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Thread: MT Unlimited

  1. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MTGomer View Post
    Gear successes of the hunt include the new Stone Glacier tent, the Stone Glacier Sky 6900 backpack. Also a Kifaru sheep tarp, for shade and wind deflection when glassing, and a place to hang out under in the rain. Good glass makes the long days easier on the eyes. Tikka T3. If you must have a rifle you don’t use accompany you with all your gear- might as well make it a light one.
    On the downside, Schnees Granite boots, unfortunately did not do well at all- leaking like crazy and a broken eyelet on day two made one foot a little tough to stay tight. Also, AGC bono harness; I love the design but can not get the damn thing to stay tight.
    I had the same problem with the AGC, finally noticed the side buckle was put on backwards from factory and why it wouldn't stay tight. It is much better now. Take a close look how they are threaded thru there. Great story, that takes some serious mental power to stick with it for 11 days and only two sheep!

  2. #602

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    [QUOTE=Redside;2757515]I had the same problem with the AGC, finally noticed the side buckle was put on backwards from factory and why it wouldn't stay tight. It is much better now."

    Ah, thanks Redside. i was having the same trouble. Will check it out tonight

  3. #603

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    Love the pics and your outlook Gomer, thanks for bringing us with you to the clouds. Sorry about your father and dog C Bow, both such tough things to go through.

  4. #604
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    MT —> AZ
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    I will check that out on the binocular harness. Thank you.
    ďTo me, if you donít eat it, then itís not a point of prideĒ. -Matt Rinella

  5. #605

    Default Unlimited #300

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    I solo scouted and hunted District #300 up Tom Miner Basin for most of the September 1-10th season there, going northwest of the road rather than joining the circus along the Park boundary. I did come down out of the hills twice to take a day off, rejuvenate and eat like a starving bear. I took in a food cache on my last scouting trip and packed as light as humanly possible. It would have been too light if it had been colder but we were blessed with good weather that allowed me to just sleep out under the stars. I managed to waddle around up in the high country pretty well for a fat guy over fifty with a long list of injuries, but the furthest I went in one day was only four miles and the distance was more often only one or two. I had tried to get in condition with mountain hikes all summer but should have tried much harder. Some of the country kicked my butt physically but I still had a ball.

    Quite a few years, pounds and miles have passed since I last spent much time above timberline. With the cool, clear air, high viewpoints and seemingly endless vistas itís kind of magical up there. Even crusty old Elmer Keith felt it and waxed poetic about the high country.

    ďHave you ever seen a mature bighorn ram silhouetted on the sky line of his rugged domain? If so, then you know that no word picture can ever quite do him justice. Ranging at or above timberline, no other animal so typifies, or is so symbolic of, the rugged grandeur of the lofty snow-covered peaks, beautiful glacier-fed lakes and alpine meadows of the Rocky Mountain chain. Some of the wildest, roughest and most beautiful country that God ever made.Ē

    I put in many hours of glassing with Swarovski binos and spotting scope but still only saw four other hunters off in the distance the entire trip. Good optics including a spotter are essential. I actually glassed sheep virtually every morning and/or evening, finding them anywhere from the timber way down below the cliffs to the very tops of the peaks and ridges. Of course, every last one of them was a ewe, lamb or juvenile; I never did see a mature ram the whole time. So now I know where not to go. Didn't get any good pics of game since I couldn't use my digital camera in conjunction with the optics. Otherwise it only has 6x actual magnification...everything above that (up to 48x) it just plays with the pixels.

    Mostly below me there were tons of wapiti full in the rut everywhere I went, including a 5-point and his harem way the hell up on South Twin Peak just below the communication site at about 10,000 feet one morning. One night with a good moon I slept atop a knife ridge and had bulls bugling away on either side of me most of the night. I saw some mountain goats most days as well, from loners up to one bunch of nine, but I only saw one or two stray mulies per day up that high. The only grizzly I saw was better than two miles away and at least 2,000 feet below me on Rock Creek. I never even saw any fresh grizzly sign up high; they all seemed to be down low in the main creek bottoms going after the berries and chokecherries. I still stuck with all the Bear Aware practices to avoid meeting one. Other than learning the country much better and finding out where the rams were not, I did recall some old and/or re-learn a few new mountain hunting lessons.


    1. A Forest Service road listed as a ďDirt Road Suitable For Passenger CarsĒ actually requires a high-clearance, armored and fully-tracked ďpassenger carĒ along the lines of an M113 Armored Personnel Carrier. I bottomed out my F-150ís work duty suspension and hit the frame on more than one occasion and Iím pretty sure I was throwing up a good bow wave with my bumper in one particular mudhole. I used the granny low side of the transmission both up and downhill just to keep my pace down to a slow enough crawl that I didnít rattle the fillings out of my teeth bouncing over the rocks and ruts. A saw and a tow chain came in handy on a couple of particularly big blow-downs blocking the road after a strong thunderstorm went through the area just prior to season.
    2. Good boots are priceless: They were rather heavy, since they say one pound on the foot equals four pounds in the pack, but I did good with some seemingly indestructible all-leather Austrian Army surplus mountain troop (Gebirgsjaeger) boots.
    3. Slow and Steady. I learned a long time ago to sidehill back and forth up steep slopes and to proceed slowly and with short steps, just so long as you keep on putting one foot in front of the other. And itís often better to take the long way around the head of a drainage following the contour lines than lose and regain all that altitude dropping down to cross it. Once you gain the top of a ridge stay with it as long as you can.
    4. Walking stick(s)/Trekking Pole(s): I donít know how I managed to ever get along without these for the first forty years. I think they reduce fatigue a great deal simply by helping you keep your balance. And my wife used hers as a dandy bipod when she filled her ewe tag over by Anaconda about ten years back.
    5. Never miss a chance to fill your water bottles whenever you come across any water source. They are few and far between up high and it kind of sucks if you have to drop down and give up more than a thousand feet of elevation just to get water. It can be a real balancing act when it comes to carrying enough water without adding too much weight. I wound up lugging a gallon in three containersÖthatís 8 pounds worth of H2O in case you were wondering. I carry an old folding handle USGI canteen cup, too; it comes in handy for dipping out of tiny rivulets too small to submerge a water bottle in. I brought powdered Gatorade mix and drank one quart of that for every two quarts of water. On one scouting trip I got water from a big snowbank tucked into a hollow high on a north-facing slopeÖten days later while I was hunting it was all gone. On another scout I filled water bottles directly from a beautiful tiny spring in a small meadow at the edge of the whitebark pines; a week later, it was one big muddy reeking elk wallow that plugged my filter.

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    Never miss a chance to get water.

    Itís colder than you think. On average, you lose 3-5 degrees of air temperature for every thousand feet in elevation gain. In very dry air, and we often have extremely low humidity in August and September, the temperature can drop as much as one degree for every 150 feet of elevation gain. When you get up to elevations approaching 10,000 feet, on a bright, sunny day the air temperature in the sun versus the air temperature in the shade can vary by as much as forty degrees. The clear air up high undergoes both rapid heating and cooling; as soon as the sun dips down behind a peak to the west, one immediately feels the heat loss. Winds are common in the mountains as well, adding the effect of wind chill. I always carry a Gore-Tex jacket in my fanny pack. When you stop hiking and start glassing on some high point, the wind may get to you quickly. In such cases I don the Gore-Tex mainly as a windproof layer as well as a shell to hold in body heat. In some cases, if itís warm and youíve worked up a good sweat hiking in, itís worth the effort to strip down and change into a fresh, dry base layer. I usually use Under Armor as a base layer. Despite the very good weather, on some exposed points in the evenings I had to add a vest, stocking cap and wool gloves.

    Sunscreen and chapstick are two other good items to have, and maybe a hat with a broad brim. I live at 5,500 feet and am out in the sun all summer and I still got some sunburn on my face and arms.
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    Pack light; freeze at night.


    I have to put back in a drawing for a limited bighorn district next year or lose all those valuable bonus points which have yet to do me any good but I plan on doing the #300 unlimited again in 2020, the Good Lord willing and the creek donít rise. I will, however, be doing many, many more pre-season conditioning hikes prior to the next go-round. The better shape youíre in, the more youíll enjoy it.
    "The most terrifying sound in nature is not the roar of a charging lion nor the whistle of a descending bomb; rather it is a click when you expected a bang"- Peter Hathaway Capstick

  6. #606

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    Great write up Cav1!

  7. #607
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    MT —> AZ
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    Good write up and x2 on the chapstick/sunscreen.
    I didnít intentionally bring chapstick but discovered I had some on my bino harness. Thank God.
    The wind, sun and low humidity will crack your lips until they bleed, and even with my far greater than 1/1024 native ancestry, the back of neck and ears will burn at that elevation until I look like a molting lizard.
    Last edited by MTGomer; 10-19-2018 at 10:10 AM.
    ďTo me, if you donít eat it, then itís not a point of prideĒ. -Matt Rinella

  8. #608
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Somewhere in the basalt rocks
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    5,392

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    Good write up and x2 on the chapstick/sunscreen.
    I didn’t intentionally bring chapstick but discovered I had some on my bino harness. Thank God.
    Two of the most unmentioned necessities there are for alpine hunting, IMO.
    Fear the beard....

  9. #609
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    "Land of Giant Rams"
    Posts
    5,516

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    Great run down Cav. +1 on never miss a chance to get water. Like the "pack light, freeze at night" line as well!
    Wood is Good treefarmsystem.org

  10. #610
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    MT —> AZ
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    Only one more to go and all districts will be closed.
    ďTo me, if you donít eat it, then itís not a point of prideĒ. -Matt Rinella

  11. #611

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    Great writup Cav. You should read the regs on Bonus points they changed the wording a couple times in the last couple years. I do not think you need to apply to keep them anymore.

  12. #612

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    2018 was certainly a successful unlimited season with 3 of the 5 units hitting the 2 sheep quota limit. Can't wait to see what 2019 brings! ~10 months out

  13. #613
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Chugiak, AK
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    5,131

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    Quote Originally Posted by high_rise_hunter View Post
    2018 was certainly a successful unlimited season with 3 of the 5 units hitting the 2 sheep quota limit. Can't wait to see what 2019 brings! ~10 months out
    How many hunters in each? 100? I guess its better than not sheep hunting.

    I can't wait to print off my "UL" sheep tag. Only 8 months out before wheels up.
    "No Kuiu here"

  14. #614

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bambistew View Post
    How many hunters in each? 100? I guess its better than not sheep hunting.

    I can't wait to print off my "UL" sheep tag. Only 8 months out before wheels up.
    No idea on actual numbers of hunters for each district but I would speculate long term success rates are around 2%...at best

  15. #615

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    I was surprised to see there were only 77 people who got tags for District 300 last year and it looks that was the highest number for any of the ULs; I thought there used to be well over a hundred people per district. Not that I'm complaining about less competition! Two rams divided by 77 hunters=0.026. Still better odds than drawing any Special Tag, at least going by my success rate of 0%.

    With the change in the regs on the bonus points I think I will hunt #300 again next year. I honestly expected this first year to be little more than building the base of a learning curve that might eventually lead to success after multiple seasons. Definitely going to get in better shape and do more scouting this go-round.
    "The most terrifying sound in nature is not the roar of a charging lion nor the whistle of a descending bomb; rather it is a click when you expected a bang"- Peter Hathaway Capstick

  16. #616

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    Quote Originally Posted by high_rise_hunter View Post
    No idea on actual numbers of hunters for each district but I would speculate long term success rates are around 2%...at best
    2% always seems pretty low, but there are elk units here in Washington with consistently lower success rates and I know people who continually hit the same ones year after year!

  17. #617
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Hickory NC
    Posts
    147

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    I would like to wish everyone on this forum a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and I hope 2019 will be your Best year ever. Thanks for all the help and advice. Thanks C BOW
    Aim Small Miss Small

  18. Default

    You too c bow.....
    Ain't doing half bad for a half full glass - Drake White

  19. #619

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    Hello all. great thread and great pics
    Sorry if this has been covered and iíve missed it but can you draw the unlimited sheep units as a second choice and not burn your points???

  20. #620

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    ^I could be mistaken, but since it's unlimited, I don't think you have to burn your points.
    "The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir

  21. #621
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    "Land of Giant Rams"
    Posts
    5,516

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    Quote Originally Posted by mariano742 View Post
    Hello all. great thread and great pics
    Sorry if this has been covered and iíve missed it but can you draw the unlimited sheep units as a second choice and not burn your points???
    First choice only, but don't have to burn your points.
    Wood is Good treefarmsystem.org

  22. Default

    Bighorn is correct, you have too apply first choice and no you don't have to "play" your points. Good Luck, it's a fun game
    Ain't doing half bad for a half full glass - Drake White

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