Been binge watching a lot of hunts. And got curious about the badass bowsiter stories. What's the most "extreme" hunt you guys have been on? Extreme can be any definition you see it as just want to read some hardcore stories from hardcore dudes.
I might have said my Dall sheep hunt, but Rock beat me there!
Extreme, yes. But I was lucky and had horses!
I did some hunting while I lived in Peru that was pretty extreme. Went deer and viscacha hunting in the Andes hiking several thousands of feet up starting from around 14,000' and topping out at over 17,000'.
I've been on two AK archery Dall Sheep hunts. One in 2010 and the other 2014. These are Oct hunts hiking in by foot 19 plus miles. The weather can be brutal and very cold. Loved both hunts but never got to launch an arrow. Hopefully get to do it again sometime in the near future. I've been on two mountain goats hunts one in BC and one in WY. They weren't bad.
NM Ibex. Spent all 15 days of the archery season in 2015 climbing and chasing them in some of the most vertical and inhospitable terrain I have ever been in. (including Sheep and Mtn goat hunts) They miss NOTHING. The success rate with archery gear is below two percent. I was hoping to be a two percenter-didn't pan out. Fun to think about it now but at the time it was "extreme"
I want crab hunting on the beach once. No not those kinds crabs, get your mind out of the gutter. One bout pinched my finger off, lol. No extreme hunting for me other than the one time one of my hunting buddies was lost in Colorado. We had to activate search and rescue, even then it was kind of a yawner as I wasn’t too worried about him.
Wild boar hunt in Hawaii. Hunted it with chasing dogs and a knife in the old Polynesian style. Certainly no extreme weather or anything to deal with but it was one of the most exciting hunts I’ve been on...
I arrowed a BC boar grizzly at 13 yards broadside that spun around and in three bounds was in the opening I was in, bounding past at two short yards from me. His head looking like a bushel basket. With that, the sow he was tending was looking around like where-the-heck did he go? A bit of yelling and she disappeared into the timber. It took several days for the adrenalin to finally subside afterward. It was the culmination of over 60 days of archery grizzly hunting and as extreme as I want.
Two other super extreme experiences also involved grizzlies and were sited up Alaska on archery moose/caribou hunts. In the Brooks Range, soon after going to sleep, I was awakened by a grizzly sniffing the tent........inches from my head. About a half-a-life-time later, he left.
Five years later up on the North Slope we got visited by a sow and cub grizzly at mid-night. They'd been feeding on a dead caribou (not ours) about 150 yards away when we went to bed two hours earlier. Again, I had a grizzly (or maybe two) sniffing the tent inches from my head.......at least we knew they were well fed! Certainly unnerving to say the least, and it was good to hear them splashing away in the river. Extreme enough for me!!!!
Caribou hunt.Drove the Haul Road up to Happy Valley. Mike McCrary flew myself and a friend onto the North Slope of the Brooks Range. I prefer to hunt but my buddy Alan prefers to float.
So we packed a collapsible canoe and were dropped off up high on the north branch of the Canning River. We flew downstream before we landed as we were concerned about enough flow for our float out. Our scouting flight revealed border line flow , but hey , we had gone thru all the trouble to get there ..... thought we’d give it a try.
Two days in we were struggling ...... capsizing every few hundred yards. Too many rocks and not enough water. So we portaged back to our landing site.
Found 2 caribou up with the sheep and a snow pushed them down passed us. So, we filled our tags.
Snow delayed our pick up , I think we spent an extra 4 days. We were the last hunters Mike flew that season. Our adventure ended with a drive over Atigun Pass in a snow storm.
Free range red stag in Australia, unguided, tent camping in the outback with two friends. It was really hot, terrain was near vertical in many places, roller rocks underfoot constantly - like hunting in roller skates on a ski slope, deadly poisonous snakes and spiders and scorpions everywhere.
But it was fun and I killed a great mature stag with my recurve, then got the hell out before something bit and killed me.
"Brad that type of weather is almost an everyday occurrence in WY during the winter."
YUP! But my first thought was "ONLY" 30 MPH crosswind? Musta been a calm day. I worked on a ranch NW of Laramie in the 70's and that kind of weather was just another "day at the office". We fed cattle, chopped the ice out of stocktanks, pulled calves, cleaned the afterbirth out of the calving sheds, fed the cattle again and then ate supper and went to bed.......repeat as necessary.
The only good thing about that time of year was that we didn't have to get on a horse to do it too often. Most of it could be done with a pickup truck or a tractor.
If we're talking about the 'old days' and weather, back in the 70s in N Minnesota, we didnt have running water until 1970, winter temps 40-50 below 0. Had cattle and horses to feed and FEET of snow to go thru.
It was so cold, you had to keep backing up when you took a piss outside
I've done extreme sheep hunts. I've done extreme goat hunts, but nothing rivaled my Ak Brown Bear hunt with Roy Roth in 100+ inches of snow...Nothing. I tore my ACL, tore my miniscus and broke my tibia. Killed my bear on one leg and while getting flown out, had to lean out the window of the super cub by my waist with the outfitter holding onto my belt while I tried to push down a broken ski with a ski pole.
Wow, Warren ( Hullheaver) had no idea you did the NM Ibex...bucket lister, Awesome!! Me, 2017 BC moose/ Goat hunt , weathered in for last 6 days after filling goat tag, ate the goat!! Yah the whole goat, its was all we had and it was delish!! Lol
Woods walker.....love your post! I grew up in Wyo so can appreciate the photo!
I'm super fortunate to have a BIL in Alaska that I've been on a number of wild "self-guided" sheep and goat trips. Our first sheep trip was epic. Crossing a raging glaciated stream to access sheep in cliff country in snow/ice above a glacier...then rafting 25 miles down class four rapids on the voyage out. Several near-death situations that made the trip that much more memorable! My first goat hunt was a wild boat ride in 10-12' waves to goat country. Hiking 2 miles through jungle-devil's club to alpine goat country. Using a gps to find our way through the misty jungle with 50 yard visibility back to the boat. It's tough to get much more remote or wilder than Alaska. My wife thinks I have 10+ lives from the stories I tell when I return from different adventures! You only live once!
Ive been in some tough situations beaver trapping and waterfowling. Took a swim in Minnesota when the temp was 15 degrees, four hours later when at the launch it was -15. We got caught in an predicted storm out on a reservoir. I had my water trapping gear and found a full sheet of plywood from the shore , bailed our sunk boat on the windward side. Thought we could wait it out . 16 foot modified V Jon with an 8 hp motor, 6 foot waves. Put 1000 lbs of ice on the boat and blind.
Nearly went down with my pickup on a MN lake , when the ice opened up in -25 temps.
My 6 trips per year out to Point Hope for work are often times hairier than any hunt. We landed sideways on an icy runway in a blizzard last week and almost rolled the plane. I bite more nails getting to work than I do going hunting.
I’ve had some great hunts but probably my 1989 Brooks Range float trip with Pat. The reason it was the most “extreme” was because we knew “nothing” and made believe we did. We were out in the Bush alone for two weeks with many experiences that could have turned out badly. “Take a trip of a lifetime every year” It’s later than you think!
Ucsdryder, it was a great and fun hunt but it was over way to fast. Hiked from around 6 the first morning to 11 that night (20 hours of daylight in July) woke up next day with 21 Rams on the next mountain. Guide talked me out of chasing them as he said we would find more and bigger ones farther in, which we did. Gave up on first stalk the first evening of the first full hunting day at around 10:30 pm figuring to be back after him around 4:30 next morning. Hunting partner and his guide got into camp around 4 am with that Ram in there packs. Missed a good one on a rushed shot that afternoon near camp then killed him the next day 3 mountains away. It was a great experience.
Mostly bow hunt big game in Colorado so, my Mt. Goat hunt at 12,000 ft in 2001. Hiked up an avalanche shoot and gained almost 2000 ft in elevation within 1/4 mile. Spike camped at timberline and killed him the next day. The hike back down with camp and goat parts on my back, accounted for the majority of the "Extreme" Hunt. I still have a sore knee from that hike down.
Another one comes to mind here in Colorado. I used a predator call to entice a bear to within bow range. Early morning, every stump and dark clump looked like a bear. As I called and swiveled my head back and forth keeping an eye open for the real deal, a bear shows. He had me on his breakfast menu. A 25 yards shot but him on mine.
Pretty lame compared to some of these but mine was a fly in Caribou hunt. Things went relatively well until we switched camps, during the flight we had to emergency land due to fog and spent the night in an old abandon caribou camp. The problem was we only had the clothes on our back and our bows/guns, everything else was left behind to be flown to us later. We found a deck of cards and made the best of it. We woke up the next morning to beautiful blue sky.
Probably this years Elk hunt on a left knee that should have been replaced 2 years ago. By far the most pain over a long drawn out period I've ever experienced. (And I'm still hunting on it till Feb. 28th)
Mine was an Idaho high mountain elk hunt. Treacherous territory. We spotted a 300+ bull up on a crock cliff. The only way to him was to climb a damn near shear bluff for 200-300' to get to him. The things we do..
With wind chill, it was minus 103 on a polar bear bowhunt......and lost my footing on a mountain goat bowhunt and caught a tree root about five feet from the edge of a six hundred foot vertical cliff. My profanity is probably STILL echoing......
It got really cold one time while hunting at the farm. Real quick like it started snowing and blowing.
It was a half mile walk back to the cabin. I got there and it was only 50 degrees inside because the propane 40lb bottle had run out. I had to go back outside to hook up another bottle. Had to unscrew and screw without gloves on!
Then when I got back inside, I realized I had to go back out to fire up the generator to heat my soup with the microwave.
Had an exhaust manifold break on a float plane while flying back from a moose hunt in Alaska. It pulled the heater hoses loose and filled the cockpit up with fumes. The pilot passed out, so I had to make an emergency landing on the river. Fortunately, we were able to radio in to a friend and have him fly replacement parts in and we were able to make it back to Fairbanks shortly after dark.
Everything is true...except the part about the pilot passing out and me landing the plane, but it makes for a better story this way ;-)
Even though I said a brown bear hunt which was a 100 miles inland where I did about fifty miles on snowshoes it is probably not where I was closest to death.
The near death experience was on a sheep hunt in Alaska. Based on information from a wildlife biologist my partners and I kept moving northeast for over twenty miles until we found a giant canyon with several full curl rams. The plan was a simple where one member would go solo up a spine to a beautiful ram that looked to be at least 38 inches and the other to go further up the canyon towards a band of five very nice rams. Detailed instructions were given to the solo member to try to shoot a ram and wait for myself and the third member of the party at the juncture of a thin finger ridge where it met at the bottom with the creek. Very clear instructions were given to absolutely wait until we returned. This was my second sheep hunt so the plan was to give the other guys the first opportunities.
This was around the eighth of September and the weather forecast was nothing but blue skies so off I went with the other hunter up the canyon. After about a mile we saw five rams with four being legal rams. I got the guy into position but the shot was at about 400 yards at a very acute angle. I told him to hold dead on but after he emptied his gun and no hits only one ram remained. I was pissed and shot the ram out of frustration. This was over thirty years ago and long before range finders and much of the common knowledge of effects of shooting at steep angles. The ram ended up literally rolling to the bottom within fifty yards of where we stood. A quick series of pictures and we started to skin the ram. It seemed like as soon as I put the knife to begin skinning the sky darkened and the snow started pouring giant snowflakes at an alarming rate.
Sheep deboned and loaded on the two packs we headed back down the canyon. Once we made it to the link up point we took off the packs and waited for the lone hunter but after two hours, blinding snowstorm, and darkness approaching we decided that we must depart. Coming out of the canyon we had to crossover a very narrow rocky pass into the next drainage. By this time it was dark and over a foot of snow had fallen and I had to tell my companion that I am certain that we are at the point that we need to cross but the risk was to great to forge ahead on slippery rocks covered in snow in the dark. The decision was made that we would spend the night on the mountain. We decided that we would not risk going to sleep and sit it out until morning.
Fortunately we had very good gear for the time period of polypropylene base layers, wool pants and shirt, down parkas, and new fangeled rain gear made of goretex. After a long night of exercise, nodding on and off, and waking with a shudder that if we fell asleep again we may freeze to death the rising morning sun was an overwhelming sign that we would make it off the mountain. It was an easy trek to base camp where we found our other member snuggled up in the other guys sleeping bag. With a loud get the hell out of my bag and a kick to the head I literally had to hold my partner off of the guy who failed to wait for us in the agreed upon manner. As we walked out when we took a break the member that committed the unforgivable act of not waiting would set in silence at a safe distance.
This same weekend in Wyoming three backpackers froze to death in a very similar circumstance.
First one that comes back to me is an archery call hunt during Aug in the Liard Mts. Young guide, kinda green, and I backpack and committed to doing a 40 miler to the other end as there was a food cache half way. We were lo w on food. We stayed in a 4 man 3 season tent, Alpine I think. Stayed in the tent during a 3 day blizzard all the time thinking the tent was going to rip open. 4th day when the blizzard passed we decided to head down off of the knife edge top. This point the guide said he would be unable to find the cache which did not make a difference because we could no longer travel on the ridge line, (Laird are a sharp long knife ridge Mtn). Snow was thigh to navel deep and the decent was steep. Luckily we avoided a frozen stream that the guide wanted to follow as it led to a frozen water fall. Made camp on the bottom with tooth paste for food. Following day we started back towards our original camp on another man that we would have to climb and then descend a trail we could barely find in 75 degree weather. As we are hiking the outfitter flys directly over us. I mean it was sunny and our snow trail could be seen from the space station but does not see me waving a red sleeping pad. Oh well, we climb the mountain and a chopper finds us the next day. Was a guaranteed shot hunt but the outfitter did not seemed to want to provide another hunt. That is what karma is for, as he was using a borrowed plane that while taxiing tipped in the snow and the prop hit the ground.
Alaska DIY goat hunt when it was still legal for a non resident. 4 WY guys 25-30 yrs old and full of a lust for an new adventure. Killed 4 goats, 2black bears and dam near each one of us. We all swore we would never do it again. We all got scared shitless with the cliffs and weather. I must love adventure because I still do high country hunts any time I can. If it was still legal to do it DIY I would have gone back several times by now.