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  1. #21
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    I absolutely agree with making multiple 3-5 day hunts as opposed to one long 10 day hunt, especially for you first trip. At the end of day 4, you can go back to the truck, dump of 75% of the gear that you packed, that you actually do not need, refuel your supplies that you do need, and run into town to grab the greasiest, most delicious cheeseburger you can find.

    I felt like packing for the 10 day trip kind of tied me down a little, as it's just too hard to pack all of your stuff around, all of the time.. You end up leaving your tent and all your other gear in a camp, and have to hunt back to it each night. Packing for 3-5 days, you can easily carry everything, and just camp where you end up at night. To get ready for the trip, I ran, alot. And did lots of weight training for my legs and core. I never really consentrated on my upper body. After I felt like I was starting to progress in my running and weight training, I laced up my boots that I would be wearing on the trip, and loaded my pack up with 50 pounds, and found the tallest hill around and started hiking it. I quickly realized I was NOT in shape.
    I slowly started increasing the weight in my pack until I was at 75 pounds a month before my hunt. I toted 75 pounds up and down a 200ft hill (best I could do in Missouri) 4 times a week for 3 weeks. By the time I got to Colorado, my 60 pound pack felt pretty light, and I had no issues.

    Get in mountain shape, and you'll have a blast regardless of the outcome. Don't get in shape, and you'll be looking for any excuse to get off the mountain.
    You have to make sure you're in shape, or else you will be miserable. We hunted 9 days straight last year, never dropping below 10,500 feet, and I felt like I owned the mountain by the time we were done. To get

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whisky View Post
    Now, if you don't want to listen to me or NDHunter, listen to Bitterroot Bulls. He has the experience.
    Very well said!

    You guys should try and do a trip up to the Appalachians for a long weekend and hike somewhere and camp. That way you could test out all your gear and see how things go.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by llp View Post
    You need to stop romanticizing this trip. Ummm, No. I enjoy it.Plan a bit more realistically.I have NO issues with reality. I'm here because I'm not sure what IS realistic for a hunt like this. If you guys who do this all the time say it aint gonna happen, hey I trust ya. All I know is we will have 16 days minus 5 for driving which leaves us 10-11 days for hunting and anything else and we want to make the most of it.

    There was good advice by NDHunter. I hunt in the backcountry for more than 30 days each year, some years much closer to 60 days. It is very rare that I do a 10 day hunt. Plan for no more than 4-5 days on a single trip, then plan to come out and resupply and go back in if necessary. You can't carry enough food and clothes for a 10 day hunt, especially in the late season with snow on the ground. Even more so as rookies.
    At the very least, count on some members of your party being successful and packing out their deer to the truck early. They can always come back in carrying some resupply, but don't be too surprised when they decide to go home after they have killed their bucks. Its 2500 miles home, if they leave they better plan on getting shot when I find'm lolSomehow the fun of sleeping on the ground and eating freeze dried meals diminishes quickly when you don't have a tag anymore. Add a little snow and below zero temps in November, and the trip will take on more of the characteristics of a survival mission than a hunt.
    You can hunt just as effectively, probably more so, by doing 2 or three separate trip in a 10 day period. You get the chance to resupply, add the items you forgot the first trip, and leave behind the useless stuff on the next trip in, and also packout any deer that were harvested. You can also eat a good meal at the road, get into clean and dry clothes, and overall just improve your attitude for the next part of the trip.This is why I'm here. My idea of 10 days in was for efficiency and effectiveness. If thats not the case, I'm fine with that. I'm a big fan of hunting smarter not harder but I am also vry willing to hunt hard. if the SMART thing to do is break up the hunts into 2-3 shorter hunts I'm all about it.
    There is absolutely no need for handguns if you are already packing a rifle, even in the heart of grizzly country. Anybody who pictures themselves unholstering a handgun during a grizzly attack while they have a rifle on their shoulder is an idiot.This was my thought. I actually told him I didnt believe where we were going to be even had a population of grizzlies but he is deeply concerned about it. Best case, if somebody takes a deer early, and wants to leave their rifle at the truck for the rest of the trip, then they might carry a handgun.

    Not trying to rain on your parade, but a dose of reality is needed. I hope you have a great trip, but the odds of that go up considerably if you are a bit more realistic. Most people new to hunting the west base out of a camp at the road, and either day hunt or take short overnight trips into the backcountry. You can have a great hunt this way, and learn a lot about the experience before trying to tackle an extended backcountry trip.

    llp
    Quote Originally Posted by Fink View Post
    I absolutely agree with making multiple 3-5 day hunts as opposed to one long 10 day hunt, especially for you first trip. At the end of day 4, you can go back to the truck, dump of 75% of the gear that you packed, that you actually do not need, refuel your supplies that you do need, and run into town to grab the greasiest, most delicious cheeseburger you can find.

    I felt like packing for the 10 day trip kind of tied me down a little, as it's just too hard to pack all of your stuff around, all of the time.. You end up leaving your tent and all your other gear in a camp, and have to hunt back to it each night. Packing for 3-5 days, you can easily carry everything, and just camp where you end up at night.Good Point. To get ready for the trip, I ran, alot. And did lots of weight training for my legs and core. I never really consentrated on my upper body. After I felt like I was starting to progress in my running and weight training, I laced up my boots that I would be wearing on the trip, and loaded my pack up with 50 pounds, and found the tallest hill around and started hiking it. I quickly realized I was NOT in shape.
    I slowly started increasing the weight in my pack until I was at 75 pounds a month before my hunt. I toted 75 pounds up and down a 200ft hill (best I could do in Missouri) 4 times a week for 3 weeks. By the time I got to Colorado, my 60 pound pack felt pretty light, and I had no issues.

    Get in mountain shape, and you'll have a blast regardless of the outcome. Don't get in shape, and you'll be looking for any excuse to get off the mountain.
    You have to make sure you're in shape, or else you will be miserable. We hunted 9 days straight last year, never dropping below 10,500 feet, and I felt like I owned the mountain by the time we were done. To get
    Quote Originally Posted by NDHunter View Post
    Very well said!

    You guys should try and do a trip up to the Appalachians for a long weekend and hike somewhere and camp. That way you could test out all your gear and see how things go.I actually really like this idea. Could be done on a long weekend and a hiking/camping trip would be much cheaper than making it a hunting trip.

    Like I said guys, with my lack of experience I dont know what a realistic expectation is and thats why I'm here asking questions. I've done enough snooping around on this forum to know that YOU know what you're talking about and although I may question some of your suggestions (because I want to understand the how and why) I do trust your input. I 100% believe a 5 day in, 1 day out, 4 day in, (or whatever combo of days we end up doing) trip would be much easier than 10 straight days in. I'm just trying to do whatever I can to make it a good trip and my first instinct was the longer we can stay in the better. I like the idea of hitting a motel mid trip for a warm soft bed, a hot shower, and a warm fresh meal but I was willing to skip it if thats what made the difference. Sounds like it'd be a good idea now. This hunt will be a dream come true whether I bring home some horns or not so yea I'm a little excited and amped up but dont confuse my excitement with being unrealistic.

  4. #24
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    I like your attitude.

    I think you ARE doing the things you need to in order to get an idea of what to expect. Like llp above, I spend a lot of time in the field, but rarely pull a 10 day hunt. I have, but they aren't too much fun.

    Here are some suggestions:

    1. Go to Eastern MT. More deer, no bears, lower elevation, milder country.
    2. Do short trips from 1 to a max of 3 nights, or hunt harder out of a comfortable vehicle-based camp.
    3. Don't push your partners too hard.
    4. Split up into pairs with evenly matched levels of enthusiasm.
    5. Don't be afraid to change areas or techniques if things aren't going as planned.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshaaron91685 View Post
    3 of my buddies and I are planning a hunt for 2015 in either Montana or Wyoming. This will be our first hunt like this AND we are in FL so we have alot or research and planning ahead as well as all the specialized gear to collect. This is my first post of many I am sure. I've got a subsciption to Eastmans for christmas and a DIY public land muley hunting book.


    First let me get this out of the way, one individual in our group thinks we need to pack all kinds of pistols and/or rifles like 45/70 guide gun for grizzly protection. I've convinced myself(right or wrong) that its nothing to worry about. I mean lets be aware but I dont see a need for all that extra firepower. What do you backcountry regulars say?

    Now, is it just me or is Montanas fish and game website about like trying to decipher code? Would i be better to ask questions here or contant montana and wyomings fish and game departments ? Thanks!
    You are getting alot of feedback & different opinions which is good! One resource you might look into that will answer some questions, is the "Elk Hunting University". Go to Colorado Parks & Wildlife home page & read it. It covers backpack hunting. Lots of good info on fitness, what food to pack, how many pounds to carry ect....

    Good Luck!

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitterroot Bulls View Post
    I like your attitude.

    I think you ARE doing the things you need to in order to get an idea of what to expect. Like llp above, I spend a lot of time in the field, but rarely pull a 10 day hunt. I have, but they aren't too much fun.

    Here are some suggestions:

    1. Go to Eastern MT. More deer, no bears, lower elevation, milder country.Sounds like a plan.
    2. Do short trips from 1 to a max of 3 nights, or hunt harder out of a comfortable vehicle-based camp.
    3. Don't push your partners too hard.2 hunt just as hard as I do, and I think the 3rd will be willing to do whatever it takes even if he aint crazy about the idea.
    4. Split up into pairs with evenly matched levels of enthusiasm.
    5. Don't be afraid to change areas or techniques if things aren't going as planned.
    I think this info is really gonna help and I'm pumped that a solid plan is starting to fall into place.

  7. #27
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    Looks like this thread has been dead a little while, but I really enjoyed reading through it. A back country hunt is something I have on my bucket list, and it looks like I should start preparing now! Everywhere I hunt right now is walk-in only and there is no camping or anything, so walking in and out in one day makes it hard to get miles in away from all the other foot traffic. I'm at about 1200 feet here in SD and have some places I can hike to get into shape, but what is the best way to acclimate yourself to high altitudes without medication? Eventually I would like to get to hunt above the timberline somewhere and I know that will be pretty difficult coming from 1200 feet.
    Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me.
    Genesis 27:3 (NKJV)

  8. #28
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    I will tell you about my first backcountry pack-in trip. I started at Lost Trail Campground near Creede Colorado. I was going to climb Pole mountian. The first day I couldnt find a way up the mountian. A hunter from Springdale Arkansas told me to go up the open space with rocks, almost like a slide area. I didnot have a tent but climbed to 13500 ft to make camp. I had a five watt radio and a 100 amp alternator and battery in the chevy van. There was a 310 Palamar linear so I had como. We had a pre arrainged sched and while reporting I was about 100yds from my camp. I had my back to the top of the mountian and saw a huge snow flake go by, when I turned to look the top was a white out so I ran to camp got comfortable and called back two hours later. It snowed 18-24 inches. I had a shelter half tied to keep snow from directly landing on me, about two am snow broke one of my cotton ropes broke and dumped snow on my feet. The foot end of my bag was frozen in the morning. This was a snowstorm not a blizzard. The morning was calm and white and it was a little scary being that high and snow that deep. Eight elk came by at about 40 yards with the largest cow I had ever seen. All I could think about was getting off the mountian so I packed and started down not knowing what to expect. It was easy to go down with traction so good.
    No one in there right mind would try a trip like that today, but I have had two more storm experiences, both of them blizzards. By not panicking and being somewhat prepared I have survived some very dangerous storms. I enjoyed those experiences. I have successfully hunted both deer and elk in very deep snow. Unless you get altitude sickness I don't try to acclimate. One place I camp is 11675 and I have left Arkansas and go straight to it even two years ago. Not trying to led you into trouble, be in shape and go slow at first. I have read this post and there is some very useful advise posted here.
    Last edited by xtreme; 03-04-2013 at 08:52 PM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtreme View Post
    I will tell you about my first backcountry pack-in trip. I started at Lost Trail Campground near Creede Colorado. I was going to climb Pole mountian. The first day I couldnt find a way up the mountian. A hunter from Springdale Arkansas told me to go up the open space with rocks, almost like a slide area. I didnot have a tent but climbed to 13500 ft to make camp. I had a five watt radio and a 100 amp alternator and battery in the chevy van. There was a 310 Palamar linear so I had como. We had a pre arrainged sched and while reporting I was about 100yds from my camp. I had my back to the top of the mountian and saw a huge snow flake go by, when I turned to look the top was a white out so I ran to camp got comfortable and called back two hours later. It snowed 18-24 inches. I had a shelter half tied to keep snow from directly landing on me, about two am snow broke one of my cotton ropes broke and dumped snow on my feet. The foot end of my bag was frozen in the morning. This was a snowstorm not a blizzard. The morning was calm and white and it was a little scary being that high and snow that deep. Eight elk came by at about 40 yards with the largest cow I had ever seen. All I could think about was getting off the mountian so I packed and started down not knowing what to expect. It was easy to go down with traction so good.
    No one in there right mind would try a trip like that today, but I have had two more storm experiences, both of them blizzards. By not panicking and being somewhat prepared I have survived some very dangerous storms. I enjoyed those experiences. I have successfully hunted both deer and elk in very deep snow. Unless you get altitude sickness I don't try to acclimate. One place I camp is 11675 and I have left Arkansas and go straight to it even two years ago. Not trying to led you into trouble, be in shape and go slow at first. I have read this post and there is some very useful advise posted here.
    Well you can definitely say it was a memorable experience! I have no clue on how to even prep for a back country hunt so I would at least take a buddy with me so we could be miserable together if we got caught in a blizzard!
    Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me.
    Genesis 27:3 (NKJV)

  10. #30
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    I agree with bitterroot bullls. First trip can easily become a bad experinece. There is a lot of hunting in eastern Montana with terrain that my look flat but once you walk it you soon find that there more elevation change than you thought. That is the best get your feet wet western hunt for some eastern guys. imoa

 

 

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