Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Questions for Western Hunter's

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by Joe13, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    6,767
    Likes Received:
    11,009
    I read a lot and watch a lot of videos but most of the info doesn't always pertain to Western WA/OR Hunting (and got redundant) so I thought I'd ask the local folks.


    How heavy is your pack loaded (rifle not included)?

    Do you prep for the worst or pack for light and fast maneuverability?

    Ever hunt alone?

    Stand Hunt or Spot and Track?

    Ever have to spend the night out away from your camp/vehicle?

    Items you won't go without?

    Useless Items?


    I keep bouncing back and forth on a lot of the gear I have loaded up.

    The boy scout says haul it all, my feet remember last year and say leave almost all of it behind.
     
    jsparks747 and Oathkeeper1775 like this.
  2. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,372
    Likes Received:
    747
    When I was young and dumb (and broke) I'd carry about 40-50 pounds. Now I take whatever the heck I want and let the mules carry it. I must say, however, that hunting with horses and pack animals really makes me pack lighter and with more discretion.
     
    DuneHopper, Oathkeeper1775 and Joe13 like this.
  3. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,155
    Likes Received:
    7,035
    I don't hunt anymore - my back hurts a lot when I walk rough terrain, especially downhill - and I am totally out of shape.

    When I did hunt, I would take the minimum, something to dress the game, maybe a few first aid items, and the last time I went hunting in eastern WA for elk I took a small FAK and fire starter kit. I also carried a .357 mag snubby (I found my .22 was not sufficient for a coup de grace) and some ammo in addition to my Spanish Mauser carbine with scout scope.

    I was hunting from a friends cabin on his family farm - they knew the area well, had dogs locally and I wasn't going far afield, so if I got lost or hurt I would probably only spend the night in the woods before they found me.

    But yeah, I didn't prep much for staying out overnight, getting hurt or lost, pretty much minimal stuff and lightweight.

    No, I never stayed away from camp or vehicle overnight.

    I mostly stalked, but when I would find a good area I would often sit on it and hope for animals to come through. Sometimes it took ten minutes, sometimes a few hours, sometimes no results (elk). Apples trees in overgrown farm areas are great for deer - I know they love my apples and plums. I could, if I wanted, take deer off my back porch - but I leave them alone as I don't really care for venison and I like seeing the deer come around.

    Walking through the western woods is an exercise in making noise, so it can often just scare the game away - sometimes you stumble across game (I walked right into a small group of elk bedded down in thick brush once while deer hunting - they thundered out of there).

    I have hunted alone quite a few times for deer. I always go with someone for elk - although I have always gotten skunked. I don't know what I do wrong; my dad almost always got something, but I seem to suck at it for some reason.
     
    Oathkeeper1775, Caveman Jim and Joe13 like this.
  4. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    5,782
    Likes Received:
    4,990
    20rds extra ammo
    TP
    4 breakfast bars
    qt water per 4hrs planned on being away from car
    hunting knife
    pocket knife
    Charter Arms .38
    10rds extra ammo
    organ bags
    50ft 550 cord
    yellow or orange Christmas tree tape (route marker)
    wet ones
    small towel
    small binos
    compuse
    map
    cell phone
    whistle
    matches lighter small tinder kit
    note book pencil

    scent mask

    everything in a pair or large belt pockets and a small Vietnam era canvas pack.

    I rarely hunt more then a mile from my vehicle as I don't want to try to carry a deer out even that far. I hunt alone at least 1/2 the time

    Sorry I forgot my trail first aide kit. fits on my belt.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  5. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,350
    Likes Received:
    1,726
    Extra box of ammunition for my hunting rifle, mostly for signaling not hunting. Food, usually a few Cliff bars and an apple or two, flashlights, 2L water a few means to make fire, map, 2 compasses, rain gear, solar blanket and a first aid kit. I also carry a deck of cards with me.

    I have no idea what it weighs.
     
  6. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    6,279
    Likes Received:
    6,918
    compass, Garmin, food, fire, shelter, water, socks, gloves, wool balaclava, hunting gear
     
  7. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,451
    Likes Received:
    7,720
    Easy peasy answer is
    Something to keep you dry
    food of some sort so you don't get hypo glysemic? (keep the blood sugar correct and for energy if you're a billy goat)
    Something warm.. at least a space blanket if you have to stay overnight
    stocking cap/skull cap/ watch cap (if you're an old fart)
    Knives/whatever for processing animal
    compass when your GPS doesn't get signal
    water or filter if you are next to a stream
    Anything else is what YOU determine is necessary.
    Mark W has pretty much what a guy should have if you may be all day
    But it's all about if you know the area very well or are you an old fart and may not be able to get back till morning
    I have everything but the kitchen sink in the truck and only walk as far as I want to crawl back if something goes wrong
    Haha my friend carries a full travel mug of coffee with him.... and some water
     
  8. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    1,655
    Likes Received:
    1,722
    I use a hiking pack for my hunts. I'll snap a photo of everything as it is that time of the year and it would probably be s good idea to get everything in order.

    Since moving to Oregon. I hunt alone. I'd say most important item is a good map or GPS of the area you are hunting. I have been lost in Tillamook state forest before without a clue to where I parked my truck. Learned the hard way trees suck over Nevada's Desert landscape. The second most important thing would be good rain gear, lighter the better. As your main jacket and pants may be waterproof, taking layers off as you get hot makes getting wet probable.

    I usually spot and stalk. Though I'll take a long shot if it comes available.

    1st aid is also a good thing to have handy. I carry that and toilet paper in one of the easily accessible pockets on my pack.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
    Joe13 likes this.
  9. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,202
    Likes Received:
    3,023
    >my guess about 20lbs max
    >I pack for the worst.... but the worst is an opinion, I’m prepared to stay overnight at all times/conditions albeit probably not very comfortably and good luck starting a fire if its raining like it does on the coast range.
    >I hunt alone about 50% of the time. I like companionship but its too tempting to talk too much, most of my sucess had been by myself
    >mixture of still hunting and spot and track
    >nope
    >headlamp, GPS AND a map and compass, extra food/water, 2 way gmrs radio, matches/lighter, compact binos, UL trauma kit, 100ft 550 paracord, spaceblanket, UL puffy coat, UL synthetic long johns, extra base layer, extra gloves, camo rain jacket, couple a plastic grocery bags to put the heart in, hunting knife....
    >all the extra ammo
     
    mjbskwim and Joe13 like this.
  10. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    971
    Likes Received:
    1,370
    Elk & Deer Archery @ Aug-Sep...

    Pack, camel back w 40 OZ, life straw, 1st aid kit, survival kit, 5x7 tarp, map, marking tape, compass, garmen, after-the-shot kit (-), side arm, head lamp, phone, binos, range finder, TP, some snack bars, 2 knives, black plastic trash bag, rain top, & ham radio.

    Winter/rifle:

    Same as archery but add: a poncho liner, 1 pr socks, 1 T shirt, & watch cap. Take away bow & range finder, and replace w/bang-stick & ammo. :p

    Too damn heavy.

    I usually hunt alone, I never go more than 3 miles-in from the truck, I stay on roads and trails unless I'm stalking etc.

    Supplies, more game bags, knives, saw, & etc., w/pack frame are kept in truck.

    The Coast Range eats people; never under estimate the Coast Range.

    Addendum: fog moves-in real quick during the fall and winter months up here, at the same time the warmer air sinks into the bottoms (carrying your scent).

    Conduct line of sight map reconnaisance to locate possible phone hot spots.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
    Joe13 likes this.
  11. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,202
    Likes Received:
    3,023
    I second the lifestraw and TP
     
    blackadder, mjbskwim, Joe13 and 2 others like this.
  12. winchester270

    winchester270 Lafayette Active Member

    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    121
    I like what has been said here but would add my own perspective: If you have a GPS awesome, but never go out with only that, take a paper map too.
    And I generally pack for the possibility of an overnighter if something unplanned comes up, but try to condense the needed items to a lighter weight/less bulk version.
    I have not field tested this yet, but the latest addition to my pack is a plastic drop cloth from the hardware store. It is a very compact and light package. They come in various sizes but I opted for the 9x12 foot version in medium light sheeting. this will provide me with plenty of cover for a rainy night out, plus a little room for my wife :p

    As well as I like a bit of redundancy in my pack, especially for flashlights/batteries and waterproof coverings. Normally my jacket/rain pants are the main protection, but if these fail for whatever reason I also have a cheap $4 poncho in the bottom of the pack, plus a space blanket and the drop cloth.

    Bulk is just as bad as weight and Redundancy is very important for fire starters too.

    This last winter I was out when it was quite cold(13*) and I packed a can of Sterno on a fishing trip for a quick fire to warm my hands. Well sure enough it was cold enough even the Fire starter gel wouldn't light. I am assuming it was due to the cold temps, but still I was shocked and SOL for warming my hands. Given different circumstances it could have been bad if it was a more dire situation
     
    Joe13 likes this.
  13. Blackleaf40

    Blackleaf40 Bellingham Member

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    11
    I'm a stalk and slaughter guy, so I usually try to pack pretty light. I don't mind hunting alone, but the buddy system is way safer. I usually pack an emergency blanket, two knives, a bone saw, fire starter, compass, a .44 mag pistol that has never let me down, my Swarovski binos, a gallon-ish of water, at least one spare can of Kodiak, and candy bars, I feel those are essentials. I don't carry rain gear, thanks to River's West. During bear and elk season, I'll usually carry my MOLLE pack, with game bags, garbage bags, a light tarp and gallon zip locks, to wherever I'm over carrying it, and start the killing from there :) It's great to feel prepared for everything, but the added strain of carrying all that can really take away from your hunt. I have never been turned around to the point that I've stayed a night away from camp that wasn't anticipated, and that may be why I pack so light. I hope this helps, Ryan
     
    mjbskwim and Joe13 like this.
  14. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,155
    Likes Received:
    7,035
    My grandfather, who spent a LOT of time in woods of the coast range, once got temporarily turned around for 3 days near Winchester Bay hunting elk.

    When I was in college I used to hunt deer before and after school in the woods behind LCC. One day it took me about an hour to walk out of there because it was so foggy I couldn't make out where the sun was.

    Sometimes I come out of the woods not quite where I intended, but if I can tell where the sun is I usually can make my way home.
     
    Joe13 likes this.
  15. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,202
    Likes Received:
    3,023
    I can attest to the fact that the coast range does "eat people". Seriously, do not under estimate just how easily you can get in a predicament out there.

    One of the places I hunt in the Trask unit has a missing hunter.... been out there for a few years now his family puts up new signs on the forest roads each year.

    I hike off trail often solo and get into some god aweful locations where even a simple injury like a slip and fall leg break would mean your not coming out on your own and if nobody knows your location your gonna stay there until you perish the tall sword ferns and other coastal rainforest vegetation will grow up and around you in less than a season youll never be found....

    know how to use a map and compass. carry a gmrs radio and spare batteries and tell your family/hunting partners what channel your on. Carry a gps so you can radio your waypoint when SAR gets in your area..... because you told somebody where your going and what channel you will be on.

    if you hunt solo and have no one to share with.... leave a note for SAR in your vehicle with this info... they can get into any locked vehicle.
     
    blackadder likes this.
  16. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    6,767
    Likes Received:
    11,009
    I grew up since a teenager with the SW corner of the GP forest as my back yard, so I am fairly familiar with the general terain just not all the nooks and cranny's (like I would ever be in my lifetime haha).

    I'm rarely if ever totally clueless lost, more like Heretic where I've come out of the forest and hit a part of the road I was not expecting. Sometimes more then a mile away from my expected exit but still I mostly know where I am.

    I carry 3 compasses, a great one, an ok one and a POS with thermometer. i still remember enough from my survival courses and mountaineering classes to be able to use them with a map of the local roads that I keep in the pack also.

    My Major hurdle is my physical condition. Not yet 40 but I've had my share of knee surgeries and I am not able to tell my body it isn't 20 anymore when I see an ever so tempting trail off the road that looks fresh and spend half the day following it.

    So there is the real possibility that I may get a last light shot but not have the stamina to dress it and haul it all out. May have to gut it and hang it for the night and pack it out in the morning.

    My other big concern is an accident (not gun related) and twisting an ankle or knee. At that point I am really not getting back to the truck in time (I guess I'll mostly be within 5 miles of my rig - 2 hours at a good clip, maybe 6-8 hours injured) and would probably be better off using what energy I have left getting comfortable for the night.

    Both of the above two scenarios are non issues if I happen to be hunting with a buddy that day cuz one of can always go for help.


    So far, I've packed my backpack for the worst case and without weighing it yet I'm sure its topping 50lbs - doable but not ideal. (And I havn't loaded it with water or extra ammo yet so 60# seems likely)

    I also took the time to "package" items that would be used together in little kits that can be removed if I have a partner or taken completely out and only take the minimum kits in a smaller backpack I also keep around for quick half day trips.

    I thought about listing what are in those kits but "everything but the kitchen sink" gives a better idea of whats in there.

    Many, many items have multiple uses but I like to have redundencies when it is not unreasonable.

    Kits in my pack:

    First Aid
    Hygiene
    Fire
    Water
    Food
    Shelter
    Essencials "emergency items"
    Game processing

    Then there is an axe, binocs hanging on the pack and a few other odds n ends in pockets that would have to be shuffled.



    I very much appreciate everyone taking time to reply on this thread - it affirms some of my thoughts and will help me give my wife some peace of mind on the days I go out alone.
     
    blackadder likes this.
  17. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    6,767
    Likes Received:
    11,009
    A note for SAR is a great idea.

    I do leave very detailed notes with my wife with arial photos of my hunting area as well as what channels I would use on my radio, it scans as well if needed.

    I thought about it last year but didn't do it... This year I will be tying my flagging tape into a certain knot and will have a shapie to write down the time I went off road or trail - leaving all that info with my wife everytime I go out.
     
  18. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,202
    Likes Received:
    3,023
    50lbs is a lot Joe....
    thats actually a safety factor in way, it adds fatigue to your day.

    IMO your pack should weigh no more than 20lbs, everything you need.
     
  19. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    6,767
    Likes Received:
    11,009
    I'm with you 100%... Maybe I'll list whats in there and let yall see what I'm overdoing.
     
  20. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,451
    Likes Received:
    7,720
    I forgot to put first aid kit.I know most of you have it but anyway
    And most of the kids out at Ft Lewis will tell you 50lbs is too much to pack around