Sunday, October 30, 2011

Princeton BC - Late October Hunting 2011

It was a late night drive from Vancouver to Princeton.  I stopped outside Hope and phoned the pet friendly Sandman Inn. Angela was really pleasant and assured me she'd hold a room.  I wouldn't make it up there till midnight after beginning my work day at 7 am.
It was a horrid night of torrential rain, turning to sleet then snow. Those last few miles of mountain cliffs were treacherous tired as I was. I was certainly woken up by a truck just like mine overturned on the road.  He'd been towing his ATV and the jacknifed trailer was on it's side as well. They'd been lucky not to go over the sheer cliff.   All the rescue vehicles were there.  Ambulance and police.  No stretchers and no bodies so I didn't feel a need to stop.
In Princeton I filled up across from the Sandman and n ambulance was filling up as well. I figured they'd brought the driver to the hospital earlier.  At the Sandman a gentleman got up to register me. He asked about the road. I told him about the overturned vehicle. "They had a big rig crash earlier tonight," he said. I remembered my days doctoring in a small town ER nights with multiple vehicle crashes.  I didn't envy them this night.

Around 6 am I watched CTV news while dressing in Camo before loading the guns into the vehicle. I have the Ford F350 diesel truck with the Polaris 500 ATV in the back.  . Gilbert had had his piss and took the co pilot spot.  We drove to A&W where I got the Sausage and Egger with coffee, double double, filling a thermos as well.  Gilbert had the sausage patty.  The A&W crew were  the best.  Surprisingly chipper first thing in the morning.  Gilbert thought the sausage done just right too.
I continued east down the highway to the Forest Service main road that lead off to the Rattler Forest Service Roads..  I unloaded the ATV and buckled Gilbert behind me.  We drove all over that backcountry in the chill and snow but didn't see a thing.  Not even a grouse.  Spike Fork Moose, Mule Deer Bucks, White tail bucks, and black bear were open too.  Lots of great scenery though.   Winter in the high country. I did do some fine target practice. I'd brought the 223 and shot up so much paper and cans I had to stop in at the Princeton Outdoor store for some more ammo before going back to the hotel.
Back at the Sandman I had a pizza from their excellent cafe then settled into my room for some R&R.  I fell asleep after the pizza and missed the evening hunt.  I only had time for a hot bath and some television before falling asleep again.
In the morning I loaded up all the gear before driving over to the A&W for Gilbert and my breakfast. After that we drove west  to Whipsaw , the first Princeton logging road I hunted back in the late 80's with my beat up second hand VW Rabbit.  I've shot deer up there and a whole lot of grouse.
This time I spooked a couple of big boy elk, one with 4 point and the other with three.  t  They're magnificent animals.  Only 6 point had been open this year and the season for this region closed the week before.  I still enjoyed seeing the game.  After we headed up Sunday Summit.
I saw more does.  These were crossing the road. The week before I'd seen some 20 or so mostly in groups standing alongside the road in the snow.  There was a little sleet this day but mostly sunny.  One grouse that appeared, I missed.  Gilbert looked all over for the bird looking askance at me for not bringing it down when I had the chance.
The trip home was uneventful.  Raining some and sunshine at other times. The snow from the night before almost all gone except clumps here and there. I stopped outside Manning Park's Eastgate to clean my rifles and put them away.
At Hope I washed the truck and ATV.
Halloween.  That's how I spent mine.  Spooky.   DSCN9732

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