Quick north end of X-10 report
I went up through Horseshoe Meadow on opening day and pretty much wasted my time. I don't know if I'm getting old, carrying too much gear or both.
I was running heavy (90+lb pack plus rifle, pistol and odds and ends, so well over 100lbs) and wiped myself out getting up to Trail Pass.
I saw three does on the way up and set up camp at Trail Pass. I had initially planned to take everything farther in, but after that haul up the hill (1.5 miles and 1,000ft over 4 hours), I decided to drop camp at Trail Pass and work from there.
Long story short, the meadows are really narrow and the trees are dense enough that the only way to be able to see anything up there is by getting up out on a ridge or down in meadow and scoping the hillsides on the opposite side.
I decided I wasn't going to do that carrying 100+lbs of gear and not knowing what the water situation was like just added to my decision to pack up and head for other parts.
There are some areas right around the trail head that I supposed could be day-hunted from the campground but it's pretty dry and doesn't look like anything would want to live there. It's in the wilderness area, so no wheeled vehicles are allowed, so it's shoe-leather express or horses.
It's beautiful country and the packer said that there are definitely some nice deer up there, but my advice to anybody who wants to hunt up there is to save up and get the packers to take you in with 7 - 10 days worth of supplies and then pack you out.
Getting to any of the meadows requires at least a couple of miles and a 1,000 - 2,000ft pass each way, so getting in and then multiple trips to pack a deer and your gear out would really suck.
By packing in, you have time to acclimate and from deeper in, based out of one of the meadows, you would have a wide area that sees little human activity where you could go light and day hunt or do over-nighters from camp.