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Thread: Warning on carrying rifle in pack

  1. #1

    Default Warning on carrying rifle in pack

    Well my partner and I just got back from another successful sheep hunt. Had a great time. He shot his ram at 9:30 at night on the 10th. We ended up deciding to "go around" the mountain than go back up the way we came. Well it was raining/snowing as we caped and butchered. Once we got it all packed up, we began our trek to our camp. With head lamps on we proceeded around the mountain. A long story short, we ran into 3 gorges we didn't realize were there. We ended up crawling, tripping, falling, through some of the nastiest alder/willow patches I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. We finally "found" camp (we hadn't set up the tent yet as we took off after the ram) at around 2 am. We were soaking wet and it was still raining. We got the tent up and into our bags and I told my buddy that we should probably have a rifle in hand with the meat right by. I told him to grab my rifle out of my pack. He got out of the tent and said it wasn't there. I didn't think I had taken it out when removing the meat, but wasn't sure (it was a long NIGHT!) So the next morning we get up and sure enough, the rifle had fallen out "somewhere" along the side of the mountain! After eating some breakfast, we "tried" finding our trail that we came through on the during the night! After surveying the side of the mountain, we figured that we must have followed right along the bottom edge as about 50 feet lower we would have been in the open (way it works). So we spread out and started looking for broken branches and a possible route that we had taken. I ended up on an open hill and just stared into the hell of a jungle that we came through. I was extremely doubtful that we would find the rifle. I have no problem walking away from the rifle, but it was the rifle that my daughters have killed all their game with and had more sentimental value to me that monetary. My partner was walking/crawling through the thickest part of the forest as he saw a couple of broken branches and looked up and there was a silver barrel sticking up! He yelled at me that he had found it! I said no way! He asked if I had a rifle with a "custom" stock (my tikka has a home job of fiberglassing done on a broken part of it)! After a couple of whoops of joy, we had the rifle secured!

    Moral of story is not the trust the rifle holder in the pack. I use a barney's pack and see that there is a little black plastic square sewed on near the top of the bag and for now on, mine will have an extra strap through that and through my sling to prevent this from happening again.

  2. #2
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Smile

    Mike glad to hear you had a successful hunt and managed to find your rifle after a night like that!

  3. #3
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    I've heard stories like this before. Very scary. At least you got your sheep and found your rifle. Amazing. It would have been much worse to see the sheep and be in range only to find it missing! I use a Barney's pack as well. I make sure to tighten everything down along the sleeve that it goes through, the holder on the stock end, and the strap up on the barrel. I also reach back every so often and feel for the rifle.

    When hunting Montague last year (in really thick stuff), I was too nervous to keep my rifle in the pack holder. I was nervous of losing the rifle and not having it in time to shoot a sheep, or worse a bear. I ended up carrying it the entire time. At this point, I think I'm going to start looking into another way to easily carry a rifle where it won't fall off and will be easier to get at.

  4. #4
    Member Jeff Shannon's Avatar
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    A guy told me essentially the exact same story just last night. He lost his rifle in an alder tangle on the way up a mountain in the Wrangells and lucked out and found it on his way back down. I'm glad you had a successful hunt and didn't come home sans a rifle.

  5. #5

    Default Thanks guys

    It was one of those deals where you are cold, tired, and really don't care about much as you are trying to find camp. I remember that my buddy led for a bit and I know I had my rifle in my pack during that time as I got the barrel stuck up in an alder. That helped narrow the search as he only led for a short bit of time and it was in the last stretch to camp. Could have plugged a sheep as well, but just didn't feel like "trudging" back through hell to find one. Couldn't get to the usual spot as the canyon went from chest deep to over the head deep with all the current slamming you. I fought it for about 2 to 3 minutes trying to figure out a way through, but it eventually numbs you enough that you just have to retreat. I may have another "quickie" sheep hunt in me before the end of the year. Time will tell!

  6. #6
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    A few years ago I lost my keys in an alder hell on a boat-in trip and didn't realize it till I hit the dock back in Homer. Every key I owned was on that ring. I had to get my truck re-keyed to the tune of $400

  7. #7

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    My RULE is never ever, ever, ever, ever go back any way but the way you came. Even if it was HELL getting there, and you think anything has to be better, 90% of the time it is way worse........ We should also note that your rifle was "ON" the pack, and not "INSIDE" the pack. Congratulations on a great experience.

  8. #8
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Congrats on successful hunt, Mike. FYI, rain and more rain here, river very high this morn, could bring cabin cruiser up here. Go figure <grin>.

  9. #9
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    Default You are quite lucky

    Definately, congratulations on the sheep and finding your rifle. A friend of mine donated a Christian Arms custom built rifle to the mountain Gods a couple years back...cryin' shame. Either way, congrats on the sheep and the recovery!

  10. #10
    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Default Dang! I thought I was the only one

    Yep! It happened to me too. Dark, Raining and soaking wet, mostly thinking about getting my a%^%)%& back to camp, got to camp thinking wow my rifle didn't hang-up near about as much on the way down as it did on the way-up. That's about the time it hit me like 5 gallons of ice water...........
    Needless to say this was a solo hunt, flyin trip before the days of the Sat phone. Two bears and Two days later I was back in business.
    I still carry it in the pack, but you can bet it is tied or the sling is over my shoulder/pack frame.

  11. #11
    Member akcrewdog's Avatar
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    Wink Kifaru Gun Bearer....

    First of all congrats on your sheep and glad to hear you made it back with both sheep and rifle. Anyhow, I purchased the Kifaru Gun Bearer for my walk-in sheep hunt in the brooks. I figure we covered at least 50 miles in 7 days and the Gun Bearer was absolutely awesome! Its a two piece system that is designed to go on any pack and basically hang the gun on either side of you for easy and fast access. The lower portion for the butt stock hangs from your waistbelt on whichever side you prefer. The upper portion wraps around either shoulder strap and wraps around your rifle near the barrel and is fastened with a cam like clip. Not once on the whole trip did it come unfastened and it was always right there at my side for me to grab. I liked it also, because if i were to fall/trip my rifle would be the last thing that contacted the ground because i could protect it at my side. Its very lightwieght and not very expensive if i recall correctly. Don't have the website but im sure it can be found via Google. Anyhow, its what I use and you will never have the issue of dropping or loosing your rifle because its insite at all times. One thing i did forget to mention was that oddly enough it does not pull down on your waistbelt for an uncomfortable pack ride. That is once of course you get it adjusted properly to fit you and your pack. Hope the info helps.

  12. #12
    Member Trapak's Avatar
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    Mike, Great hunt with a great ending. Hope you get a sheep before you head for the moose. You are a blessed, along with your girls for where you live and what you get to do.

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