WA Live Deer Hunt!

neffa3

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Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
9,583
Location
Wenatchee
HAHA sucker. There are no live deer in WA!

For the 4th year in a row I have ventured into the Great Chelan County Deer Desert! In the hopes of finding a unicorn deer (actually needs to be a 3-pt buck but let's not be greedy).

I know I swore off big game hunting just a couple of weeks ago. But my daughter was really excited and really wanted to go even if she wasn't quite ready to pack her own gun (though she has a tag). She wanted to go a different direction, into the Columbia basin, and hunt in a spot were her and I got a deer a couple of years ago. https://www.hunttalk.com/threads/wa-general-deer-hunt-summary.302396/
But I told her no, too many people, even if we know there are deer out there.

We I picked a new area of the desert we'd never been to before instead. We were the only hunters at the trailhead in the morning. Hiked 3 miles in the dark on the trail that follows the creek, then started working our way up a ridge just as it was getting light. 2 hrs and 1,500' later we came out onto a big open basin that I'd digitally scouted. It was exactly nothing that I thought it would be. It was too steep, too rocky, had the wrong kind of cover, and was hundreds of miles from the nearest flowing creek (slight exaggeration). But we sat on it, because it was there, we were there, and well, there wasn't much else to do. There were no deer. I lost interest in the bowl within a few minutes and spend the rest of the time trying to glass a far off burn until the smoke/sun obscured my view too much. I then ran out of water because I can't plan for an 84 deg deer hunt. We then proceeded further up. To the top. Because, well, why not. Up is always the answer. There is a motorbike trail up there that was supposed to be seasonally closed. The 12 motorbikes that went by apparently didn't read that sign. We then hunted back down the trail (thankfully no more bikes by that point), glassing every opening. Started running out of light with 4 miles of trail to go. Finally cut a deer track 15 minutes before dark, but as I tried to follow it, I decided that no matter how dumb this buck was (I'm calling it a buck because, well, why the hell not, not like I saw it), it wasn't going to stand for the amount of noise we were making. Picture a perfectly silent day, no wind, no birds, no bugs, SILENT. Then opening a hundred bags of lays potato chips while also trying to crinkle a ball of tyvek. That's what every step sounded like. So we retreated to the trail. It got dark. We then walked another 3 miles back to the truck.

All total 14 hrs truck to truck, just under 14 miles, zero deer. But I would bet money there wasn't another hunter within 10 miles of us! Oh how I love solitude!

Now some pics.
There were no deer here.

20221015_083810.jpg
but we looked
20221015_083823.jpg
Then we whittled some monuments to our presence into some sandstone and let them in random locations in the woods. The artist at work.
20221015_133607.jpg
There were also no deer here.
20221015_154317.jpg
 
Last edited:

neffa3

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Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
9,583
Location
Wenatchee
Epilogue.

I made my daughter stay home on Sunday to get rest after such a big trip. I went solo into one of the most revered units in all of WA. A unit where more deer are killed than any other (I actually have no idea if this in true and am too lazy to look it up), one that required decades of bonus points to draw a late hunt in.
20221016_082810.jpg
The only hitch is that everyone else also knows about it. There was a backup on the pavement trying to turn onto the gravel access road and a steady caravan of trucks heading up. I got in line and conga-ed up. Eventually the crowds dispersed to their own secrete spots and I found an entire basin devoid of pumpkins.

It was also devoid of deer.

The end.
 

ashersdad

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Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
4,133
Location
Happy Valley, OR
Quality time with your daughter is priceless. Glad to hear you got back out there. If it's any consolation, Oregon is just as bad. Hunted 4 full days this year and didn't see a buck.
 

neffa3

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Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
9,583
Location
Wenatchee
P.S.

I actually bailed on Sunday's hunt at about 1pm. My daughter had requested I pace her prior to her last x-country race this week. And with the smoke being better than it has in several weeks (back to crappy today) I decided to make the request happen. She's 11 and wanted to run a 6:30 mile. I paced her out for 800m right on the money, then upped it a little on lap 3 by 3 sec. Pushed a little harder heading into the final lap, pushed a little more with 200m to go, then at 100m left I told her to give it all she has and she freakin' TOOK OFF, I mean I had to shift into run mode and not jog mode to keep up.

When we finished she asked what the time was. I said, "guess." "6:40?" "Nope, try again." "6:45?" "Ha! 6:16!" She was pumped. And I told her she could totally run sub-6 right now if we'd paced harder.
 

SAJ-99

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
3,245
Location
E Washington
S
HAHA sucker. There are no live deer in WA!

For the 4th year in a row I have ventured into the Great Chelan County Deer Desert! In the hopes of finding a unicorn deer (actually needs to be a 3-pt buck but let's not be greedy).

I know I swore off big game hunting just a couple of weeks ago. But my daughter was really excited and really wanted to go even if she wasn't quite ready to pack her own gun (though she has a tag). She wanted to go a different direction, into the basin, and hunt in a spot were here and I got a deer a couple of years ago. https://www.hunttalk.com/threads/wa-general-deer-hunt-summary.302396/
But I told her no, too many people.

We I picked a new area of the desert we'd never been to before. We were the only hunters at the trailhead in the morning. Hiked 3 miles in the dark on the trail that follows the creek, then started working our way up a ridge just as it was getting light. 2 hrs and 1,500' later we came out onto a big open basin that I'd digitally scouted. It was exactly nothing that I thought it would be. It was too steep, too rocky, had the wrong kind of cover, and was hundreds of miles from the nearest flowing creek. But we sat on it, because it was there, we were there, and well, there wasn't much else to do. There were no deer. I lost interest in the bowl within a few minutes and spend the rest of the time trying to glass a far off burn until the smoke/sun obscured my view too much. I then ran out of water because I can't plan for an 84 deg deer hunt. We then proceeded further up. To the top. Because, well, why not. Up is always the answer. There is a motorbike trail up there was was supposed to be seasonally closed. The 12 motorbikes apparently didn't read that sign. We then hunted back down the trail (thankfully no more bikes), glassing every opening. Started running out of light with 4 miles of trail to go. Finally cut a deer track 15 minutes before dark, but as I tried to follow it, I decided that no matter how dumb this buck was (I'm calling it a buck because, well, why the hell not, not like I saw it), it wasn't going to stand for the amount of noise we were making. Picture a perfectly silent day, no wind, no birds, no bugs, SILENT. Then opening a hundred bags of lays potato chips while also trying to crinkle a ball of tyvek. That's what every step sounded like. So we treated to the trail. It got dark. We then walked another 3 miles back to the truck.

All total 14 hrs, just under 14 miles, zero deer. But I would bet money there wasn't another hunter within 10 miles of us! Oh how I love solitude!

There were no deer here.

View attachment 244979
but we looked
View attachment 244980
Then we whittled some monuments to our presence into some sandstone and let them in random locations in the woods. The artist at work.
View attachment 244981
There were also no deer here.
View attachment 244982
Your story makes me so excited that I moved to this state. But it sounds like you forgot the corn. 9.5 gal of corn would have changed the whole outcome.
 

westbranch

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Messages
1,194
Location
ID Panhandle
I would have bailed on the Saturday hunt early too if it was 80+ degrees. And I think it has been 6+ yrs since I ran a sub 9 minute mile.
 

neffa3

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
9,583
Location
Wenatchee
don't do it neffa! If hitting a bull and not finding it has you ready to hang up the bow, you wouldn't make it through 3 holes before you hang up the bag. I will routinely hit multiple balls on a hole and never find them.
I golfed a ton during my bleached hair puka shell days (@Ben Lamb ). It also sucked but in a suckier less satisfying way.
 

Sytes

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2009
Messages
11,355
Location
Montana
Conga-ed up. :ROFLMAO: That's epic! I'd rather have a chance at a few to none (big game) than a setting as you describe. However devoid of pumpkins? Seems you have your niche. Likely why my freezer is not as full as the early days. Suppose I've lessened my Die Hard days. :)

Awesome young lady you have there! Good job Mum and Pops!

...Oh how I love solitude!
Something special, for certain!

Hey - and golf? All it takes is that one magical perfectly tuned hit, out of the 18 holes of rough/fairway destruction to encourage me to return for another ass-kicking!
Robin Williams (RIP) shared his thoughts of golf so eloquently!

Word of Caution: if you're not familiar with Robin Williams beyond "Mork and Mindy", swear words are fluently expressed - and fitting for golf. It's pretty darn funny though. Hence the re-direct to YouTube to watch. ;)

 

marshman

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
880
Location
Southwest Washington
Kudos for giving it a try here, this weather is worse than bad for deer hunting. I Pheasant hunted last weekend, good for the dog but depressing for opening day of deer season
We even got your damn smoke on the west side now!
Heading for greener pastures much farther east tonight.
Very nice daughter and hunting partner you got there! Good luck on the rest of your season.
 

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