This was my first backpacking hunting trip.  We were backpacking in 5 miles to a mountain lake and joining Aron, Billy, and Kelly on this bear hunt.   This was the first time my son and I would be backpacking into the spot we would be hunting.  Having to carry everything I needed on my back was a new experience.  We plotted and planned every detail (or so we thought).  My pack was KIfaru DT3, Lane’s was Kifaru Pointman and Ryan’s was EMR 2.

Ryan had the most weight so he was moving a little slower than Lane and I.

We had to park further away from the trail head because of snow, so our pack-in distance was a little longer than we had planned.  The trail was pretty flat in the beginning but the further we went, the deeper the snow got.  The lake we had anticipated using for a water source was mostly frozen.  Ok, no water source except for melting snow.  Not optimal, but doable.

When we finally got up to where Aron, Billy, and Kelly were already set up (which was on the side of a mountain and pretty sketchy to get to) I was unimpressed.  I am deathly afraid of heights and I’m gonna be honest, I’m used to camping in a flat field by a river.  I don’t like mountain tops, and I don’t have a desire to ever go sheep or goat hunting because of this fact.  I have no need to prove I’m the biggest badass hunting chick,  so I was not loving this camp location.  But we were there now, and I had to #SITFU.

This is the area we camped the first night. It was not Tanya approved
Ryan and Kelly, glassing.

Aron and Billy were out hunting, and Kelly was glassing when we arrived, so we glassed a bit before the sun went down.   A little while later, Bully and Aon got back and Billy had shot a bear.  The snow was now working to our benefit because we were able to keep the bear cold until we were ready to leave.   Cooking took longer than I thought because melting the snow in Jetboil took FOREVER.   I like to drink coffee and I was seriously contemplating just eating the Starbuck’s instant coffee because it took so long to melt and heat snow.   It was really great catching up with Billy and Aron because we only get to see them once or maybe twice a year.

The next morning we decided to change camping locations (no, it wasn’t my idea), to a spot they saw with a creek.  This area was also much flatter and shaded.  On day two we started to come to the realization we had not brought nearly enough food to account for the growing teenage boy we brought with us.  We had planned for a 4-day trip, but on day two realized we were going to probably have to cut the trip short by a day.

Having no coffee in the morning is a surefire way to tangle yourself up in your bino harness.

Day 3: We got ready to leave, and the rest of the group also decided to go too.  We hiked out on a fabulous sunny day.  Aron took all of the bear Billy shot so he could put one his new packs to the test but the rest of us, unfortunately, packing out lighter, which is never what you want on a hunt.

More pics from this hunt posted on our Photo’s page.

Trip Takeaways:

  1. Take twice as much food as you think you will need if you are taking a teenager.
  2. Always bring a trusted water filter and purification tablets.  You may not always have access to the water source that you were planning to use.
  3. Bug spray, bug spray, bug spray, and SUNSCREEN. Oh yeah, a bivy if you have issues with bugs.
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