my rifle bag and detachable 3500 cubic inch pack to secure to its molle attachments. The bag ill make will be similar to Kifaru's ultralight series packs.

    I think with some good planning I can get a setup around 50 #s, including rifle and optics.
     
  14. 1SevenZero

    1SevenZero Well-Known Member

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    And if you guys went backpack hunting this year post some photos.