When to dig in or get out

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by hart2heart, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. hart2heart

    hart2heart Active Member

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    Just returned from my yearly Deer hunting trip in Colorado nothing out of the ordinary set up base camp drive up the mountain and pack in for a few days. The weather was good everything seemed fine. What was to await me was a different story. I drove up to an area around Eagle Colorado. I was hunting at about 10.000 feet for Elk and Deer if they were around.

    I got about 3 miles in spotting and stocking and in what seemed like minutes I noticed some weather approaching from the south. Knowing that Colorado can dump a ton of snow on you in a very short amount of time I paid close attention to the sky as I eyed areas to set up a quick camp if need be. While glassing the quakies I noticed a small movement on the edge of the dark timber. I’ll be dammed if a nice four point stuck his head out. I reached for my range finder and unfortunately alerted the buck. I ranged him at about 400 yrds and he started to move out just before he reached the dark timber I sent one badaboom hit him right through the back. I skinned, boned and packed up my meat. The weather came in fast and furious I suddenly found myself in a furious lightning storm worried about walking with my rifle as a mobile lightning rod I placed my gun under a tree away from me and tucked in under some thick trees. I had parked some miles away from where I was and was thinking seriously about getting out of there. The lightning storm turned into a fierce snow storm I said screw it I 'm out of here. I slapped on my back pack retrieved my rifle and started down off the ridge thank god for Garmin I had my truck and base camp on way points and I followed the little arrow. My pack was heavy but out of worry I did not stop. When I wanted to rest I leaned up against a tree. I was worried about trying to stand up again if I took my back pack off. The snow was blowing horizontal by this time it took a good four hours to get back to my truck it felt like four days. When I arrived there was over a foot of snow on the ground I could not even see where the meadow ended and the where the road began. If it were not for a quad desperately making his way back to camp I would not have know where the hell the road was. I cannot express the importance of good gear.

    A good GPS I prefer Garmin with a local Topo map card is a must.
    Under armor, gortex and thinsulate are a must
    As far as back Pack Badlands 2800 is very strong I packed over 120 lbs with that pack.
    I do not like wearing packs for boots Redwing Irish setter makes a heavy thinsulate 250 keeps you dry and are water proof.
    Nikon makes a great range finder inexpensive and accurate
    I prefer shooting a 7 WSM with 180 Berger’s and there is nothing like a Night force 3.5 to 15 for durability and accuracy their glass is pretty good too.
    And most of all Keep your Cool It is panic that will do you in.

    Happy Hunting

    Shoot straight and be safe.

    Hart 2 Heart
     
  2. HikeandHunt

    HikeandHunt New Member

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    Nov 2, 2011
    Indeed. Panic kills and miserably. Regarding equipment, buying the best you can afford will last forever. Like they say' You only pay for the best one time!"
     

  3. HUAINAMACHERO

    HUAINAMACHERO Well-Known Member

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    Nice story, very interesting, good to know that after all the bad weather it was a very successful trip. You hunted, you got your buck, you proved your equipment and most importantly you proved yourself you had the knowledge, experience and determination to survive a harsh weather like that. CONGRATS!!!
    Pics would be nice, did you took any?
     
  4. melsdad

    melsdad Active Member

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    Oct 25, 2011
    Myself, and a few guys from camp are planning an Elk hunt for 2015. One of the guys has been out there before but i'm not sure about the rest. This will be my first trip out west, and I have been doing lots of searching, and reading within these pages to help me prepare. It's information like in this post that proves how prepared you need to be for a hunt like this.
     
  5. orion2000

    orion2000 Well-Known Member

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    Mar 21, 2011
    Hart2Heart,

    Congrats on a successful hunt, and on returning safely as well.... If you were in GMU 44 west of Sylvan Lake, I took a series of still pictures of the snow "boiling" over Mt. Thomas and McKenzie taken from the top of Sneve's Gulch.

    Mid-morning on Tuesday of Second Rifle Season, I was laying out on the side of the mountain in the sage, warm, comfy, soaking up the sun, and watched the snow just start pourng over Mt. Thomas and McKenzie down toward Leed Reservoir and on down to Sylvan Lake. Snow did not stick at 9500 ft and below the way it did above 10,000. But just witnessing the event from several miles away was enough to prompt me to gather my gear and get ready to head down toward the cabin.

    Growing up in Kentucky, it was amazing for me to watch the weather in the Colorado Rockies change from sunny, calm, warm, (too warm to hunt), to snow blowing horizontally in a matter of 30 to 45 minutes...
     
  6. Mike 338

    Mike 338 Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't matter what season it is in the high country. In my mind, it's always winter.
     
  7. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

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    The common saying in our High Country is we have 2 seasons - one day of summer and winter.
     
  8. motoxno53

    motoxno53 Well-Known Member

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    WOW talk about a flash back.... I also hunted up there last year and got caught in that same storm. It was my first solo hunt and I sure did learn a lot. I am hoping to be back this year! Great story and congrats on your buck!
     
  9. hart2heart

    hart2heart Active Member

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    Where were you hunting in that area ?
     
  10. sticknstring

    sticknstring Well-Known Member

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    Apr 28, 2011
    My heart started racing just reading it! Probably because your story took me back-as I, also was caught in that storm during the second season!!
    I encountered this area the day before(I came in, over another peak-7 miles away). Really liking what I saw I planned on returning the next day. On this day I came in from a different "angle"-cutting down my hike distance considerably-thank goodness too! There were good visible land marks in the area making it impossible to get lost(several peaks and a valley with a lake/creek below running parallel on my "side") . I was in 4 1/2 miles when I decided I should start working back due to the weather, within probably 20 minutes the snow was horizontal and all the landmarks were whited out!! No landmarks and my garmin 60 csx was not picking up a satellite signal! I left it on and kept moving in what I thought was the best direction. Finally hearing the telltale "bleep" I looked at my gps, it was on a signal long enough to see that I was not going in the right direction. Changing course, stay calm, keep moving...the signal was in and out. I managed to follow the gps out to where I marked the truck. I went on to harvest a 5x5 bull elk the next day and a mature 3x3 mulie on the last evening. It truly was an eye opener experience to witness the mountains at one of it's most unforgiving moments.
     
  11. motoxno53

    motoxno53 Well-Known Member

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    I was hunting up high at timberline. Are you putting in this year?