February/March 2012 EHJ (Issue 129) - The 2010 archery season started out like many others. Anticipation was running on high and my senses told me that it was going to be another great year! While putting the final touches on my packing list and stuffing it all into my external frame pack, I once again realized how nervous I get before going into the backcountry. I reminisced about the year prior, tried to think about what I had learned and use that knowledge to improve the next year. With each passing year, I learn more and better ways to hunt the backcountry.
I stepped away from my truck and started gaining elevation in a hurry. It had just finished raining and the going was slow, the ground beneath me was very slippery and I only made it halfway to my destination before darkness started to consume the mountain peaks. I stumbled into a young black bear eating berries beside the creek and he didn’t show many signs of fear of this human. I worked my way around him at less than 30 yards. I kept trudging on and he went back to picking berries. A short while later, I quickly set up my tent as more rain began to fall and temperatures began to drop.
I awoke early to find snow had blanketed the ground. I packed up my small camp and pushed on, now gaining elevation at a fast rate to reach my designated camping spot high on the mountainside. About mid-day, I was viewing some of the most beautiful country I have ever laid my eyes on. It began to snow again, but with some anger it seemed this time. Again, I quickly set up camp and dried myself out.
The first four days, I was limited to staying close to camp as the clouds were at my elevation and lower. There was no chance of glassing or scouting prior to the archery season opening. The weather was not going to cooperate like it had the previous year. I had goals of taking a buck over 180 inches and this weather was narrowing the opportunity.
Needless to say, the weather did finally clear and I was able to find numerous bucks but I had troubles finding the bombers that were there the year before. I had hopes of finding a buck that I nicknamed "Trash-Talker” but he was nowhere to be found. Out of 14 days of archery season, I had six days left. I decided to pack up camp and try a new spot some 12 miles away that looked promising on the map.
For a full account of Jared's adventure, go to page 24 in the February/March 2012 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.