Oregon Hunting Trip

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,254
421
Well, I am going to try and put our Oregon trip into words and some pictures. I know I am going to miss a bunch of stuff, so I am leaving it to Brian and Bill to add to this.

We left my house in Fredericksburg, Va on 22 Oct 2011. Brian drove up from his place, and we packed the truck, FULL of gear, rifles, snacks and coolers for our trip. I think we left my house around 0600 EST. We meandered our way through Virginia, up into West Virginia, where our first major stop was the Cabelas in Wheeling WV. After spending about an hour or so there, we continued West. Not too much to see through this part of the trip, but we did discuss just about anything you could think of to do with rifles, cartridges, boots, etc. I did wanna include a picture of what Brian looked like when he was inspecting his eye lids for cracks.



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As we moved through the West, we pushed through Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa in the hours of darkness. During that part of the trip, we continually worked our eyeballs out trying to get some glimpses of the giant Mid Western deer. Didn't have a ton of luck, but we did see alot of corn!

As we pushed through Iowa in South Dakota, it was early morning and we did start seeing more deer, antelope and other stuff. Not a ton of wildlife roadside, but it was at least something to see. There was plenty of wind though. We did stop again at the Cabelas in Mitchell SD. Pretty cool Cabelas with too much temptation and us without enough money!

Then we moved on across SD to Rapid City. We bypassed the Cabelas went into Scheel's. Pretty sure Brian has a new favorite store out there. It is a great place and man, Coopers on display doesn't hurt their rep too much either. I did talk Brian into a bino harness system which hopefully helped him out a little on the hunt!

After SD, passing through Deadwood and Sturgis, we had a quick trip through the corner of Wyoming. Man, there were a TON of antelope on the sides of the road. I mean hundreds!

Well, then into Montana. We made it through most of the Indian lands, and Brian was pulled over by the Montana Game Warden :twisted: .. We drove past a game check station. Didn't realize that we were supposed to stop, even though we weren't even hunting in Montana. The warden seemed pretty surprised we weren't hunting in Montana either. We showed him my Oregon License and pushed on... Pretty funny, I guess you travel with outlaws and the law finds a reason to pull you over!!!!

Well, we drove through Montana at night for the most part. Missoula and Core De Lane, ID weren't able to be observed and the construction made travel a little hairy at points with it raining and foggy. Finally, we passed into Spokane and the weather lightened up. After Spokane, we beelined for Bills place in Lyle.

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I think we made his house around 0900 or so? Can't remember, we were smelly and tired after that stint of driving.

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Bill let us get a shower and fed us while we talked hunting. We decided to depart for Oregon in the early afternoon to allow us to get camp set up. I think we left Bill's around 12-1300 Local and moved down 84E with Bill and travel trailer in the lead and me in follow. We fueled up at the bottom and began the ascent into elk country.

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After awhile we broke off of paved roads and made it into the dirt.

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I wanna say we were setting up camp around 1700L. This would be our sleeping place for the next 6 days or so. Pretty awesome living quarters and man, I have never slept so well.. Had a nice bed and dry place to rest my gear.

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Well, we set up camp, BS'ed more about the next day of scouting and got some rack time.

We were up pretty early, thanks to Bill. He makes one heckuva great alarm clock and is always right on time! Great campmate to have. After a cup of coffee, and some snacks, we headed out to glass some drainages and get a game plan. We glassed for the morning, didn't see any elk but we found some great places that had to have held elk and then went back to camp for lunch. We did suffer a flat on Bill's rig, but I think we changed that tire fast enough for a NASCAR team to worry!

After lunch, we used my rig and checked out a drainage close to camp.

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Well, we found some elk...

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We took a bunch of pictures through the Swaro scope and decided we wanted to hunt that drainage in the morning. We figured if there were that many bulls, there had to be a few spikes.

Well, we were on bulls and cows everyday. I mean 5-8 bulls a day, easily. I haven't ever seen so many bulls.

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We hunted hard everyday, hiking far down into the drainages and getting on bulls. I had 3-4 bulls, from 250-350 yards from me, bugling, fighting and cows chirping for a whole day. Would have been very easy for the Whelen or Brian with the 338WM to speak to any of them, just no SPIKES!

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I believe if this had of been the Spring time, the bears would have came looking for a fight!

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The Whelen on watch

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Well, our last day of hunting, we spotted a herd and decided to make a move on them. Bill stayed on the far canyon, and was able to keep tabs on them. They bedded down in the morning before we could get to them. We decided to sit tight and let them come up in the afternoon and then we would put the sneak onto them. Well, the weather kinda fouled us up a little. The fog and rain came in, shut the elk down and also put the rain on our heads. We glassed until we couldn't see, hoping to get that chance, but nothin!

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So, Brian and I hiked our way up out of the hole we were in. Very nice hike, since we were cold and wet anyhow. Needed a little body heat to get our blood pumping.

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We made it back to camp, settled in and had a good supper of elk meat Bill brought along and had a few beers.

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Next day, we packed up the camp and headed back to Bill's house for some showers and rest. We went out and had a little pizza for supper and some fresh green salads. Well, I will leave this up to Brian, but the digestive system seemed to work overtime making those salads into gas, cause oh man, did Brian ever stink the next day after leaving Bills house, headed for Bend, OR! Just kidding, it was me stinking up the truck!!! :twisted:

We made it to Nosler around 1030 and met Mason Payer! Great dude! He gave us an awesome tour of the factory. Got to see where the rifles are built and every aspect of bullet making is done, EXCEPT for the darned Accubonds! Oh well, I guess somethings are better left a secret. He did hook us up with a few things from the Pro Shop, and I was very thankful for the tour. Met Bob Nosler as well, and man, what a great guy. Every single person on the floor was working hard and all seemed to be great people. We got to see them shooting the promo's for the Varmegedon bullets and saw them shoot some 180gr ET's into gelatin blocks. I also gleaned some of the chief Nosler Ballisticians pet loads for the 300WSM! SCORE!!!

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Well, after that, we headed East. Made it to Idaho that night, visited with my buddy that shot the largest Idaho Muley last year. Got a featured article in Eastmans and everything. I hadn't seen my buddy since he left the Marine Corps in 1998, so it was good to link up with him.

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We had some supper with him and drove North to visit my outfitter buddy in McCall. Had a late night visit with him. Crashed on the floor and in the morning BS'ed for awhile and just about had to pull Brian out of McCall when my buddy offered to do some more elk and woof hunting! Trust me, it was hard to not stay. I love Idaho!

We moved North and pushed through Grangeville into the Bitteroot area.

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Just in case you didn't see it the first time... Here was my A-Driver!!!

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After pushing through Missoula and missing 6mm Rem, we pushed on to Billings. Met up with USMC89 and had supper on him. Great dude and very serious about his hardware. Matter of fact, we checked them all out in the parking lot of the Outback! HA! Great time there, hope to meet up again.

Well, after supper, we moved on to North Dakota, tried to get ahold of Rod in ND, but I we missed him as well. SO, we pushed into Minnesota. We met up with 257 Ackley (AKA JOEL), and he drove us into his new hunting grounds.

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We toured some of his hunting camp, and racked out for a few hours. Woke up early in the afternoon and had some Chili and Red Breast for dinner. Sat around the campfire BSing and finally called it a night. He was still prepping his camp for the opener on Saturday, so hopefully we will hear a game report from him shortly. Would have loved to stayed and hunted those big MN deer, but the wives were starting to get a little antsy. We drove down through MN, stopped at the Rogers, MN Cabelas, got some gifts for the family, a little lunch and pushed hard...

We ended up right at Three Rivers MI around 2200-2300 to meet with JD338. He was gracious enough to feed me and Brian. I scarfed a huge rack of ribs and some coffee. We exchanged some bullets and talked about hunting to come! Great guy that Jim is. Finally good to put a face with a name.

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We finally made it home around 1200L on Saturday Morning.. Wife was happy with me and Brian had to drive a little further South. Overall, great trip! Here is a shot of the overall mileage we got from the trip. I shot this a little early. Ended up being pretty close to 7,000 miles total, but well worth it. Had a blast. As I said, I missed a ton, and Brian and Bill will fill you in on alot, but this is the bulk of it. Can't say enough great about the hunt and travel. Scotty
 

IdahoCTD

Handloader
Nov 4, 2004
2,482
29
You drove right through here. I wish I would have know I would have met up with you as long as I wasn't hunting myself. When were you in Boise?
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
34,823
976
Great account, Scotty. Man, that is a couple of bedraggled hunters on the last day of your hunt. They would be just scary to meet in the dark woods!
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,254
421
IdahoCTD":2y6fh6hm said:
You drove right through here. I wish I would have know I would have met up with you as long as I wasn't hunting myself. When were you in Boise?

We passed through pretty late. We will meet up eventually as I get to Idaho pretty often.

Mike, I think being rained on made us look wore out! Scotty
 

6mm Remington

Ammo Smith
Feb 27, 2006
5,075
29
Great photo's and thanks for sharing with us all! Quite a trip!! I'm sure sorry I missed you guys as I would have loved to visit. I sure would have tried to talk you into hunting Mountain Goats with me for a couple days. 97% of it been by myself. Oh well. I have a couple weeks left to get this thing done, but if I don't, I've still enjoyed the adventure!

You go to Idaho often Scotty, you have to let me know so we can hook up sometime. Go coyote hunting or something, anything! I'd sure like you to share a Nosler 300 WSM load with me!!! :grin:

Share more photo's man. You have to have some more "great" shots of Brian!! :grin: :mrgreen:

David
 

6mm Remington

Ammo Smith
Feb 27, 2006
5,075
29
One more thing. Isn't it nice to hunt out of a "hard wall tent!" Sure makes it pleasant to come in and turn on the heat and dry out some clothes and sit down! :shock:
 

Elkman

Handloader
Apr 4, 2010
4,551
1
I also had a great time, I got to spend quality time with a couple of great guys, and also share the love of the hunt.
Some clarification of Scotty's narrative. Scotty is 6.5 and Brian 6.3 as you can see in the pictures I am somewhat shorter and a little older. They "never" walked anywhere (unless I was in front) Scotty floated from the bottom to the top of our hills (1-1300ft vertical), Brian kind of jogged and Bill labored behind. They both snore loudly and can sleep at the drop of a hat and could probably win records for the amount of intestinal gas they create. Scotty is by far the worst but Brian would be a ribbon winner in most contests.
All kidding aside I have been in and out of that unit since 63 and the herd is in great shape, except seems to be shy of cows and 1st year bulls. Other than that a great hunt all in all, and I do hope to have the pleasure and the honor to share time with them again.
 

atmoshpere

Beginner
Jun 8, 2011
196
0
Scotty,

Sounds like a great road trip if nothing else! You went right past jmad and I's place too if you came down I-82 and got on I-84. Too bad you guys never got on a spike, we had no luck either in the Elkhorns. Elk were either higher up or on private ground.

I'm a little envious of your tour of the Nosler factory. I need to get down there some time and do it too!

Sounds like you and Brian and Bill had a great time! Glad you made it all the way out and back without any problems.

atm
 

Oldtrader3

Ammo Smith
Nov 6, 2009
8,406
1
Thanks, Scotty, Brian and Bill for the writeups. I was just in Bend and went by Nosler in late May. I need to stop in next time I am there. You guys were mostly lucky with the weather. It rained and was fairly cold here most of the week that you were in Oregon. It seems strange to me not seeing any legal spike bills there? Usually they are the bulls that you see most often within herds, depending on rut and dates seen. I seem to have the oppposite issue with seeing spikes when I have a branched bull tag but in other states than Oregon. Each state is pretty different about regs for elk though. You worked it and gave it your best shot, that is hunting.

You got to see a lot of the west with the route that you took. Sounds as though all of you had a great time and the memories of these trips are worth a lot in themselves.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Scotty, Brian, and Bill - my wife is going to be so ticked at you guys for cultivating this idea in my head...

What a great trip, and what a terrific hunt. Beautiful country, good stories, and some pretty nice elk pics. I have to get going on planning for 2013!
 

Scott Spencer

Handloader
Mar 27, 2008
525
0
That is awesome, Scotty!! You will never forget that trip and it is one that many of us wish we could make. Not many folks get to drive across the US like that and not only get to hunt but spend it with great friends!
 

C.Smith

Handloader
Oct 11, 2006
1,410
0
Thanks for sharing the trip. I bet you passed through the Tri-Cities (Pasco-Kennwick-Richland) on your way south on 395? Oh well next time. Enjoyed reading your adventures. I'm sure if you tired to meet everyone you would not have hunted at all.

Corey
 

Woodycreek

Handloader
Aug 2, 2007
2,240
0
I don't have much to add to the story since Scotty did a great job with the write up. I will say I like the northwest way more than the east! You guys in Washington, Montana, Oregon, and especially Idaho have so many great places to live and hunt! The past 25-30 years I thought Va deer and bird hunting was good enough for me. I was lucky enough to go on a couple of Iowa Whitetails hunts recently and my mind set change. That and watching hunting shows that is good to make you want to go and bad in most shows making it look way to easy! This Elk hunt was a dream of mine for sometime. It's was everything I wanted and more! The roadtrip was just fun in itself. I think Scotty and me saw places that most people would never get a chance to see on tv. Save your pennies and vacation if you have a hunt you really want to go on! It's worth it!
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,254
421
Get out West and hunt. There are still alot of places you can hunt that don't require you to add a 2nd mortgage and driving it isn't as bad as it seems. With the network of guys we have here, it just takes a little bit of planning and you have some pre set stops! Getting into elk country is tough. Just finding a good area that you want to be in with little hunting pressure is there, but it will require a few miles on your feet. Overall though, it isn't too bad. Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and a slew of others have some awesome places. You aren't going to see elk like you do on Mossy Oak or Primox hunting shows and the terrain is usually alot more rugged, but most people don't even need to kill to have a hunt of their lives out there. To me, it is about the hunt, not so much about antler size. If you can accept you aren't going to kill monsters, you have plenty of opportunity. Thanks again to Bill and Brian for putting up with me in camp and in a truck! I know it isn't easy! :twisted: Scotty
 

Woodycreek

Handloader
Aug 2, 2007
2,240
0
I would also like to say thanks to Bill and Scotty for the invite, advise, great hunt, and lessons learned! I will share some lessons learned.

1. Don't buy a great pair of hiking boots to go climb mountains :lol: Go buy the pair of mountain climbing boots your buds told you to get!
2. If you think you PTed hard enough and in shape for the hunt... GO PT SOME MORE!
3. Believe very little you see on most hunting shows. Elk Hunting is really not that easy!
4. Take as little as you need to make it through a long day!
5. Take the best binos , rangefinder, spotting scope you can afford with you.

I will have more as I think back on the hunt.
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,254
421
Woodycreek":2o6mb0e8 said:
I would also like to say thanks to Bill and Scotty for the invite, advise, great hunt, and lessons learned! I will share some lessons learned.

1. Don't buy a great pair of hiking boots to go climb mountains :lol: Go buy the pair of mountain climbing boots your buds told you to get!
2. If you think PTed hard enough and in shape for the hunt... GO PT SOME MORE!
3. Believe very little you see on most hunting shows. Elk Hunting is really not that easy!
4. Take as little as you need to make it through a long day!
5. Take the best binos , rangefinder, spotting scope you can afford with you.

I will have more as I think back on the hunt.

Don't forget the Golden Rule!

6. Find the heaviest and longest rifle you can get!! :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Sorry, just had to do it!

For all of you not in the know. When Brian said he was carrying his 300RUM Sendero into elk country, I cringed a little. Knowing the weight on the rifle would be a little much at times when moving through the timber and the hikes up out of the bottoms. I really wasn't sure how much he would carry it, but I will give him credit, he carried it 3 out of 5 days of hunting.. I think he did it just to prove me wrong though! Either way, I am just a wimp and don't like carrying the heavyweights in the timber or when moving around alot and that is the way I tend to hunt most of the time. Scotty
 

Woodycreek

Handloader
Aug 2, 2007
2,240
0
7. Learn to use the handheld GPS before the hunt :oops: Not a good idea to learn while hunting down the mountain.

8. Not a good idea to hit the salad bar buffet after a week of very few greens and need to be somewhere the next morning :mrgreen:
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,254
421
Woodycreek":3u0u279q said:
7. Learn to use the handheld GPS before the hunt :oops: Not a good idea to learn while hunting down the mountain.

8. Not a good idea to hit the salad bar buffet after a week of very few greens and need to be somewhere the next morning :mrgreen:

Number 7 did give me a ton of comic relief though. Along with busting through the spruce. Both of those made me smile for a long time! Scotty
 

Woodycreek

Handloader
Aug 2, 2007
2,240
0
I have one more thing to add to this story. I was talking to my wife on the way home from the hunt and she had a great surprise for me when I got home. :shock: New rifle, hunt gear, or another hunt??? I get home first and of course I looked around with nothing found. My wife and son come home later that afternoon and they get the stuff I got them from Cabelas :mrgreen: I ask about my surprise and I'm told to clean my man cave out :shock: We now have a second child on the way. My wife found out right after I had took off for the hunting trip. It was all she could do not to tell me while I was gone hunting with Bill and Scotty. I wanted to add this to the hunting trip story sooner but i had to wait till today after we went to see the Doc. What a surprise!
 
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