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  • Spending the night

    I have read 3 stories this season about folks getting hurt or almost getting hurt coming off the mountain in the dark just to make it back to camp. A guide died doing so after falling to his death. They killed a goat and decided to come down for the night and go back in the morning. IMHO it is much safer to pack what is needed to stay the night and descend well rested and in the daylight.

    I have in the past done this too, but the last few years have chosen to stay and come down the next day. Be safe folks, I still believe goat hunting is the most dangerous hunting there is. Two have died this year that I'm aware of, gravity kills and it only takes a instant for things to go bad.

    Be safe my friends.

    Steve
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"

  • #2
    Originally posted by stid2677 View Post
    I have read 3 stories this season about folks getting hurt or almost getting hurt coming off the mountain in the dark just to make it back to camp. A guide died doing so after falling to his death. They killed a goat and decided to come down for the night and go back in the morning. IMHO it is much safer to pack what is needed to stay the night and descend well rested and in the daylight.

    I have in the past done this too, but the last few years have chosen to stay and come down the next day. Be safe folks, I still believe goat hunting is the most dangerous hunting there is. Two have died this year that I'm aware of, gravity kills and it only takes a instant for things to go bad.

    Be safe my friends.

    Steve
    When I'm out hunting for the day I have the necessary accouterments to spend the night out.
    It's all just part of being prepared. I may not be as comfortable as in camp but at least I'll be warm, dry, and fed. I spent the night on a ridge in Arizona this year because I ran out of light while glassing for deer. No big deal.

    Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk

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    • #3
      Heading to Kodiak in a week with the youngest daughter to get her goat. I have already planned on staying 2 nights on the mountain if need be. No sense in killing yourself (no pun) and trying to get up to the goats, kill and butcher and head down in the same day. Good luck and stay safe to all..

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      • #4
        I think I told this story awhile back..... But I had drawn a permit for Kenai Mt. caribou. I fellow coworker at the time had drawn the same tag a few years back and had a good access point. It was to be a day hike for him to show me the area. I ended up killing a nice bull late, and by the time we had boned out the animal and headed down we ran out of daylight. We called home and told the wives that we might not make it home and not to worry. As we headed down the mountain fully loaded it became pretty apparent that it wasn't a good idea. Although we didn't have any gear (tent,sleeping bag) other than my buddy having a space blanket, we managed to find a semi flat area amongst the stunted hemlocks to lay down. I had a little extra clothes and was pretty warm from the pack out, so I fell asleep pretty quick. I woke up around 3 in the am getting a little chilled so I built a small fire and we both cuddled up around each side of it and went back to sleep for an hour or two more.

        The pic is from when we first got up from our overnight stay and I threw the pack on to head down again. Luckily we had good weather......

        Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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        • #5
          whoops stid...didnt see this thread. i just posted a thread pertaining (with a different angle) to this same incident a couple minutes ago. my bad...proly woulda left it alone had i seen this one. the recent incident and death must of had us both thinking. i cant see how any guy thats spent serious time on serious mountains could not feel the hit of news like this "close to home" so to speak. if you spend considerable time on rough mnts, theres a good chance you've had more than one close call with serious injury. its just odds...we've all been; one bad decision, one step, one gear inadequacy, or one bit of knowledge/experience inadequacy away from being that statistic that didnt make it off the hill alive.

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          • #6
            Yea Mr Zack, it did hit close to my heart, more so since it may have been prevented. I can think of 4 deaths off the top of my head. One guy out of Valdez last year. Marc Taylor's friend that was lost and fell near Homer and was missing a few days before they found him was the worst. A goat hunter died this year in Co, as well, another died near Old Harbor on Kodiak a few years ago too.

            We are never more alive than when we walk the razor's edge, but part of what makes it so exciting is also what makes it so dangerous.

            This one was tough.

            http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...-Goat-NOT-Good
            "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"

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            • #7
              I passed on my best chance ever for a Kenai mountains black bear because it was late and my wife was with me up high. Took a minute to decide until I thought about getting her hurt then it was easy to pass on.

              Know your personal limits is all I'm saying, you can try again tomorrow that way.

              Sorry to hear about this fella.


              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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              • #8
                I always travel and hunt prepared to stay the night. Thats where a good book comes in, hopefully before its fire starter or Toilet paper in an extended stay.....a paper back of some interesting sort can be worth its weight in passing time safely.
                If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.:topjob:

                "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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                • #9
                  Let's see. I have spent an icy night on a steep side hill rolled up against a tree root. Covered in sheep blood, alone and a brownie woofing in the dark. (when he got the cape, I don't know, I could swear I never fell asleep)
                  Spending the night in a tree on a moose hunt when a wolf pack started hunting the same bunch in the dark. They were attacking a moose and raising heII.
                  Spent the night alone in an alder choked draw with no food or shelter. I wasn't lost, yet.
                  There have been a couple of others less dramatic.

                  I made it home unscathed on all 3 hunts. Odds are that I would have been hurt if I continued. Hunting solo means you go as far as you feel like going. If it gets dicey. wait for daylight.

                  The book I had on the sheep hunt was "Death in the tall grass". Not the best choice for a relaxing evening. }:>
                  Live life and love it
                  Love life and live it

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                  • #10
                    On this years goat hunt we decided to leave the hide, head and 1/2 the meat on top of the mt. and came down a knife ridge 2mi in the dark and the fog. I had GPS points, yet I should have taken more on the way up. It was one of the smartest moves we could have made. with the fog shining off the head lamps, vis was only about 15ft. Slow and steady got us back to camp and even though the hike back up in the morning sucked it was well worth not having to come down in the dark with a heavy load. If i didn't have some GPS points to referance I never would have even tried getting back to camp that night.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mallardman View Post
                      On this years goat hunt we decided to leave the hide, head and 1/2 the meat on top of the mt. and came down a knife ridge 2mi in the dark and the fog. I had GPS points, yet I should have taken more on the way up. It was one of the smartest moves we could have made. with the fog shining off the head lamps, vis was only about 15ft. Slow and steady got us back to camp and even though the hike back up in the morning sucked it was well worth not having to come down in the dark with a heavy load. If i didn't have some GPS points to referance I never would hnave even tried getting back to camp that night.
                      +1 on cutting the load in half and opting for 2 safe trips vs's a single sketchy one.
                      I think about hunting when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day. And I think about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm doing it. ~credit to Carl Yastrzemski~

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                      • #12
                        Nothing like a good old fashioned siwash on the mountain. Anyone have any good siwash stories?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
                          Nothing like a good old fashioned siwash on the mountain. Anyone have any good siwash stories?
                          Best I got for this year, on a coues deer hunt in Arizona, is dope smugglers in the canyon below me, a DHS helicopter flying in the black, and Border Patrol Agents chasing the dopers in the dark.

                          Instead of grizzlies it was people that shoot back. At least every group of smugglers had two armed with fully automatic weapons.

                          [emoji2]

                          Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
                            Nothing like a good old fashioned siwash on the mountain. Anyone have any good siwash stories?
                            Here's a favorite from one of my favorite books: "Look to the Wilderness" by W. Douglas Burden. He writes the following account following his 1919 adventure with Henry Lucas, then guiding for Andy Simons on the Kenai Peninsula near Skilak Lake. The story is dated, but the experience is the same as many of us have done in similar circumstances. It will bring back memories. And a kind of sadness, really. Because for each of us, our days are running out. Our hunting companions are gone (or soon will be), and we are rich with the memories we shared, but they are only memories.

                            "'Siwash' is an Alaskan term meaning Indian and 'siwashing' is to camp the way the Indians do-- with nothing but rifle, fry pan, tea pail, salt, tea, and a little sourdough. Siwashing releases you from the necessity of returning to any fixed campsite. You are free to go where you please-- to move as the spirit moves you. You need only drop far enough from the summits to find wood for a campfire. Then in the morning you climb again and spend the day on top of the world. And of course, you have to live off the country.

                            But every night the contest begins anew, for the tougher you are the less fire you need. And as the protecting warmth dwindles with the dying embers and the chill enters your bones, you lie there pretending to be asleep and hoping the other man will rouse up to put on more wood.

                            Henry told me that when he was siwashing with the great guide Andy Simons, he became tired of keeping fire for him. So finally one night he got up very quietly and walked off over the dark mountainside for a quarter of a mile and built himself a new fire. He was just getting himself cozily fixed before a fine bright flame when Andy moved in and lay down without saying a word. After that, Henry admitted defeat just as I already had.

                            There was a wild roaring that filled the air. It came down to us from the summits. The wind struck in blasts and scattered the embers from the fire. It was cold, for the wind came directly off the great Kenai snow fields that stretched for a vast area along the divide.

                            Smoke and ashes whirled into our eyes. Henry cooked a bannock in the fry pan, a mess of sourdough with grease, water, and salt added to taste. He could not see what he was doing and it came out thoroughly charred-- but we ate it anyway, with our eyes closed against the smoke.

                            Now the rain came down in sheets. We had no blankets and no extra clothing. Henry said, 'Maybe fire go out.' He reached out to collect all the wood we had gathered and set it around on top of us under the canvas. It did not do much good because the canvas was so old it leaked.

                            Henry said, 'Siwashing no good tonight.'
                            I replied, 'No, no good.'
                            'Too bad,' he said, 'we lose bear.'
                            'Yes,' I said, 'I've been thinking about him. Do you think he will recover?'
                            'I don't know,' replied Henry, 'Bear plenty tough-- him headed straight down for glacier. Maybe try to cross.'

                            The canvas snapped in the gusts. Henry put more wood on the fire. Occasionally it flared up in spite of the rain and I could see Henry's lean, dark, sensitive face with quick-moving eyes looking into it. No matter what happened, Henry never complained. A good man, I thought.

                            By lying feet to head, there was just room for both of us under the canvas. For a long time I lay there, trying not to roll downhill. Then I took a stick of wood and wedged it in against me on the low side. For a while I slept. Then the storm lashed us with still greater fury. Our canvas strip formed an eddy that sucked the smoke in on top of us. Feeling suddenly choked, I jumped up and ran out into the rain to get some fresh air in my lungs. Henry came out too, even he could not stand it. Then, with hunting knife in hand, I dove back under the canvas and slit a hole in it near the bottom and stuck my head out into the rain. No, I thought, 'Siwashing no good tonight.'

                            Toward dawn the wind abated and I pulled my head in. Water had been trickling down my neck all night and I was soaked and cold, tired and stiff. I looked at Henry. He was curled up in a ball and there, tucked under one ear for a pillow, was our dingy little sack of salt. He was sleeping."
                            It amazes me that though this hunt took place nearly a hundred years ago, many of our experiences are the same today. We share the same mountains, we feel the same wind on our face, and we hunker near the same fires at night, as the cold seeks to steal our warmth away.

                            -Mike
                            Last edited by Michael Strahan; 11-13-2014, 21:43.
                            Michael Strahan
                            Site Owner
                            Alaska Hunt Consultant
                            1 (907) 229-4501

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
                              Nothing like a good old fashioned siwash on the mountain. Anyone have any good siwash stories?
                              http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...-the-White-Ram
                              "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"

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