Monday, December 9, 2013

Trip Report: Sundown Forest Deer Hunt 12/5/13 – 12/8/13

I’ve been trying to get out as often as I can this past few weeks, before the season runs out. I just did another four day trip in the same area as before, with equal lack of success. I am not going to bore you with another detailed trip report, as it will be too similar to the last one I did. In broad strikes, I spent the first day walking into the forest, approximately seven or eight miles.

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The major difference between this trip and the one you saw on the last trip report was the temperature. This time around it was quite a bit lower, at around 18F(-8C). As you can see in the picture, on part of the hike in I was wearing my Patagonia Nano Puff in addition to my fleece.

When I reached the area I wanted, I set up camp. I used the same camp the whole time I was there, walking back and forth to the areas I was hunting.


The only difference in the equipment I carried on this trip as compared to the last one was a thicker jacket; my Eddy Bauer First Ascent Peak XV. Ordinarily I would not carry such a thick jacket in temperatures like these, but there was a lot of sitting around for hours at a time, which required the additional insulation.


After a few days with no results, I spent the fourth day making my way out of the forest.


That’s pretty much the end of an unsuccessful season. I saw a few does this time around, and I had hoped that they would be followed by a buck, but it didn’t happen, probably because it was too late in the season. There are antler restrictions in this area, so I couldn’t take a shot.

I was fairly happy with my backpack arrangement. At first I was looking for a more modular pack, so that I could go in with a smaller pack, containing just my gear, and then if I had to carry out a deer, to expand the pack to accommodate the extra volume. I decided to wait on the pack, and just use my Gregory Palisade 80. My worry of course was that even though the pack is large enough, and has a good enough frame to carry out a deboned deer, it would be empty on the way in. The solution was pretty simple. I just left my sleeping bag and jacket uncompressed, so they filled the pack on the way in. When compressed, the pack is left half empty. Obviously all this wasn’t an issue this season. The rest of my backpacking gear has been tested over many years, and worked fine. As far as the few hunting items I had with me, it is hard to say much about their performance considering that I was not successful.

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