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Joined: 03/13/2010
Posts: 321
High altitude scouting today.

Well, I learned a few things today.  I over slept and hit the trailhead at 7:00am(too late).  I was able to log in 10.5 miles today.  I was between 10,000-13,000ft and I forgot my sunscreen.  Yes, I know!!!  Thats what happens when you jump out of bed at 5:30am on a weekend.

1: I am out of shape.  It was my first hike of the year and I was huffin and puffin bad the first mile.  I caught a second wind and wasn't too bad.  I managed to make the 10 mile round trip, so I am not totally disappointed.

2:  I need new hiking/hunting boots.  I have a nice pair of Solomon's with great ankle support but they are just a tad too small.  Mt toes were hitting the top all the way down from the summit.  I could barely walk by the time I got to the truck.  Any suggestions?  I like the kenetrek but almost 400$ is steep!!

3:  My area I scouted today turned into a high traffic area for day hikers.  I may need to go in further.

4:  Not much sign along the way.  everything is extremely dry but green up in the bowls.  I was getting discouraged when I turned around and caught a sneeky mule deer doe bouncing strainght down the mountain behind me.  I managed to get the zoom lense on here and she stopped at about 400yards.  See something was encouraging at least. 

I believe the best way to be successful would be to camp out at or around the summit the night before and glass the bowls.  I need better glass for sure.

Anyway, just thought I would share my experience from today.

 

 

WishIWasHunting's picture
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Location: Brighton, CO
Joined: 01/31/2011
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Glad to hear you were able to

Glad to hear you were able to make it out scouting.  I was going to make a scouting trip yesterday, but that got postponed.  

1.  Just making a 10.5 mi round trip at that altitude is an accomplishment, so you must not be in horrible shape.  

2.  I have two pair of Cabelas hiking boots, and they have worked well for me.  I don't remember the names specifically, but I know there are options.  

3.  If there is the option of hiking in deeper, that would probably be beneficial.  However, last year I hunted Unit 29, which gets lots of non-hunting recreational traffic, and I was amazed at the amount of wildlife I saw within short distances of highly-used trails.  Since 99% of all the recreational traffic stayed on the trails, the wildlife knew where to expect people.  Just because there are lots of people in an area does not mean that wildlife have vacated the area, especially if it is normal for lots of people to be in the area.  Now, if you want to hike in deeper simply to get away from the crowds, then that is entirely up to you.  

4.  Glad you saw something.  

Thanks for sharing your scouting trip.  Post up some pictures if you have any.  Hope I can get out there myself for a couple trips before season starts.  Good luck!

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 917
It's hard to get up there by

It's hard to get up there by daylight this time of the year, because it gets light so early. It will be easier in hunting seasons.

Personally, I don't hunt areas that have hikers. When I scout and hunt. I don't want to see anybody. Probably why you didn't see any bucks.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Get off the trails

Reminton742, you keep mensioning all those high traffic areas with hikers.  That should tell you something.  You need to get to an area where there are no trailheads, a wilderness area with fewer roads nearby.  If you do use the network of trails then you need to only use those trails to get you to a certain point, then venture off trail.  Treat you scouting like a hunting trip.  You're likely to find game where few venture near.  Gotta agree with Still Hunters post above.

hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
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It's great to at least get

It's great to at least get out there, somrthing I've been unable to do ye this year.

And I'm with WishIWasHunting here. I know some places on top of Independence pass where 170+ bucks are taken that watch 50 or more people a day walk past on the trail. You have to get off the trail of course but the game is right there knowing the day hikers don't vary off the path.

You get some unhappy looks packing the head out when they are headed up. Big smile

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Joined: 03/13/2010
Posts: 321
Thats funny you mention

Thats funny you mention that.  I was thinking how I would get some pissed off looks if I was walking back down the train with a deer head and meat strapped to my pack.

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Location: Colorado
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You won't have to wait for

You won't have to wait for that. You'll get the looks when they see you in blaze orange.

WesternHunter's picture
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disgusted looks

That's why I hunt late season if I can and hunt areas that have few trail heads.  I do run into snowshoers and x-country skiers on an occasion, but generally just see other hunters in the field.

Sad thing is that it's all the hikers and mountain bikers seem to think they pay for all that pristine wilderness.  In fact it's hunters and anglers who fund most of it.  I'm glad the CDOW is voicing that in their recent tv commercials.

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Location: Colorado
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Do hikers pay anything?

Do hikers pay anything?

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4018
Card

Still Hunter wrote:

Do hikers pay anything?

There was a card that they could purchase that included the search and rescue charge.  I am not sure if they are still available or not. 

WesternHunter's picture
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hikers

Still Hunter wrote:

Do hikers pay anything?

Uless they are hinking in an area the requires a fee to enter, they really don't pay anything as much as we pay when you buy a license, except for the extra taxes (we all pay) on all sporting goods equipment at the retail level. Enter the fact that many hunters and anglers also support conservation groups and organizations like Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mnt Elk Foundation, etc, etc.

Most recreational hikers I know don't bother buying a search and rescue card. In fact sometimes when I've ask the ones I know they've given me a funny look, sort of a cross between "why?" and "they have those?" type of look. lol

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