myself and two buddies have booked a drop camp hunt in this unit for mulies in october. We live out on the coast of WA and have only hunted the blacktails out here for 20+ years. This whole thing will be new to us all. I would appreciate any replies regarding experience hunting in this gmu or those nearby. also any advice about mule deer hunting or drop camps in general. We're really looking foreward to this after hunting locally for so long.any replies greatly appreciated!
11 replies [Last post]
Sat, 2006-04-29 21:38
Thu, 2006-05-11 06:40#1
For 25 years, I have hunted a few of the surrounding GMU's where you plan your drop hunt 06'.
Plan on no fires, none. You will need to have an alternate cooking system, a liquified petroluem cook system, IE: pressure gas, or propane. Plan on no wood fires, no charcoal.... Or, you could be in snow. Every single year, we plan for both.
The backcountry you are going to can be dry or snow covered, steep and ugly. This area has had many fires in the past few years, fuel moisture content of forest floor materials is really low. Even with snow on the ground, I have seen fires develop. Also high wind at times.
I also live on the west side, but hunting on the east side is a different story. You will be hunting migratory deer paths for the most part. Some resident muleys will reside where you hunt, but you may want to focus on the game funnel areas. When we find that the deer are not moving thru, we then switch over to hunting these resident muleys. There are always a few around. Also, think hydration. Eastern WA will dry you out. The relative humidity is much lower than western WA, and accordingly your body will pump way more water to your outer skin in an attempt to retain it's normal humidity level. This is no BS. Drink plenty of H20. You may want a water microfiltration device to clean up any water you have nearby, if any. The only creek anywhere near our hunt camp is two miles away. If you are drop hunt camping, I would ask your outfitter to be damned sure you have access to some nearby creek or water source. Be sort of crappy to find you have to hike a mile for water...?
Carry a survival blanket with you, a foam pad to sit upon, a medical kit, extra fluids, maybe a portable water filter for yourself. Get the coordinates of your camp from your outfitter, and get a really good map to carry on your body. Good ankle supporting boots, Lug sole. No flip flops...
Bring plenty of onions and bacon to top your fresh deer liver for the frypan.
Also, flies will attack your carcass, be prepared to double cheesecloth bag your game. Some guys even pepper the carcass with pepper to deter flies. Plan on quartering your game. Bring lots of bags. Lots. Many. MOre than you would think you need. Did I say lots? Lots.
Maybe more later if you need, must go to (gulp) work.
Mon, 2006-05-15 17:34#2
iceman, your reply is greatly appreciated. these are the things we need to know. thanks, flounder221.
Thu, 2006-05-18 12:51#3
optics...good ones. plan on sitting and glassing a lot, and when you think you have glassed enough, glass a little more. it's amazing where those animals can be and you won't see them.
i have no experience in or around that gmu, but that is good country. hopefully the weather cooperates. plan on anything and everything as far as weather goes.
Thu, 2006-05-18 21:46#4
Echohill, thanks. I got writing so much and listeneing to that little voice in my head as I typed, that I almost forgot optics. You are so right. On any given morning, we glass at first light from select vantage points. We commonly see deer at distance and plan a few hunts around them. Throw away those compact folding binoculars and opt for atleast a medium sized say 10power by atleast 40mm front objective lense. 50mm preferably. I know they are a hassle to carry, but so what! Why carry those puny glasses that do not work.
My buddies have finally tossed their compact bino's after I have located deer after deer with my larger pair, and they have to beg a peek thru mine to see the game.
You may also want a spotting scope. Always a good choice except that you may be pushing the limit of what your guide will pack in per hunter...
Flounder221, almost forgot this one too, bring an accurate 22 cal pistol. Many grouse in them there hills and you are going to want to eat a few of them. You will also find a special berry in those hills at that time. Elderberry. Bring a picture of them so you can identfy them. We use them in everything at camp to eat, from pancakes,mixed in with bisquick, to simmered around the grouse as they finish cooking. I am famous for making an apple/elderberry pie at camp at 4500 feet, and topping with some whipped topping spray I pack in the ice cooler. You cannot imagine how great this pie is after a couple days in the brush. But I doubt your guide is packing ice and a camp oven for you, but with the cakes and bisquits...who knows. Flounder221, I envy going in by horse! What a trip! Start hiking those hills around your house now!
Fri, 2006-05-19 08:13#5
some buddies went on a horse-packed in drop hunt last year during the early buck season. they were allowed 150# of gear a piece and there were 2 of them. thats a lot of crap. the only thing they were specifically asked not to bring was beer. too heavy...too much trash to haul out.
who needs it anyway.
they had coleman stoves, coolers, ribeyes, all sorts of crap. they were hunting in style.
Fri, 2006-05-19 08:35#6
Fri, 2006-05-19 20:47#7
That is some sweet looking country. did they get any bucks on thier hunt? A buddy and I are going on our first drop camp this fall during the high hunt, we're pretty excited. Only 4 more months!
Fri, 2006-05-19 22:26#8
. the only thing they were specifically asked not to bring was beer. too heavy...
I totally agree with you on this one. Beer is way too heavy for a drop hunt. Bring whiskey. No camp is complete without a little hotsauce!
Sat, 2006-05-20 13:21#9
thanks again guys . We haven't gotten our bring/don't bring list from the outfitter yet, but you can bet i took the whiskey tip to heart. we're pretty squared away on big binos and spotting scope as we like 'em out here on the coast too. pics were awesome looks like beautiful ground. well done.
Sat, 2006-05-20 20:53#10