WARN Outdoors: Scouting for hunting sesason
Written: August 08, 2011
Time to get out in the brush where you will be hunting this fall and do some scouting, put up those trail cameras, and cut your easy access trails.
I'm Pat Meiwes, the NW Sales Manager for Warn Industries. Not only do I have a passion for off roading, but my favorite pastime is hunting. I am an avid archery hunter and at least 3-4 times a year I head to Eastern Oregon for some preseason scouting, to put up my trail cameras, and check to see what the animals are doing or if the terrain has changed.
Here in the Northwest, you never know what you may encounter out in the backcountry, and not having the right equipment along can make a trip a nightmare. The weather can change in a heartbeat: the temperature can drop instantly, and Mother Nature could dump snow or rain on you while you are out. When I head out to remote scouting areas, I make sure to "GO PREPARED" so I don't get stranded, and if I do get stuck, I can get out. Here is a list of the equipment I take when I go scouting:
WARN Cordless PullzAll: This portable 1,000 lbs pulling and lifting tool can be very useful in the back country. I never got a chance to use mine this trip but I have in the past. Will sure be using it this fall to lift any animals harvested for processing.
WARN 9.5xp winch (mounted on a Jeep Wrangler JK): Great winch for pulling yourself out or someone else when stuck. Used it a few times to remove trees blocking the road or cutting firewood for camp.
WARN 19,000 lb. snatch block, Tree Trunk Protector, D-ring shackles, 30' recovery strap.
Summit Viper Tree Stand
Lica Geovoid 10x42 Rangefinder / Binocular combo
Cuddyback Trail Cam
Bushnell Trial Cam
Stealth Trail Cam
My first scouting trip was in mid June; I headed to a favorite spot in Eastern Oregon to put up my trail cameras. My hunting party had success in this location in 2010, so I was eager to go back and put up my trail cameras. I had a trail camera stolen last season, so the cameras are going way up in the trees this year.
The next trip was over July 4th weekend, and the weather was perfect! First things first on this trip: Cut a new trail into an area where the elk wallow and travel through, as well as check one of my trail cameras in that area. Cutting a path will allow the elk easy access to water as well as provide us with a way to get in quietly and nearly undetected. I checked the camera for pictures to see what animals walked thru the area. To my disappointment, there were not many pictures. A few nice bucks showed up but no elk; that's OK, as it's still early. I put the camera back up and will check it again before the season starts. So back to cutting a trail and opening up some wallows. When finished, it was off to the next location.
This next area was at an elevation of about 6,500 feet, and there were snow drifts between 3 and 4 feet in shady spots. My brother has a stock Jeep JK Rubicon and got himself stuck in one of the snow drifts! Luckily, I was able to pull him out with my WARN 9.5xp winch
Now time to check camera (Tie Road Wallows location). For the 2010 season, my camera captured 2,800 pictures of 8 branch bulls and about 50 cows traveling through the area. I figured 2011 would be no different. Mother Nature had knocked down several big trees that needed to be cut with the chainsaw and moved out of the way first. When I was finally able to check on my camera, it was just as I figured: elk. Not quite as many as 2010, but I got some pictures of a cow and small bull. I know there are more there based on the tracks left on the trail. I cleared the pictures from the memory card and put the camera back up to be checked on later in August.
On to an area called the Amigo Ridge, where I put a third camera. I have seen some very nice bulls and several very nice mule deer bucks here. On the way in to put up my new camera, we saw two very nice 4 pts mule deer bucks, wide and tall, and knew once they shed the velvet from their horns, there was a good chance I might get a shot at one of them. The cameras will tell for sure.
Opening day cannot get here any sooner, and I am very excited for the upcoming season. I'll be heading back one more time to check on my cameras. Stay tuned for the results.
Filed under: Universal