Mulies on the Mountain
Recoil|Carnivore #4
Mulies on the Mountain
Chasing Deer Solo in Mountain Goat Terrain
Caylen Wojick
Six years ago, I was introduced to this hunt by my friend Chris Camren, who told me it was going to be a legit mountain adventure, and hard as hell, which meant I couldn’t turn it down. Committed, we headed into the wilderness of northern Washington to take our shot at the first rifle hunt of the season. During this time, bucks are still way up high in the alpine country, beating the summer heat and leaving the mozzies behind in the timber bottoms. They’re easy to spot, with light gray bodies against lush green mountain alder, and they’re still grouped up. It’s a great hunt, trumped only by the rut. The country was punishing, and in order to go anywhere, you’re either going up or going down with no easy options. I was hooked, and ever since I’ve made it a point to go back every season I can.

Fast-forward to 2018, my great friend, hunting partner, business partner, and one helluva guide, Luke Carrick of Guiderite Adventures and I were talking about the high hunt, and he offered me an invite to one of his honey holes in the same wilderness area. (Don’t ask, I’ll never tell … ) Originally, we planned on going together, but he ended up having some other commitments, so I was now solo.

Although I prefer to hunt with friends to share in the experience, this year I was on my own. So, I rucked up and got my climb on.

This trip was a great one in the sense that I got it all in terms of weather. Things started off warm, in the 70s, hiking in a T-shirt and feeling it somewhat unpleasant in the sun, then turned quickly to rain, 28 degrees F, and white-out snow conditions. Although weather can really suck, it tells you a lot about your gear deficiencies and where you can improve your choices to enhance some comfort on those really sh*tty days. More on that later.

INTO THE WILD

I parked my truck in the late evening on the day before the opener and was only able to get partway to the spot Luke told me to glass from. No worries; at least I got my feet on the country, and now had an idea of how long it’d take me to get there in the morning for sunrise. Day one produced no deer at all, but there was weather coming in late that night, with a forecast for Sunday that said it’d really hammer and dump up to 5 inches of snow in a 12-hour period. But, that’s being up in the mountains in general, so it is what it is. Deal with it and don’t be a bitch.

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Carnivore #4