Catskills weekend trip

Discussion in 'Backcountry Hunting/Camping' started by redsquirrel, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel Administrator
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    FINALLY had 2 free nights to sneak away to the catskills to use my hammock and backcountry gear in the woods. The main point of the trip was to test out the gear, a second consideration was to do some scouting for future hunting.

    Friday night I left work and drove through a storm on the way up. I had checked the weather before I left and it didn't show that and also said 0% for Saturday. I got up to the trailhead at 8 and had about an hour before last light so I quickly threw my pack on and hit the trail. I had to hike around a small lake and then took off along the base of the mountain. The light was quickly fading when I was about 3/4 of a mile back so I quickly left the trail and found a bench on the mountain a couple hundred yards off the trail. The setup went extremely smooth considering it was in the dark and I was settled into my hammock within a 1/2 hour.

    The next morning I woke up and for the first time in what felt like ever, I had to force myself to remember that I had no reason to rush. Everything in my life is so rush rush rush between work and home right now I really had to stop and slow down. I laid in my hammock for a little while contemplating my thoughts and I'm glad I did because a storm rolled through. I read a book on my phone and cooked up some breakfast while waiting the storm out. After the storm passed I packed up camp. I went down to the stream to stock up on water before I hiked to the top of the mountain. I couldn't believe how crystal clear the water came out of the stream even before I filtered it.

    I spent the next couple of hours hiking the trail up the mountain and just relaxing and enjoying myself. When I got to the top I took a break and made lunch. I had decided at the top I wanted to scout out this ridge so I made my way over there after lunch. I just happened to get some service on my phone so I called my wife to check in. I pulled up the weather app just to check the wind direction and noticed it said a lighting strike 24 miles away. Huh?!? I looked at the radar and here it came. I quickly broke out my tarp and set it up. I laid my pack down in the middle as a pillow and laid down and took a nap for an hour while the storm passed. When I woke up it was bright and sunny and I figured I was good to go. I packed up again and started exploring again. 15 minutes later the sky opened up on me again. At this point I decided scouting wasn't meant to be. I had to be home around lunch time the next day and I wanted to camp closer to the trail so I had quick access to get down the mountain and home so I made my way back in that direction to set up camp. Setting up camp went even better in the daylight and I was quickly set up and ready. I made some dinner, hung my food away from camp and packed it in. I was laying there reading when all of a sudden I heard a noise like a bag of bricks hitting the ground. I couldn't see because my tarp was down but I'm pretty sure a deer walked up to about 20 yards away before he quickly realized something wasn't right and took off. The weather got down into the high 40's that night and I had a great sleep. I also got to listen to a couple of owls chatting for a while.

    The next morning I packed up, hiked out and drove home. All in all it was a hugely successful first backcountry trip for me and I am already trying to figure out when I can get back out there. I didn't see much wildlife while I was out there but on my drive in and out I saw 4 does and 2 hen turkeys.

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  2. flinginairos

    flinginairos Well-Known Member

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    That is awesome Red! I liked what you said about slowing down because I am the same way. I get out there and feel like I need to be up first thing in the morning to GO but then have to tell myself i'm on no schedule lol. I finally just about have all my gear together to do some trips like you and I can't wait. I want to get to the point that if I want to hike a few miles in to hunt I can do that and just camp overnight. I think that will be a lot of fun!
     
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  3. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel Administrator
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    Thanks! Yea it is definitely hard to slow down. Especially now that I'm back home and at work and its rush rush rush again.

    It was honestly one of the coolest things I've ever done, and I really only touched the tip of what I want to do. My next big project is to get comfortable cutting deer up in the field to pack out, because that is the only way I'd get one out of somewhere like that.
     
  4. MCDM

    MCDM Active Member

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    That looks like a killer good time!! With life so busy it is nice to be able to get away from all the noise and just emerse yourself back in nature.
     
  5. flinginairos

    flinginairos Well-Known Member

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    Seems like we are at the same stage Red lol. I am trying to get my gear and skills to the point I can do the same. I am hoping to draw a WY mule deer tag next fall so I want to be ready in case that happens!
     
  6. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel Administrator
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    Definitely! I've seen some of the terrain you're hunting and it is very similar to a lot of what I'm hunting too. I know there are some big bucks up at the tops of our hills because nobody is willing to hunt up there.

    That trip sounds awesome! I think about all the chances I have had to practice on a deer but I just drag them out because I want to get them out asap. This year I need to do it because I don't want to be learning on the job a few miles back on the top of a mountain lol!
     
  7. flinginairos

    flinginairos Well-Known Member

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    You nailed that last part. I dragged my Ohio buck 3/4 mile through the nastiest clear cut last year and if I was smart I would have just quartered him right there and carried him out lol. But instead I got a sore back for a week! Haha. I won't be doing that again. I got a KUIU Icon Pro 3200 and have been training with it some and love it. Shouldn't be any problem to carry a deer out by myself!


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  8. blbloomquist

    blbloomquist Member

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    Glad you enjoyed and had time to slow down to cleanse your soul. It's helps keep your sanity. Can't wait for bow season for time to slow down for me.
     
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  9. Erniepower

    Erniepower Well-Known Member

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    I love the trip. The flexibility of the hammock and tarp is awesome. I love mine. As far as packing animals out of there, the gutless method is key! And make sure you have a good frame on your pack. I've carried an elk out of a canyon a couple years ago, but it was close enough that we carried out quarters rather than deboning. This year we are planning on being up to five miles from the nearest trail/road. I bought some ultra light game bags from camofire and I am still working on the ideal pack.

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  10. g2outdoors

    g2outdoors Well-Known Member

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    Awesome trip report! Welcome to the hammock club. That WB Ridge Runner is on point, right?!?!

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  11. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel Administrator
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    There is an old thread on here about the gutless method too, but I watched this video last night and it is one of the best I've watched so far. I've cut up a few deer myself in the garage so watching this video I felt like I can do it. I know what you mean about those drags. 1 mile is the norm for me. I've been using the jet sled lately and that helps a ton. I have a couple new spots that are almost 2 miles back. If it was flat land dragging would still be doable, but going up and down the hills is just killer.
     
  12. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel Administrator
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    It was absolutely amazing!
     
  13. swampsnyper

    swampsnyper Active Member

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    I like the adventure. Thanks for sharing!
    I also have been doing the gutless method for years. When we make out of state hunts up north, icechest take up most of our truck bed space. This method cuts down on the number of icechest we need. We don't cut the quarters off the deer. We debone them where they died. Line our backpack with a garbage bag and throw the meat in there for the hike out. It's a lot lighter than all that bone! Plus we can keep our meat separate in one icechest. Put a tag on the garbage bag as we put it in the icechest. Add ice to each bag and the icechest through out the trip. When we get home we separate the bags and everyone gets their deer. It's all deboned and ready to bag up and put in freezer. It's nice to leave all the mess in the woods and let the scavengers clean it up.
    I even do this method at the deer lease where I pick up the deer with the atv. Bring it back to camp and debone it on the ground. Guest come over and want to know where I hang the deer. Lol. I say let me show you something!
    The toughest part is when we kill a hog in the swamp in the warmer months. The mosquitoes swarm us. 2 thermacells running and they still are thick.
     
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  14. Saddle9

    Saddle9 Member

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    Where did you get the tarp? I want one that closes down like that around the hammock.
     
  15. swampsnyper

    swampsnyper Active Member

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    Probably a warbonnet superfly
     
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  16. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel Administrator
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    Exactly
     
  17. g2outdoors

    g2outdoors Well-Known Member

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    The Superfly is an excellent option. If you don't mind spending the money to save even more weight, I recommend a cuben/dyneema tarp from Hammock Gear. They are spendy - but light as a feather. I've used one for many years and couldn't be happier with it.
     

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