Contributors to this thread:
2019 Elk - Mishaps/Failures/Losses
The 2019 is fresh behind us and so are the memories.
Post up some the gear failures, mishaps or things that you lost this year.
For me - I kept losing my good diaphragm reeds. Had to buy one in a small town to get thru the rest of the season.
I also lost a trekking pole from my daypack while I was on my atv. Glad I only carried one with me and had another one back at camp.
Other than that, the 20 days I spent in the elk woods went pretty good.
Stopping at dawn just breaking over the divide to the east, as we are sneaking into trail to set up but are on the edge of the timber with a spectacular red rose view, asking my buddy to hold my bow, taking off my glove which is keeping the lanyard for my not very cheap release on my wrist so I can take a photo with my phone to share on BS, then realizing 50 yards later that my release is no longer on my wrist.............glad I had my backup release.
Spent alot of time later that week mid day canvassing the area for my lost release but veg was high and green and thick....no luck.
3 weeks later another buddy found the release in the thick veg that had since died down. Huge relief.
Letting the panic of not easily finding my peep, that had twisted, as the Bull is cruising through my shot opening, forgetting to grunt to make him stop in the window, and failing to see the branch that deflected my shot. Cripes.......at least I successfully called him in and had him relaxed looking for that cow.
No real equipment failures for me this year. Got back into my deer area on a pack in trip and realized my right sole was barely hanging onto my boot on one side. Wasn't premature, they had plenty of miles on them. Just had me crossing my fingers the rest of the week that they would hold together. Should have given them a once-over before the trip.
Worst equipment failure I have ever had- I had a big 8x7 bull broadside and relaxed. After a brief moment of the shakes, I settled down with a steady pin on target and began the launch sequence. My release trigger traveled but the release did not let the arrow go. As I continued to pull on the string, I pulled my bow to the right and then it let go missing the entire bull (thankfully no bad hit). The herd exited stage left. I was pretty bummed. I had been in a heavy rain for a couple hours and the only thing I can think is there must have been some dust/dirt in the release which turned to goo when it got wet.
After driving over a thousand miles I noticed three lug nuts missing from my right front wheel while fueling up in Fort Collins Colorado. Got replacements just down the road and no harm done.
Blew a tire on my trailer on the way home while still on forest service road in Wyoming. Put on one of the two spares and back in action. Overall great season. My two brothers and I went three for three!
My favorite grunt tube is waiting for me to go back and retrieve it. I know right where I left it, just never made it back to that spot before season ended.
I didn’t lose anything that I know of yet but did find my brother in laws arrow he killed his bull with in 2010 lol
I did ok, only fell once...
Tonight as darkness fell on me, I dug out my headlamp.. push to turn it on... NOTHING... uggg.. just put fresh batteries in a week ago.. I was 1100 verticle ft and close a mile from my rig. My decent could have challenged Husain Bolt. But I hit the good trail just as I could no longer see at all..
Always carry a backup...
Svrelk, that sounds terrible. I carry extra batteries. A set of AA and AAA. They are lithium which are a lot lighter, last longer, and work better in cold weather. I hike out in the dark every day and hiking out without a headlamp is not an option. I also carry a petzl e light for emergencies. It’s basically weightless.
I typically do, just switched up packs and not everything made it... Glad I didn't kill tonight...
Cnelk ... you may have lost a trekking pole from your ATV, but i S em to remember you FINDING something while riding your ATV , ... a little bottle of something. So it all comes out even.
My only failures were pilot error this year. From Dots to socks, gear was good this year. Shooting ... it so much.
Six miles in, and they were toast!
Six miles in, and they were toast!
A little creative sandal-crafting got me home OK
A little creative sandal-crafting got me home OK
Wasn’t hunting when this happened, but the lesson applies....
These boots had only 4-5 days of wear on them from my last Elk trip, which was more years back than I enjoy thinking about. They had been stored outside in a shed for several years. I don’t know if it was the heat or the cold that killed them, but the foam midsoles let me know they were on their way out about 20 minutes into a dozen miles of steep & rocky on the AT.
I don’t think I lost anything but I did find an arrow and iron will broadhead softly lodged into an aspen at about 8’ high. Didn’t look like somebody had shot and missed. Looked like they jammed it into the tree and left it there as I could pull it out without much effort. Left it in the tree in case they were coming back. I’d hate to leave $40+ in a tree like that.
Always bring an air compressor sufficient to inflate a truck tire to 50# if needed from a completely flat condition without elevating the tire. Bring a GOOD tire plug kit. Have both on your atvs and truck. I DID NOT.
Thankfully my buddy had both. We were able to use 3 plugs to patch a hole in my truck tire made by a huge spike 7" long that somehow managed to embed it's entire length into my 35" 7 ply tire 1.5 hours from the nearest town. Although I had a spare it was a blessing to be able to stay in camp for 10 days with no worries.
Leaving camp I bought the best portable compressor and plug kit I could find and considered myself lucky. Discount Tire replaced the $400 tire for free with their road hazard warranty. Discount Tire now has that spike on the "Wall of Fame".
I lost my favorite Spyderco pocket knife the day I helped a buddy pack out his bull. I was convinced it was gone forever. 2 days after returning home, my buddy called to tell me he had found my knife while cleaning out his truck. WOOHOO!!
Left my Kifaru guide lid with my Space Rain jacket in it somewhere at the kill sight or where the atv was parked. Not discovered until after I got home. Dammit.
I lost all of my honey holes this year. I kept running into hunters in places I did not expect to see any. Their stock answer when I asked how you found this place was "gohunt app and google earth". Dammit, while I love technology it's screwing this old man out of his easy to hunt spots.
Lost serval diaphragms, but the biggest mishap I had is missing a nice 6pt bull at 30 yds broadside. Shot right over his back.
Apparent at some point my D-loop dropped down a bit it seems as when I got back to camp to shoot at a target my broadheads were way high of my fieldpoints.
Fixed that issue then spent 11 more days trying to get a shot that never came. Close to several other just no shot opportunities
I lost my entire season due to a bicycle crash in March, and the resulting separated shoulder. Still can't pull my bow back. I've started PT and should be good to go for next season!
No big issues this year. Only minor tweaks for next year will be to swap out 2 smaller TAG game bags for 2 larger bags. I want to be able to put all 4 qtrs in bags without deboning. The smaller bags are fine but you don't always have time nor want to debone right away. 2nd going back to my silnylon tarp for the kill kit vs the emergency blanket. Oh yeah last thing throwing in 1 of those paper thin cutting boards in the pack when I do want to debone on sight since I put another slice in my tarp.
Flying American Airlines and losing two days of hunting.
Easy- Left my trekking poles at the trailhead and headed back to WI. Also had the safety clip on my bear spray pop off so I left it in camp. Deboning and packing an elk out in the middle of the night was a little hairy to say the least without bear spray.
Front skid plate, and lower bumper cover, on my truck...but, it was worth it...I was able to drive right to my bull! :^D
Tore the running board off my truck day one. Otherwise it was all good! Ha!
Nvgoat I hope that release went into the campfire. Ouch.
I didn’t lose anything. And arrowed a decent 5x5. Was in an outfitter camp with another guy. His guide called in a five point that literally ran by the hunter at five feet away. The guide was about fifty yards behind the hunter. The bull stopped and the hunter took the shot. His arrow was deflected by a tree branch. The arrow came close to hitting the guide. I did not see it, but the guide and hunter told the story back in camp.
Yooper. Trent off born and raised outdoors leaves an arrow in a tree at his kill sights. Maybe you found his arrow, or the arrow of someone that idolizes him.
Not during an elk hunt. But first time intentionally calling a bear in with a primos rabbit squeal. I lost the call blood trailing. Feelsbadman
Link, the only leftovers around were empty mountain house packages and canned oysters.
I lost my arrow after a pass through shot on a moose... which sucks, because those aint cheap these days. and because build all my arrows from the bare shaft..
Rogbow, I have two of them, both old. Will be getting new ones soon. One of those times that you remember through your life.
All my gear seemed to work fine. Added the extra arrow grabber on my tight spot and that was a good addition.
Lost a leatherman on an OHV road and another bowsiter found it. What’s the chances!
Dirty D's Link
Drove 2100 miles from Ohio to Western Montana without any trouble. Afternoon of our second day we went to go check out another trailhead and my 2015 Chevy diesel wouldn't start. Hiked out and hitched a ride the next day. Winched and towed it out the day after which took 8 hours and $1200. Took 3 more days to get it running. Lost 5 days of hunting and $2500.
First mechanical issue in 18 or so years.
I didn't lose anything, but I’m embarrassed about my battery management this year (I'm also embarrassed about how much I rely on electronics in the field but that's for another thread). I hit my elk right at last light and the shot wasn't super. I ended up recovering him about 5-hours later and 3-miles from camp.
For light I was carrying a little Fenix flashlight, it's old and no longer has a low, medium, high feature. Now it's just full throttle all the time. I also had a regular Petzel headlamp (Actik) and one of the mini e-lite headlamps but no spare batteries for any of them in my pack, all back at camp. I was mainly relying on the high output Fenix for blood trailing but right at the end it started to stutter, and I knew it was about dead. Thankfully the Petzel ran all night long…
Once I found my bull, I pulled out my Garmin Rino to mark the location and noticed the battery level was at about 2% even though I thought I had charged it before leaving the house (getting old I guess). I also use my phone for a GPS and had about 6% battery which was totally dead after trying to get a text out and take a couple crummy nighttime pics of my bull. It’s like my body was sucking the juice out of everything I touched! It all worked out just fine but reminded me a feller better have his chit together unless he enjoys sleeping in the woods.
Full story at the link.
Stocking a Buck that I almost got turn out someone else shot him earlier in the morning and made a bad hit.
No shots fired for the elk or bear tags I had in Colorado or Wyoming.
Did have a couple of issues with gear.
My bowstring on my homemade longbow got cut somehow. About 1/2 way through and was very worried about when it would go. Didn’t have a backup string and was 7 1/2 hours from home. Lucky that was able to contact the step son and have him bring my box with spare strings and a backup bow ad meet halfway. No strings that fit my bow in the box so had to use the backup for the last few days.
Make sure to have backup strings for your bow or a backup bow. Especially on a big hunt far away from home.
Had lots of leaks around the windows of my new camper. Really sucked trying to fix it in the continuous wet snow. Hunting buddies helped work on it but ended up with a horrible mess that I hope I can clean up. And still leaking! Have caulk all over the trailer and skylights. Have spent a full day scraping and it really sucks. Will see how Goof Off Pro works. Losing more potential hunting days trying to fix a screw up. Might have to replace the skylights. Thinking I should have just taken a tent!
Make sure to waterproof your tent or camper. Reapply caulk around windows, seam seal and waterproof spray for the tent. An extended period of rain or snow can be miserable if you have a lot of leaks and everything is getting wet. After five days of snow and rain, almost everything I had was soaked - clothes, bed in the camper, food, everything was wet or damp! Like hunting Alaska!
Lost about 3 days dealing with camp, wife, and other stuff on that hunt. Now dealing with issues with work and my son that may burn my goat hunt to the ground...
Amazing how fast the candle burns and you run out of time!
Shaping up to be an epically crappy hunting season!
Gear failure led to equipment loss. Found out my right boot was no longer waterproof when we got rained on for several hours and I ended up with a wet, squishy sock and boot. Later sat on a south facing ridge in the sun, changed up layers, and dried my sock out. A while later up the mountain I realized my rangefinder was missing. Apparently when changing layers I took it out of the pocket of the jacket I was putting into my pack, set it on the ground, and forgot to pick it back up when I left.
It was a 25+ year old Bushnell that used a 9 volt battery so it wasn't a huge loss. Now I have a brand new Leupold RX-1600i that I got at Cabelas for $200 off list price. :D
Boots: 6 days of rain in a row and boots were trashed. couldn't dry them out and they just started to fall apart. Sucked
I often hide a trail camera to watch my base camp/generator etc. when out hunting if in a high traffic area. A Cabelas Outfitter camera is now hanging on a tree in CO Unit 7 at a popular large group camping spot. My name and phone number are on the back of the camera but after a month I've lost hope that someone will call me....
I left my cell phone in the middle of the woods where I stopped to take a break. Realized it bout 30 minutes later and took me another 20 to find it. Talk about a panic. Everyone would have thought I died :)
Hunted 8 days with a sinus infection........note to self....carry a round of anti biotics with all the other crap i have with me
”From: Castle Oak04-Oct-19 I lost all of my honey holes this year. I kept running into hunters in places I did not expect to see any. Their stock answer when I asked how you found this place was "gohunt app and google earth". Dammit, while I love technology it's screwing this old man out of his easy to hunt spots.“ ——————————————————————————- Haha yup. This is why I remain tight lipped about one little known old school cyber-source I’ve found to be a step up from the two sources you mention. I use all three of them plus a lot of boots on the ground. That old school source actually directly accounted for my three best scoring white tails to date. I've not heard it mentioned anywhere online in the last 15 years but I still consider it to be my ace in the hole.
I have been blessed with over 30 trips chasing Elk & Mule deer in my younger years. The only thing I left behind was a great time & the desire to return. My knees no longer allow me to bowhunt Elk now but I have hundreds of days in that memory spot. I had few kills, many misses & a ton of awesome fun. My 1st trip was 1964 & I missed my 1st elk at 30 yds (A Spike) with a recurve. I will never forget how shook up I was & every time after that.
I got pneumonia and was almost hospitalized, only was able to hunt the last 3 faysnof my 9 day hunt and I was still coughing profusely even then Possibly the worst hunt I’ve ever had
didn't happen to me, but 2 guys we see nearly every archery season were hunting with muzzle loaders this year, they always rent horses. this year they had a wreck, one got thrown, lost 2 horses with tack, 2 rifles, gear, wallet, and a cow elk. and had a long walk out in the dark. next day the uninjured hunter managed to find everything scattered across the mountain. but the meat was a loss. the horse I saw had its saddle hanging under its belly. amazing they found it all.
Wow....lot's of great reminders here. And one of my biggest fears when my annual western hunt is coming up....getting sick. When it gets close to departure, I'm freaking out if one of my coworkers is ill. I'm wiping everything off on my desk with antibacterial wipes, washing my hands every five minutes, avoid picking my nose....would be a bubble boy if I had the option.
My biggest failure was my OnX map program ,which I have learned to love the last few years, let me down this year. I downloaded my Wyo elk unit to my phone in June so I could use it offline during my hunt where I knew there was no cell service. Well, a few weeks prior to my hunt, OnX announced that they had a new program that would give me better detail on my offline maps. I checked my maps a couple of times before I headed to Wyo on 8/25. Nothing had changed, but that was ok as I was happy with the detail on the maps I had loaded in June. I get to my unit and when I bring up the offline maps I get a notice that I must update the maps. GREAT!! I am 35 miles from the nearest town , so wifi to download is not an option. I found a high spot where I could get 2 bars on my phone and spent the next 2 hours downloading the updated maps. Well to put it bluntly the new maps sucked!! The detail on the satellite maps was way less than the previous maps I had loaded and the topo maps were so blurred that they were useless.. So I headed for the 3 hour round trip to town. I went to the library that had good wifi and deleted all the old maps and downloaded all new maps. I went to airplane mode to check the offline version and all looked good. I got back up on the mountain and the maps were back to junk. I ended up using the breadcrumb feature to record my trails and my old paper maps to navigate. The day I killed my bull, it was snowing by the time we got him broken down and on the trek out the program went nuts and just started flashing from one screen to another, so I did not have a good trail recorded on our route back to the road where my truck was. Luckily my brother and I both had our garmin GPS's so we had a fix on how to get back to the bull and the meat. I haven't called onX yet, but I know they are very responsive and will get this fixed. Maybe my unit was in a an area where their new program was messed up. Anybody else have this sort of problem??? My second disappointment was with my SITKA Mountain jacket. They advertise it as the replacement for the 90% jacket. I have the original 90% jacket, which has lasted 10 years with minimal wear and tear. This new mountain jacket is way lighter than the 90% jacket. It is more like a shirt than a jacket!. Last year in Arizona, I would have loved the Mountain Jacket. This year, at 9000 ft , and a cold September, I used my old 90% jacket and the Mountain jacket with the new , cool, subalpine camo pattern never got out of the camo tub. My best new gear was my Crispi Laponia boots. Wore them for 20 plus days, mostly in wet and cold terrain, plus a few snow days. Only had about 5 miles break in before the hunt. They kept my feet warm and dry the whole trip with no hot spots or blisters. One day when I had left my rain gear in the truck, we got soaked and the only dry spot on my body when I got back was my lower legs and feet. Thanks to my Crispi's and Kuiu gaiters.
I lost a nice 6x6 bull from a frontal shot opening morning in New Mexico. Looked for parts of two days for it. Probably wont take another frontal. Otherwise, i only fell once and broke my hipbone bow quiver, had to carry my bow the rest of the week after.
Only lost one cow call this year.
Dad's truck seems to make me sick on the drive out and back. Just like last year, hacking like crazy, sucking cough drops the whole trip. Kids germs might contribute pre-trip, but I am convinced his dog hair and dust filled truck is making it worse because the coughing will subside mid-week but then flare up again on the drive home...
As Deertick mentioned earlier in this thread, I did find something someone else lost. I was riding my ATV and saw something on the road so I stopped and picked up a nice little container of marijuana - right from a nearby town's dispensary.
If anyone can provide the the Lot# printed on the container - I'll give it back to you :)
LFN, that sounds like a typical horse outing to me. Never a dull moment with them.