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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Better pull up a 6-pack as this is gonna be a long one…..
So todays the start of baiting season for me. Made a trip to the mountains yesterday to check things out. The roads where plowed all the way to the mountains and then some. The gravel forest road still had snow so I was only able to get within 2.5 miles of my closest parking area. That’s not including the near 1 mile hike from the closed gate where I park. Anyway it was a bluebird day with no wind and fantastic weather. I was feeling great to be back in the mountains again.
Some of y’all may remember my incident where I got stuck and stranded last year on a borrowed 2wd 4-wheeler. This year, I have a borrowed 4wd 4-wheeler. It also weighs 2-3x as much and would be my downfall today.
Anyway..I get about 2 miles in and the front end just dropped. The back end was off the ground and I nearly went over the handle bars. I sank in a soft hole. I could only dig and dig and dig some more to get it unstuck. I was able to go straight another 5’ or so and the snow was really soft. I knew this was the end of the line for this trip. The snow was every bit of 30” deep. As time went on the sun turned the snow into crap and the rest is more digging, cussing and getting soaked in the melting snow.
It took me over 4 hours to finally get the damn thing to a point I could turned it around. I called it quits for awhile so I built a fire and relaxed for an hour to dry off. It’s close to 5pm at this point. I try and make a ramp with loggs and pine branches to get up and out of the massive hole I’d dig myself into. It worked for about 8’ and then rinse, lather and repeat. I dug it out from being high centered and went start it and it wouldn’t start. Fiddled with it and nothing. No electrical at all. I tried to pull cord start it and when I did the cord snapped back and I jacked up my right wrist again. It was bloody hell. I was cussing to the few birds that were around. Waited by the fire for another hour and the shadows to cover the road and the snow to firm back up. I also tried walking up the road a few hundred yards to where I could get cell service and nothing. My reliable signal spot was not reliable. I tried for another half hour to find a signal. I wanted to let my wife know I was stuck and I’d be later than the established time we set. Well in doing so I fell in a soft spot nearly to my hip and tweaked my left knee in the process. I got myself out and limped my way back to my fire where I cussed a bit more and tried to figure my situation. My left knee now hurts and my right wrist still hurts. I’m a limping cluster, well you know, at this point.
I was exhausted from about 6 hours of digging already to this point. I tried once more to get the ATV going and got it started. But the snow was still soft and I just sank and high centered once again. As I got off I once again sank above my knee, my left knee no less, and this time it popped on me. I sat in the now in a real situation now. I literally crawled the 15y or so back to my fire to dry off again and gather my thoughts. It’s now well after 8pm and I’m 2.1 miles from my truck according to my map.
I knew I couldn’t walk out on my own with my gear. I had some snacks, water, warm (now dry) cloths, my pistol, a nice fire and 2-way radio. The one thing I didn’t have was a light other than my cell phone. I decided that staying put was my best and safest option. People knew where I was and they would come when I didn’t make contact and arrive home on time.
While I had some remaining light I took my chainsaw and the best I could felled 2 small dead trees near my fire and cut them into a dozen 12” plus logs each. I stacked them up so I had plenty of fire wood. I started gathering pine branches to lay on the snow so I could at least lay down by the fire and rest. Well I managed to poke myself in my left eye on a branch in the darkness. What else could go wrong at this point?!
I hobbled back to my fire, spread out a bed of pine and settled in for what could be a long night. It was about 10pm or so when a noise startled me from a near sleep. I sat up and listened. I heard what I thought was a distant whoop (a noise my kids and I make to signal each other and our location) so I whipped back 3 times. Nothing at all so I laid back down. Then I heard it again and knew it was not just me hearing things so I pulled my pistol and fired a single shot. I then heard what sounded like an air horn blast so I fired a second shot. I heard 3 blasts from the air horn and knew help was on the way.
I’d had my 2-way radio on for a couple hours already but no one was responding, even now.
We whooped back and forth a few times and I realized it was my 18 year old son. I saw his light coming down the road and felt that great feeling of knowing all was well. He was alone and come to see what was going on. My wife was worried sick about me when I didn’t contact her at all and didn’t arrive home on time. I briefed my son what all happened and that I didn’t think I walk out and a snowmobile was probably my only way out and the only thing getting back to me. He said that if my wife didn’t hear from him by 2330 she was call my buddy thats in charge of the county rescue team. He hunts my baits and so he knows the area very well.
It’s now after 2230 and a 2.1 mile walk back in the near dark was looking more and more like a reality. My son tried to get the ATV unstuck but it was frozen to the snow. I was of no help to him. He took my backpack and chainsaw while I took the shovel as a crutch. We decided either I stayed the night here and tried in the morning to get it out or I suck it up and hike it out. We decided to get the heck outta dodge. I told my so to just go on ahead and contact his mom as quickly as he could that I was alive but a bit banged up. So he took off back towards the truck where he had to drive another 10 miles to get a cell signal. I decided to just leave the ATV burrows in the snow and come back in a few days when I could. I walk out on the crusty but stable snow the best I could alone. My son got word to my wife and then he drove back and once again hiked back to meet me and help me out. I’d only made it about 3/4 of a mile at this point. It took me about 1.5 hours to walk that 2.1 miles. It was well after midnight when I got to my truck. I then had another 45 minute drive back home.
I’m very tired and sore today. My wrist and knee still hurt. I’m trying to find someone with a snowmobile to go back and help me get it out this weekend. If I can’t I’ll have to let it sit until the snow melts enough I can actually drive it out.
So with last years incident I learned a lot and said I’d never be unprepared like that again. After yesterday I know now I must wait later in the season or get ahold of a snow noble to use. I was prepared and perfectly content to stay the night in the snow if I had to. I’m glad I didn’t. I’m now really thinking about investing in one of those InReach devices so I have a real means to contact my wife and or call for help. I was far worse off last year than this time around. I played it safe and wasn’t pushing myself to exhaustion either. I guarantee that for awhile yesterday I was the only human within 50 miles.
Ok now that this long winded story is over and your 6-pack is gone I’ll post more picks of the days adventure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Some moose tracks and what I believe to be large coyote tracks. If not a small wolf but I’ve not seen wolf tracks in the wild before.
Sky Plant Snow Tree Branch


Sky Cloud Plant Snow Natural landscape

Sky Snow Plant Automotive tire Tree

Tire Snow Sky Vehicle Automotive tire

Tire Wheel Snow Vehicle Plant

Plant Nature Snow Automotive tire Sky

Snow Ash Asphalt Road surface Wood
 

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Holy crap! you need to quit going solo and take someone else with a backup 4 wheeler with you that has a winch or at least a long rope to drag you out.
Your lucky it wasn't worse.
 
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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
My wife said the same thing. I told her I had lessons learn last year and applied those this time however the big lesson is I need to wait later in the season to try and go in. No more trying it on the ATV I’ve the snow. I’m greedy in that I want to get them out as soon as I can to maximize the soak time so to speak. It won’t happen again yesterday year that for sure. This ATV has a winch on it but it doesn’t work. Wouldn’t have helped much anyway.
My oldest son and I are going up at dawn on Sunday to try and get it out while the snows hard. Have a good cold front coming in tomorrow night.

Nevertheless I’m really looking at one of those InReach devices. Keeping my whits and having the necessary tools on hand, minus a flashlight/ headlamp, I was in no danger of exposure to the elements. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day and night weather wise.
 

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If your atv has a winch that works, this is how you get out when there is no tree to tie off too. I carry one and a hundred foot hank of 3000lb nylon rope in my 4 wheeler to get out of mud holes. Small ones ATV sized can be bought online. They work.

Scale Art Drawing Aluminium Metal
 
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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
If your atv has a winch that works, this is how you get out when there is no tree to tie off too. I carry one and a hundred foot hank of 3000lb nylon rope in my 4 wheeler to get out of mud holes. Small ones ATV sized can be bought online. They work.

View attachment 8077
I have one of those anchors in my garage. My son found it at the lake last year after the water level dropped so low. Never thought of that before. That’s a great idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
I’m thinking you need a snow cat! Glad you are safe. Staying put and building a fire was a smart thing to do. I don’t have to tell you, but there’s been a lot of dead people who would be alive today if they had built a fire and stayed put.


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Every year people go missing and are never found around here. Many die from exposure and being ill prepared. I don’t wanna be one of those statistics. I’d rather pack extra weight from survival gear than not have it.
More lessons learned that I’ll apply in the future like just waiting another week or two in the season before making an attempt. I will go Sunday at dawn to try and get it out with my oldest son. Cold front Saturday night should have the snow nice and firm.

I’d love a snow mobile or a tracked ATV but I want a camper first. Glad I have good friends that let me borrow stuff.
 

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I have one of those anchors in my garage. My son found it at the lake last year after the water level dropped so low. Never thought of that before. That’s a great idea.
Don't ask me about the mess I had to get out of to finally figure something out.
Ok, I'll tell.
Was down on the river behind our range. Lots of silt from a flood, but it appeared dry. The crust was dry, but the muck underneath was about 3' deep. The 4 wheeler dropped to the bottom. I was three feet from the end, so got up on the seat and over the front to jump to dry ground. My 3500 lb winch has 50' of cable with a 15' remote cable to operate the winch with. After stretching everything out including the hand of rope, I was a foot away from any anchor point. Wandered up and down the bank until finding what was an old axle shaft and a piece of iron to drive it in with. (lots of oil field and drilling in this area back in the day)
Winched myself out and thought about the boat anchor thing. Used it once at Little Sahara State park when getting into some loose blow sand and sticking it again. Stretched out the anchor and pulled it right out.
 
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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Wonder how it would work in snow.. still an ingenious idea.
 

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Every year people go missing and are never found around here. Many die from exposure and being ill prepared. I don’t wanna be one of those statistics. I’d rather pack extra weight from survival gear than not have it.
More lessons learned that I’ll apply in the future like just waiting another week or two in the season before making an attempt. I will go Sunday at dawn to try and get it out with my oldest son. Cold front Saturday night should have the snow nice and firm.

I’d love a snow mobile or a tracked ATV but I want a camper first. Glad I have good friends that let me borrow stuff.
If you have extra dry clothes with you can always put them on. If you don't pack any extra you can't put it on.

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
If you have extra dry clothes with you can always put them on. If you don't pack any extra you can't put it on.

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I had extra clothes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Son and I hit the road at 0600 for the retrieval mission. Had about 1/2” of fresh snow about 2/3 of the way down. Roads were nice and icy as well. Made it to the snow line about 0700. Snow was nice and hard for the ride in. The ATV was frozen solid to the ground when we arrived. Took us about 20 min to dig it out and get it un high centered. Once broke free and up out of the hole it was smooth riding back out. Wasn’t gonna go play around today. In and out was the mission for us. Took a few more pics.
You can see the pine bow bed I made and was resting on next to the fire pit. Someone will have some cut wood come melt off.
Tire Wheel Plant Snow Vehicle

Tire Wheel Snow Sky Vehicle

Snow Plant Branch Twig Natural landscape

Sky Plant Snow Tree Natural landscape

Snow Tire Automotive tire Wheel Vehicle

Sky Snow Cloud Vertebrate Tree
 

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Good to see your mobile enough to get out for the recovery mission. Looks cold!
 
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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Good to see your mobile enough to get out for the recovery mission. Looks cold!
Wrist is better today. Knee is still telling me I’m old. I did have it wrapped. It was 19* on the truck temp gauge when we unloaded to go in. Probably single digit with the wind chill. Still a nice spring day. Not liking the forecast of up to 6” of snow later in the week. Not going to help melt things off that’s for sure. I’m just glad to get the ATV out and back to my place in one piece.
 

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Wrist is better today. Knee is still telling me I’m old. I did have it wrapped. It was 19* on the truck temp gauge when we unloaded to go in. Probably single digit with the wind chill. Still a nice spring day. Not liking the forecast of up to 6” of snow later in the week. Not going to help melt things off that’s for sure. I’m just glad to get the ATV out and back to my place in one piece.
So I'm not the only one nursing a wrist injury:D ?

Fell two weeks ago over the drilling pile i was cutting. Managed to fall into a stack of pipes. Fortunately the steel in those pipes broke my fall from hitting that nasty grassy dirt that would have likely left me injured.

Have a pretty good lump still sticking out.

Can't shoot pistols worth a crap right now.

My love life is also suffering:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
So I'm not the only one nursing a wrist injury:D ?

Fell two weeks ago over the drilling pile i was cutting. Managed to fall into a stack of pipes. Fortunately the steel in those pipes broke my fall from hitting that nasty grassy dirt that would have likely left me injured.

Have a pretty good lump still sticking out.

Can't shoot pistols worth a crap right now.

My love life is also suffering:D
I injured mine in a work related altercation. I don’t recommend hammer fisting a 55 gal plastic trash can out of the air.
I then dislocated my right thumb twice while doing Krav Maga training like 2 weeks ago. 300 pounds landing on your hand will make a thumb do funny things. Oh and getting your thumb caught in the trigger guard is a bad idea as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Well made another attempt this morning to get a bait in. Several more inches of fresh snow from the storm the other day. Made it about 2 miles in before the snow just got too soft. Tried walking in with the jet sled but was sinking to my knees. Turned around and came on home. Wasn’t worth getting stuck or a 4 mile round trip on foot. Even the light ATV my son was using was getting bogged down and stuck. Saw about 37 elk and probably 100 antelope. Was a nice morning nevertheless.


With the move coming and work I think my spring season is a long shot but we shall see.
Sky Cloud Hood Vehicle Road surface

Sky Vehicle Snow Wheel Cloud

Sky Cloud Natural landscape Formation Grassland

Sky Cloud Snow Asphalt Slope

Tire Sky Vehicle Wheel Snow
 
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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
At least the views were nice!
Weather was probably too nice as well. I know now I need to befriend someone with a snow mobile for next year. Lows near freezing and high in upper 50’s to low 60’s for the next week. No precipitation in the forecast.
 
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