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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took a little five-hour hike in the Cascade Foothills today, started out at about 1,400' and ended up at 3,500' in the snow. Decided to turn around when I was post holing up to my knees with every step. Snowshoes would have been useful, but it was time to turn around anyway. Saw a lot of mule deer does and yearlings. Saw some golden eagles too. Coyotes made an appearance, but out of range of my .44 revolver. Drat! Flushed a tight-holding grouse, so close I could feel the air rush against my skin. I was hiking in an area I frequently hunt in the fall, it burned last summer. Looks like it's coming back nicely from the burn, although the trees will take a generation to come back. Heck of an afternoon.

Here's some photos:

Twenty minutes from the truck I came across the first five mule deer, next to a burned up tree:


Couldn't help but become a bird watcher today. Had a golden eagle making runs on something I couldn't quite see:


Large herd of does and yearling mule deer:


Snow line is up around 3,400' or so on the north facing slopes:


Immature/young golden eagle. He came by several times to check on me. No other boot tracks, so it's likely been a while since anyone was in there:


Turn-Around mountain. Well, I decided to turn around here anyway. Kind of wanted to make it to the peak again today, but plunging knee-deep in snow with every step convinced me I was a few weeks too early. Guess I should have brought the snowshoes this time:


This doe and I caught sight of each other about the same time. If you look closely, you can see her yearling fawn's face between the branches of the fire-killed tree:


A little fuzzy, sorry 'bout that. Two young mule deer touching noses. Then the one that's standing lay down. It was pretty neat, but I was shaking a little and couldn't get a good photo:


Walked all five hours, three up, two down. Took a few breaks for photos and to look around with my binos. Another good half-day hike in the foothills.

Regards, Guy
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We got one heck of a chinook wind back in January and have had hardly any snow down low since.

Up higher, there's lots and lots of snow. Looks like this year will be the latest opening of Hwy 20 in twenty years - they haven't really started clearing it yet and three to five FEET more snow is expected on the pass between now and next week...

Was a good hike, all things considered. Didn't rain a single drop on me, but I had more gore-tex with me just in case!

Guy
 

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Very cool! Thanks for sharing.
 

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As always, I envy your opportunity to get out, but appreciate your photos that you share. Thanks.

DWB
 

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Sounds/looks like you had a great time, and also got a good workout, didn't you? Of course, I am jealous!
 

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As usual, great pics! Thanks for sharing!
 

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Nice looking country. A flat shooting caliber may be in order up in that area. wow-nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Glad you guys enjoyed the photos!

Yeah, although I like my Marlin lever actions a lot... I tend to hunt mostly with a .25-06 Remington 700 with a 6x Leupold... A 200 yard shot is more or less "normal" here and 300 is no big deal. 400 yards is stretching things, but it's best to be prepared for it. Might be the only shot a fellow gets in this country...

A guy can hunt the dark timber and the thickets though. And there's tight cover down in the bottom of the canyons sometimes. I've scored with both my Marlin lever gun and my traditional .50 cal muzzle loader out here. This year I might try bow hunting again for the first time in more years than I care to admit.

We had a fire go through this area last summer, and it's already starting to come back, but the brush is pretty much gone. Lost too many trees as well.

A fellow I know took the new world's record "California Big Horn" ram here last fall. Tremendous ram... Absolutely tremendous. Within a few miles of where I took these photos. Was actually kind of hoping to run into the bighorns on Monday when I was hiking, sometimes I do find them. Very limited draw, it's a Once in a Lifetime tag for bighorn here. He used a .300 WSM, even though he's a devout archery enthusiast. With only one opportunity in a lifetime for the tag, I think he made a wise choice.

Regards, Guy
 

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Real nice photos!Have you ever been in the mountains west/northwest of Tonasket or
okanogan??I have seen that area and liked it alot, especialy the Lake Chapaka area...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sure have! Used to hunt mule deer with my muzzle loader up there. Do a little fly fishing at Chopaka now and again too.
 

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In the mid 90s I worked in that area a few times in the spring.At the time I worked on windmachines
in the orchards..I worked all winter in S.Cal and then went to Tonasket come March-May.I caught more
rainbows than I could count.It was the only place I ever saw a sign in a laundramat that said"No animal
hides in the washers"Tonasket is about 2 blocks long and had 5 bars!Lots of fun at the time!I saw more deer in a week than a lifetime here in Cal.
 

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Must be nice to be able to go out for a hike like that - - - - its 3 hours to the Smokies from here - - - we have some nice rolling hills in Raleigh area but nothing more than a few hundred feet in elevation change.

GB45
 
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