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Thread: Heading West

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Default Heading West

    Well it'd be a long story if I told everything, but after researching many states, applying for a NR Montana Elk tag with dad, returning a montana elk tag, and purchasing two OTC tags in Idaho, finally plans are finally starting to come together. Just bought a round trip plane ticket to Idaho for Sept 17-28th. Starting to get pretty excited! Can't wait to see some new country

  2. #2
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    Jun 2014
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    Nice! Bow or gun?

  3. #3
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    Mar 2005
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    Where are you going to hunt ? Hunted elk and mule deer in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness. Those hills are steep.
    Fly and light tackle fishing with Captain Steve Burnett....
    www.fishwatchhill.com

  4. #4
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    Dec 2013
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    We're going to be south of Selway. We'll be hunting eastern sawtooth, and southern salmon-challis. We'll be doing backcountry archery. I'm flying out b/c of limited vacation time, but dad is driving out with all our gear. He'll be in state probably around sept 5-7 and I'll be getting there on the 17th. We're hoping to hike in and do two seperate 4 day deep woods hunts. If its good where we're at then hike back out, resupply, and head back in. Those of you that have hunted out west what do you do about the elevation change? Highest mountain in vermont is 4400', I hike alot in the 3000-4000 range. But this area is all 8000-10,000. I've never dealt with those elevations before. Muscle/cardio conditioning wont be a problem, but I know oxygen or lack there of is going to be a struggle. What have you guys done to deal with it?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Western Massachussetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTHunter08 View Post
    We're going to be south of Selway. We'll be hunting eastern sawtooth, and southern salmon-challis. We'll be doing backcountry archery. I'm flying out b/c of limited vacation time, but dad is driving out with all our gear. He'll be in state probably around sept 5-7 and I'll be getting there on the 17th. We're hoping to hike in and do two seperate 4 day deep woods hunts. If its good where we're at then hike back out, resupply, and head back in. Those of you that have hunted out west what do you do about the elevation change? Highest mountain in vermont is 4400', I hike alot in the 3000-4000 range. But this area is all 8000-10,000. I've never dealt with those elevations before. Muscle/cardio conditioning wont be a problem, but I know oxygen or lack there of is going to be a struggle. What have you guys done to deal with it?
    Drink lots of water. Keeping hydrated is key to avoiding altitude sickness. You will acclimate somewhat after a few days but keep the water flowing. It is real easy to get dehydrated out there. My parents used to live at 8500 feet in eagle colorado. First day at altitude it is a struggle for sure. Get over 10000 and it sucks! But you will feel better and better each day.
    The days in agony are over. It won't happen again, Honest injun.....


    My tools...
    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d7...5/sluggun2.jpg<----------<<<<< http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d7...65/vortec2.jpg

  6. #6
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    One year I flew to Denver rented a car, got groceries and a license and drove right out to camp. So at 6am, I was at ground level in NJ and at 4pm I was camped at 9500 feet. I didn't pause to eat or drink hardly anything since the morning. What a headache I had, felt like crap and did not feel like hunting at all. Could not sleep either. After about a day I was feeling much better with a lot of fluids and good food. My friend who lives out there swears by Rolaids to help the sickness. I was eating them like candy.

    So, like Arlow said, drink a lot of fluids and take the time to have a good meal when you get out there and don't run yourself ragged right off the bat. You definitely will feel the altitude. You will be walking and all of a sudden you are out of breath, but if you are in good shape you can push thru it. Just some things I remember from my 8 trips out there. Have not been out in about 10 years.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2013
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    Thanks guys, My first day out there will be similar to what you explained Longbow. I'll be flying out of Burlington at 6:30 (300' above sea level), and landing at BOI at 12:45 (3,000 above sea level), eat lunch and then drive up into the mountains to our areas to truck scout (see how many trucks are parked where)(7000-8000' above sea level. So in a matter of 12 hours I'll gain about 7000 of elevation. I plan on bringing 2 containers of mtn ops trail packs to keep me well hydrated and vitaminized, and don't really want to do any hiking that first afternoon. Drive around, eat, relax, and let my body do its thing. Good call on the Rolaids I'll pack a bunch of those. I might try mtn ops Solitude too, suppose to help your body cope with elevation sickness, staying hydrated, and minimize lactic acid build up. We shall see

  8. #8
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    Dec 2013
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    In the meantime if anyone has any tips for anything out there, elk hunting in general, backcountry camping essentials, etc please share. We are both very very green at this. I've been wanting to do this for years, and this has been a bucket list of dads for a long time so with my hunting buddy putting it off for a couple years expanding his family, and no trip planned for this year, dad and I both said screw it lets go. I've been going on hunting trips with him for the last 20 years and every trip we've ever taken at one point or another one of us comes up with some hair brained idea and we look at eachother and say "Well . . . It'll be an adventure!" Our expectations are very low, we have both said we'd like to see some elk, hopefully hear some buggling, possibly say we "worked" a bull. If one of us actually releases an arrow that'll just be icing on the cake.

  9. #9
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    Cape Cod
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    I looked at Idaho for elk before settling on Colorado. Mostly just be cause of the dates and who I was going with. One thing I would look into, is an air service that will fly you to one of the remote USFS air strips. They were actually pretty reasonable and I think I talked with Sawtooth flight service.

    I've been hitting the gym regularly to prepare for my hunt, which will start on Nov 2, even though we are flying into Denver two days prior to the season starting. Lots of cardio for me and shoulder workouts, since I'll be carrying a pack all the time.

    We ended up renting a cabin just outside of USFS land, and will be driving, then hiking in daily for the hunts. Four guys and two trucks, so hopefully we can cover some ground and find where the elk are holing up.

  10. #10
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    You might feel like crap the first day or you might feel pretty good just depends. Each time it can hit you a little differently. One year my wife came with me and after three days she was so sick she had to fly home. She was six or seven months pregnant so that might’ve had something to do with it.

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