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shines@times

Active member
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
124
Location
Olympic Peninsula - for now
kad11,

Actually, the point I was trying to make from the perspective of experience was the "doable" and "safe route" aspect of hunting such country. But your point is well taken and appreciated.

I never got into such situations while sheep hunting the Absaroka Beartooth--mine were encountered in the rotten, moss and algal slime-covered rocks of the Olympic Mountains. I was, however, simply overwhelmed by the magnitude of the Beartooth country and its weather during my first attempt. So much so, that I never even even reached the high plateau where, three years and two attempts later, I finally scored.

Please see my earlier comment about irreverent and reckless attitude having the potential to eliminate one's genes from the pool to understand that I was not encouraging you, or anyone else, to ignore danger and take unnecessary risks. I simply thought that you might have been overwhelmed, as I was upon first entering the AB. Thinking the impact might have been greater than the risk, or that a different mindset and approach might bring you back to relish the pursuit, I simply wanted to offer encouragement and let you know that you have much company. It is good that you understand your own propensities and calculate the impact a misstep could levy on your loved ones.

Rest assured, no offense is taken. I wish you good hunting in the future whatever the quarry and conditions.
 
Last edited:

shines@times

Active member
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
124
Location
Olympic Peninsula - for now
Did somebody say ‘humbled?’

We made it out today, with no ram.

View attachment 115027
WOW! That shot says a lot!

Glad to hear you are alright Gomer. Will you still get to give it another go this year?

Also, if you don't mind my asking here, is your sheep hunting partner also a Hunt Talk member? (I'm guessing, tough as you are, that you didn't set the camera on a tripod then hop down that slope while the self-timer counted down ;).)
 

recurveman

Active member
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
68
Location
Gilbert, Arizona
Looks like I got out just in time. I Left Thursday afternoon after spending 12 awesome days back in some breathtaking country. Not just breathtaking because of its beauty but I kept loosing my breathe when I was climbing those dang hills. I'll drop in a story and some pics once I get done being exhausted. Didn't want to leave but I think fighting mother nature was going to be a loosing battle........
 

MTGomer

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Messages
2,787
Location
MT —> AZ
WOW! That shot says a lot!

Glad to hear you are alright Gomer. Will you still get to give it another go this year?

Also, if you don't mind my asking here, is your sheep hunting partner also a Hunt Talk member? (I'm guessing, tough as you are, that you didn't set the camera on a tripod then hop down that slope while the self-timer counted down ;).)
He checks out the forum a bit. Not sure if he even has a user name.

Hoping to give it another round if it stays open.
 

shines@times

Active member
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
124
Location
Olympic Peninsula - for now
He checks out the forum a bit. Not sure if he even has a user name.

Hoping to give it another round if it stays open.

Thanks for the reply Gomer--I thought perhaps there might be another HT member I ought to follow.

You know I'm rooting for you guys. I'm impressed by your enthusiasm and stamina; and I like your approach to the game. Not to mention how much I enjoy seeing the photos!

Good hunting!
 

shines@times

Active member
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
124
Location
Olympic Peninsula - for now
Your post reminded me of a quote I've shared before that shows that even crusty old Elmer Keith was awed by the grandeur of the high country and saw it in the same manner Sigurd Olsen did the Boundary Waters.

“Have you ever seen a mature bighorn ram silhouetted on the sky line of his rugged domain? If so, then you know that no word picture can ever quite do him justice. Ranging at or above timber line, no other animal so typifies, or is so symbolic of, the rugged grandeur of the lofty snow-covered peaks, beautiful glacier-fed lakes and alpine meadows of the Rocky Mountain chain. Some of the wildest, roughest and most beautiful country that God ever made.”
Thanks for placing me in celebrated company Cav1. Although, I have to admit, I was never a big fan of Elmer Keith personally. Jack O'Connor's style, hunting philosophy and demeanor--at least on paper--always suited my taste better. That said, I'm glad to learn that Elmer Keith also had a reverent side.
 
Last edited:

geetar

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
610
Location
North Carolina
I've been wondering that myself. As an even older old fart, I certain am pulling for him. Here's hoping he's packing out a full-curl ram right now!
According to a recent comment on the Rokslide forum he had back surgery a little over a week ago and didn’t make it to hunt this year. I sent him a text but haven’t heard back from him yet.
 

shines@times

Active member
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
124
Location
Olympic Peninsula - for now
According to a recent comment on the Rokslide forum he had back surgery a little over a week ago and didn’t make it to hunt this year. I sent him a text but haven’t heard back from him yet.
Oh! That's too bad. If you make contact, please pass along my well wishes.

It is by no means the only obstacle in my way, but a hernia I should have had repaired last Winter is a major factor in my not seriously considering the UL hunt this year--maybe next one!

Thanks for the info geetar I appreciate it.

By the way, is Cbow also known by that moniker on Rokslide?
 

geetar

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
610
Location
North Carolina
Oh! That's too bad. If you make contact, please pass along my well wishes.

It is by no means the only obstacle in my way, but a hernia I should have had repaired last Winter is a major factor in my not seriously considering the UL hunt this year--maybe next one!

Thanks for the info geetar I appreciate it.

By the way, is Cbow also known by that moniker on Rokslide?
Will do! Hope you get patched up and back out there next year.
 

C Bow

Active member
Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Messages
204
Location
Hickory NC
Yeah had surgery Thursday 12th went well going back to work tomorrow no heavy lifting got a couple disk shaved and opened canal around spinal cord Doc said I will be back to 100 percent in 6 to 8 weeks can start swimming end of this week can get started getting ready for next year I will be back
 

shines@times

Active member
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
124
Location
Olympic Peninsula - for now
Yeah had surgery Thursday 12th went well going back to work tomorrow no heavy lifting got a couple disk shaved and opened canal around spinal cord Doc said I will be back to 100 percent in 6 to 8 weeks can start swimming end of this week can get started getting ready for next year I will be back
That's great news C Bow! Well, all but the burned sheep tag that is. Given the circumstances, can you get a refund? If not, at least it goes to one of the best programs in game management IMHO.
 

recurveman

Active member
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
68
Location
Gilbert, Arizona
Well I thought I would give it a try this year and see if I could go spend some time with my rifle and make sure my gear is still waterproof. I headed in on the 8th of September. That would give me a couple of days to adjust to the elevation and make friends with the bears. I got up to my initial spot around 2 PM on the 8th. It started to spit some form of wetness from the sky so I set up my tent. Little did I know that it would be 5 days before my tent would be dry again. So, the next 4 days were really, really wet and most of the time I was trying to work on my fire starting skills. I thought I was pretty good at starting a fire.........Well try starting a fire in the rain and 20+MPH winds. That is a different type of skill that I did not have but now I do. Spent a large portion of my time not being able to see past 100-200 yards with very few opportunities to see more than 800 yards. I had no idea where I needed to go hike and couldn't see the country to figure out the best place to start. Basically I sat around a fire and kept drying off my gear.

So the second night I was ready for a good nights sleep.....maybe even cuddle up with a bear. It was about 2AM and I was rolling over in my quilt. At some point a sharp object won the battle with my air mattress. The noise of hearing the air come out of your sleeping pad in the middle of the night at a very rapid rate isn't the best of feelings. About 15 seconds later I could feel every hard object my pad was protecting my from. I reached over to my pack and took out some tenacious tape. Cut off a piece and found the hole. Patched it up and blew up my mattress in a matter of minutes. I was super happy with my NASCAR type air mattress repair skills.......unfortunately I got to repair my mattress 2 more times over the next week or so. Kind of bummed me out and it isn't something you can put off until the morning.

The weather finally broke on Thursday and I started taking some long hikes that included even more vertical feet. The country is beautiful and I really enjoyed the hiking.....most of the time. It was a TON of work and the elevation was kicking my butt in a big way. After 4 days of not doing much I was super excited to receive some punishment and the mountains did not disappoint. I tried to climb to the top of a few key hills and get my bearings on where I would want to hunt. The views were epic. Pictures will never do this area justice.

On the the 13th I got back to camp and was getting excited about the start of the hunt. It was almost dark and I wanted to get something to eat and head to bed. I took my pack and put it in my vestibule. I heard this weird noise and realized that my can of bear spray had activated. It started by shooting into the ground and then up through my tent. No idea how the white safety clip came off and then it got depressed. No idea but the white safety tab was on the ground next to my pack. This made for a very interesting hour and half. My pack cover was drenched by the spray and the ground was really covered with the spray. You couldn't put your head in the tent for more than 5 seconds without hacking and your eyes watering. It was now only 30 minutes before dark and I needed to figure out a plan for the evening. Walking out seemed like a good idea but that would mean a few hours of walking through the dark looking for bears.........Building a fire and sleeping in my tarp seemed like a viable option but didn't sound like much fun either. So, I decided to get my pack out of the area and then move my tent. It helped a bunch but the smell was still fairly obvious. After about 30 minutes I thought that I could maybe be OK in my tent but it was going to take another hour for it to clear up enough to make it work. I ended up putting my pack cover, bear spray and a few items in one of my food bags and put it up a tree. Then I wrapped my pack up in my tarp and put it under the vestibule. I decided to jump in the tent. My eyes watered for an hour or so and I did a little hacking but I finally made it to sleep. That wasn't exactly a high point for the trip.......but it was a test. The cool part was for the rest of the trip I would find little spots of bear spray oil and touch it with my hands. Then I would rub my nose or eyes and it would burn like mad..........Then think about taking a leak!!!!!!! It would also burn.

The weekend came and so did the people. I was amazed at how many people were out in the back country. I was expecting a few but the night before the opener there were 11 tents within 200-300 yards of my tent. Kind of felt more like a KOA (minus the crapper) than the back country. Over the next few days I saw a bunch of hunters that were more willing to wear out the bottoms of their boots than their glass. I thought that was a bit different. Who am I to judge how others hunt but I got the opportunity to watch them climb up and down hills all day for a few days. Don't think it helped the sheep hunting but I'm sure they got to burn some calories. As each day passed a few more hunters would either go deeper in or would head out. By Thursday not that many hunters remained and the weather was coming in for a good winter storm. I had been up in the high country for 12 days and I had about 3 days worth the food left. With a 3 day storm coming I knew I would basically have to head out and head home. I didn't have more time to dedicate to the mountains this trip. As I'm sure you have heard the units got hit with some good rain and snow. I didn't want to leave but I think it was the right time to depart........I will return next year.

I learned a few things. 1) Everything you own must dry fast. 2) Learn how to start a fire in horrible conditions....your life may depend on it. 3) You can't be in good enough shape. 4) This hunt isn't for everyone. Its hard. Really, really hard and will test you and your gear in every way. I saw many hunters make it less than a day. Heard of more than a few that just looked at the mountains and didn't even try. If you want to try this hunt please put in a large amount of time honing your skills. They will be put to the test. 5) eat and drink as much as you can. I lost a 1.5" on my waist. Eating and drinking when it is cold and windy is hard to do. 6) be ready for wind. It blows all day and all night. Most of the time it blew 15-30 MPH......except when it was foggy. Then it was calm but you could only see 50 yards. 7) take lots of pics and videos are even better. 8) enjoy the journey. Wrapping your tag around an animal is awesome. It is only a small part of the adventure. Make sure to enjoy the entire adventure. Even the pain because there will be pain. 9) Water comes out of a faucet much faster than my filter and the fridge is closer than my food bag. 10) merino wool really helps with odor for about 4 days.......after that nothing helps. 11) If you don't absolutely need it......leave it in the truck. 12) I took more food than I could eat.....if I would have eaten all my food I wouldn't have lost as much weight.

I've attached a few pics. It was a blast but the hardest hunt I've done in 40 years of chasing critters around this country. All the pics of snow were the week before the hunt.
 

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MTGomer

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Messages
2,787
Location
MT —> AZ
Well I thought I would give it a try this year and see if I could go spend some time with my rifle and make sure my gear is still waterproof. I headed in on the 8th of September. That would give me a couple of days to adjust to the elevation and make friends with the bears. I got up to my initial spot around 2 PM on the 8th. It started to spit some form of wetness from the sky so I set up my tent. Little did I know that it would be 5 days before my tent would be dry again. So, the next 4 days were really, really wet and most of the time I was trying to work on my fire starting skills. I thought I was pretty good at starting a fire.........Well try starting a fire in the rain and 20+MPH winds. That is a different type of skill that I did not have but now I do. Spent a large portion of my time not being able to see past 100-200 yards with very few opportunities to see more than 800 yards. I had no idea where I needed to go hike and couldn't see the country to figure out the best place to start. Basically I sat around a fire and kept drying off my gear.

So the second night I was ready for a good nights sleep.....maybe even cuddle up with a bear. It was about 2AM and I was rolling over in my quilt. At some point a sharp object won the battle with my air mattress. The noise of hearing the air come out of your sleeping pad in the middle of the night at a very rapid rate isn't the best of feelings. About 15 seconds later I could feel every hard object my pad was protecting my from. I reached over to my pack and took out some tenacious tape. Cut off a piece and found the hole. Patched it up and blew up my mattress in a matter of minutes. I was super happy with my NASCAR type air mattress repair skills.......unfortunately I got to repair my mattress 2 more times over the next week or so. Kind of bummed me out and it isn't something you can put off until the morning.

The weather finally broke on Thursday and I started taking some long hikes that included even more vertical feet. The country is beautiful and I really enjoyed the hiking.....most of the time. It was a TON of work and the elevation was kicking my butt in a big way. After 4 days of not doing much I was super excited to receive some punishment and the mountains did not disappoint. I tried to climb to the top of a few key hills and get my bearings on where I would want to hunt. The views were epic. Pictures will never do this area justice.

On the the 13th I got back to camp and was getting excited about the start of the hunt. It was almost dark and I wanted to get something to eat and head to bed. I took my pack and put it in my vestibule. I heard this weird noise and realized that my can of bear spray had activated. It started by shooting into the ground and then up through my tent. No idea how the white safety clip came off and then it got depressed. No idea but the white safety tab was on the ground next to my pack. This made for a very interesting hour and half. My pack cover was drenched by the spray and the ground was really covered with the spray. You couldn't put your head in the tent for more than 5 seconds without hacking and your eyes watering. It was now only 30 minutes before dark and I needed to figure out a plan for the evening. Walking out seemed like a good idea but that would mean a few hours of walking through the dark looking for bears.........Building a fire and sleeping in my tarp seemed like a viable option but didn't sound like much fun either. So, I decided to get my pack out of the area and then move my tent. It helped a bunch but the smell was still fairly obvious. After about 30 minutes I thought that I could maybe be OK in my tent but it was going to take another hour for it to clear up enough to make it work. I ended up putting my pack cover, bear spray and a few items in one of my food bags and put it up a tree. Then I wrapped my pack up in my tarp and put it under the vestibule. I decided to jump in the tent. My eyes watered for an hour or so and I did a little hacking but I finally made it to sleep. That wasn't exactly a high point for the trip.......but it was a test. The cool part was for the rest of the trip I would find little spots of bear spray oil and touch it with my hands. Then I would rub my nose or eyes and it would burn like mad..........Then think about taking a leak!!!!!!! It would also burn.

The weekend came and so did the people. I was amazed at how many people were out in the back country. I was expecting a few but the night before the opener there were 11 tents within 200-300 yards of my tent. Kind of felt more like a KOA (minus the crapper) than the back country. Over the next few days I saw a bunch of hunters that were more willing to wear out the bottoms of their boots than their glass. I thought that was a bit different. Who am I to judge how others hunt but I got the opportunity to watch them climb up and down hills all day for a few days. Don't think it helped the sheep hunting but I'm sure they got to burn some calories. As each day passed a few more hunters would either go deeper in or would head out. By Thursday not that many hunters remained and the weather was coming in for a good winter storm. I had been up in the high country for 12 days and I had about 3 days worth the food left. With a 3 day storm coming I knew I would basically have to head out and head home. I didn't have more time to dedicate to the mountains this trip. As I'm sure you have heard the units got hit with some good rain and snow. I didn't want to leave but I think it was the right time to depart........I will return next year.

I learned a few things. 1) Everything you own must dry fast. 2) Learn how to start a fire in horrible conditions....your life may depend on it. 3) You can't be in good enough shape. 4) This hunt isn't for everyone. Its hard. Really, really hard and will test you and your gear in every way. I saw many hunters make it less than a day. Heard of more than a few that just looked at the mountains and didn't even try. If you want to try this hunt please put in a large amount of time honing your skills. They will be put to the test. 5) eat and drink as much as you can. I lost a 1.5" on my waist. Eating and drinking when it is cold and windy is hard to do. 6) be ready for wind. It blows all day and all night. Most of the time it blew 15-30 MPH......except when it was foggy. Then it was calm but you could only see 50 yards. 7) take lots of pics and videos are even better. 8) enjoy the journey. Wrapping your tag around an animal is awesome. It is only a small part of the adventure. Make sure to enjoy the entire adventure. Even the pain because there will be pain. 9) Water comes out of a faucet much faster than my filter and the fridge is closer than my food bag. 10) merino wool really helps with odor for about 4 days.......after that nothing helps. 11) If you don't absolutely need it......leave it in the truck. 12) I took more food than I could eat.....if I would have eaten all my food I wouldn't have lost as much weight.

I've attached a few pics. It was a blast but the hardest hunt I've done in 40 years of chasing critters around this country. All the pics of snow were the week before the hunt.

How many G bears you see in that spot?

The pepper spray on the fingers could help spice up mountain house too. That stuff can sure get bland after a few nights of the same.
 

recurveman

Active member
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
68
Location
Gilbert, Arizona
The pepper spray did have an interesting taste. It wasn't quite as spicy as I thought it would be. I mentioned to a few buddies that like spicy food that bear spray might be the ticket. They thought I might have spent a bit to much time in the woods alone but I was kind of serious. I don't like hot food but for those that do this might be a back country option.

I found that if I cooked up two mountain house meals and let the bears eat one of them they were pretty friendly. They did get upset when I tried to give them mac and cheese. They only liked the meals with meat in them......who knew.
 

C Bow

Active member
Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Messages
204
Location
Hickory NC
Recurveman would you agree that is the most miserable fun a man could ever have I am so jealous that was you up there instead of me awesome pictures thanks for sharing
 
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