My stolen Hunt

Mnbearhunter123

Active Member
Messages
313
From the Idaho Forum....

Welp, I was very lucky to draw an Idaho bull tag this year. I was familiar with a few drainages and was super excited for the hunt.

On October 10th, My buddy and I hiked camp in 7 miles up a drainage. It rained that first night but my expectations were very high for the week. Besides the elk tag, we had two general Deer tags and 8 days planned to be up there.

The second evening found us above a big group of elk still bugling and chasing cows. This hunt to me wasn't about holding out for a monster, so the first bull that came out I took. A nice 5x5. After my shot, a big 320-330 bull walked out to the same spot and pushed cows for 10 minutes. hahaha. Lucky bull! It was pretty fun watching him. My buddy and I were stoked. We had a bull down and 6 more days to chase deer!

It was getting dark fast and was plenty cold enough so we decided to wait to do the cutting in the morning. I tagged the bull and left my kill kit, a knife, and a new set of caribou game bags next to the elk. Again, we were 7 miles deep and the bull was up on a bench 250-300 yards off the trail.

The next morning came with some sleety weather so we decided on a gentleman start to the day. We got ready to leave camp around 8:30 to go quarter up the bull and get it down to the trail. Just then a guy walked up. He seemed nice enough. He said he saw us shoot and made a weird comment about me shooting the wrong bull. He then apologized for camping so close to us for the night, though I never saw his camp or any evidence of it during later investigation. He also asked if we would be packing meat out that day. He said he and his buddy were going further up the drainage. I wished him luck and off we went to my bull.

When we arrived at my bull something was off. We first noticed that a bunch of hair had been scrapped or pulled away from the bullet hole. Then realized... All of my gear was gone. Instantly, we thought about the guy weirdly asking if we would be packing meat. I had left my gun, optics, G7 and all our other gear at camp.
Luckily, my buddy had his knife and some deer bags along. So I got to quartering and he ran back to camp to check on and grab all the gear he could load in his pack.

I don't know what we would have done if we didn't have the extra knife or if I would have been there alone. There is no way I could have hiked 7 miles out, driven the hour to town, bought new gear, and hiked back in without the bull very likely spoiling in the afternoon sun on the hillside.

I was able to make quick work of the bull and we got it hung up down by they creek. Our attention then turned to our camp. If a guy is willing to steal $120 worth of gear on his way into a drainage to hunt what would he be willing to steal on his way out of the drainage. We decided we couldn't risk staying in the area. What the hell would we do if we get back to camp at 9p wet and cold and our, tent, wood stove, or sleeping gear is gone!? So we packed up camp and pulled out.

The next day we were able to hike in and get the bull out in one long miserable (but rewarding) trip.

There was only us and that guy and his buddy in that drainage those 2 days. He saw us shoot the bull.

Here's the interesting nugget.... He signed his name at the trail head log-in sheet and his truck was parked next to mine. "Public land" sticker my a**.

Plan B's rarely pan out and unfortunately we weren't able to have much of a deer hunt for the remainder of our trip.

He didn't just steal our gear.. he stole our hunt.
 

SlowElk

Active Member
Messages
176
Makes you wonder about people. Makes me angry that anyone would do that to a fellow hunter! But then, is that person a hunter?????
 

DesertRanch

Active Member
Messages
308
Totally NOT your fault. What I’ve decided as I age is that people as a whole are just scum. They are lazy, unethical, dishonest and selfish. It use to be a small part of society was that way in the “Sportsman world”. NOT ANY MORE. Finding decent people is the exception anymore. I’m sorry that your stuff was stolen and your experience soured by a walking piece of garbage. Best of luck to ya the rest of this year. If you ever find out who the guys were call me. I’ll bring up a horse and a rope and drag the bastards through a cactus patch for ya.
 

DH56

Active Member
Messages
142
Agree with Desert Ranch- good honest people today are few and far between. I'm no spring chicken either but it has changed over the years. I do run into good people but not as often. It's a shame, but it's not your fault. I would have offered to help at the very least.
 

Mnbearhunter123

Active Member
Messages
313
I do have his name. And did fill out a sheriff report but that probably won't do much.... it didn't take much to figure out who he is and where he works. I'm planning on getting a hold of him this week and hearing "his story" before I disclose who he is and what fly fishing guide service he owns and operates.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
6,922
This post is not for the poster. He had something terrible happen to him and I wish him well.

This is for others reading this who might think it is ok to leave an animal overnight without at least gutting him. In my opinion, it is not. I happen to know a little bit about that kind of thing, as I am a veterinarian. And my Dad was also a vet who worked in meat inspection. Elk are big and well insulated animals and they do not cool well with the hide on regardless of the overnight temp. And bacteria will start to move out of the gut into other tissues and muscle within 6 hours. So while his meat might be fit to eat, I would wonder if the taste of some cuts (blackstrap especially) might be a little off. And I would not eat any cuts from the elk that weren’t well done.

Again, what happened to him was awful. I have had hunting stuff stollen by some dirt bags too ($3100 worth) Last year, and it leaves you sick to your stomach. I had that same feeling for him reading about his loss. Wishing you good hunts ahead.
 

cbat

Active Member
Messages
368
I feel for you. I get nervous every time we park on a logging road and walk in somewhere. We have to carry chainsaws and such stuff because of blown down trees blocking you in at times. People are not trustworthy at all these days.
 

elkchaserreturns

Active Member
Messages
189
Every time I read a thread like this it makes my blood boil! Like Mnbearhunter, we have had a few items stolen over the years, but we have never been able to track down the dirtbags that did it.
To be honest, I am afraid of what I would do if I actually caught someone in the act of stealing from me, , , , , in the woods or anywhere else. Sorry for the way your hunt turned Mnbearhunter.
 

heywouldya

Active Member
Messages
514
It sucks that those type of "hunters" are out there. It would have been awkward if he returned to his truck and had a few valve stems removed from his trucks tires.
Anyway, congrats on your bull, and let us know how your talk with the guy goes.
 

brettguymon

Member
Messages
57
That sucks for sure. I might be walking around with my head stuck in the sand. I guess I generally trust folks to be decent. I know there are some dirtbags out there, but I try to think there are a lot more upstanding folks on the mtn. Ive had packed in camps left for a few weeks and never had them bothered. It will probably bite me in the tush one of these days....
 

AZ8

Active Member
Messages
205
Sucks to hear this. It’s always on my mind when I’m returning back to camp, albeit my camp is on a forest service road so a higher chance of theft.

I leave in the dark and come back in the dark and when I turn the corner and still see my camp, it’s a relief!
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
6,922
“ It was getting dark fast and was plenty cold enough so we decided to wait to do the cutting in the morning. I tagged the bull and left my kill kit, a knife, and a new set of caribou game bags next to the elk”

Maybe, but he has had ample opportunity to set me straight if that is the case. He visited this site this morning. Hope I am wrong.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
6,922
“ When we arrived at my bull something was off. We first noticed that a bunch of hair had been scrapped or pulled away from the bullet hole.”

That sounds like some kind of critter going after the blood at the bullet hole.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
6,922
It could be just lack of knowledge. There are too many shows on TV today that shoot at dark and wait until the next morning to look for the animal. They make it seem the norm. That might work SOMETIMES for a whitetail, but with the body size and thick winter hair coat of an elk, even a 15 degree night would not be cold enough to chill out muscles or keep bacteria from spreading before morning.
 

Mnbearhunter123

Active Member
Messages
313
25 or so years ago my dad and his buddies found a guy dead next to a bull in wyoming with a knife in his femoral. He's also lost one child already due to a tragic accident that I'm not going to get into. I have a deal with him that when I'm deep in the back country, I don't mess with knives in the dark on a steep slope, if the conditions allow for a morning recovery. In 20 years of hunting I've left one mule deer and now one elk overnight. It's not a habit of mine. It was going to dip into the 20s and forecasted snow. The meat was not at risk of spoilage overnight and it did not. I think you're focusing on the wrong aspect tx.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
6,922
No, I gave the theft its due. I had much more than you stolen (including some swaro binocs), so I know how it feels. But it didn't ruin my hunt. it was one of the best hunts I have been on in a long time. Losing what you lost would not constitute a "stolen hunt" in my mind. A MAJOR inconvenience for sure.

"The next morning came with some sleety weather so we decided on a gentleman start to the day. We got ready to leave camp around 8:30"

I can understand your concerns for safety, but with 2 guys and good lights, you could have at least gutted the bull or been back there at first light. And no, your meat is not fine. There will be some bacteria in some of the meat (that is a fact, not conjecture) and probably some taste issues. The delay in gutting/quartering plus packing it out 7 miles means there would certainly be some bacterial contamination/growth. Please cook it well done to be safe.
 

SWAGshootn

Active Member
Messages
120
Wow... I think it’s a little dramatic to say your hunt was stolen. Your title is on point for some good click bait. And like most of us here, you got me.
But indulge me for a moment. Have you ever watched someone kill the wrong bull or buck before? Did you go and steal his stuff? If your intent was to steal his stuff, would you walk thru his camp and announce it? Would you sign the ledger? Seems you lack proof of whom you can blame. Suspicious... Yes. I applaud you for at least having a conversation with this person to find out what they know.
Like most things happening in the world and politics these days, we jump to conclusions without knowing all the facts to justify our feelings or position.

Like I have heard a person say, “Had to leave you hunt area because of some shady shiz? GOOD! More opportunity to seek out and learn a new area”

All about perspective
 

Arrowelk

Member
Messages
34
I just can't be on board with not gutting a bull, especially since you got to it that night. I can't see how being dark makes it that much more risky.
I also, by the description in the story don't think that it was for sure that guy that stole your stuff. I have seen bears do stuff that I would have swore was just to be a jerk.... Yotes will also do some funny things. Heck, even a Raven or Pack rat would steal some game bags and a shiny or stinky knife and be tickled pink with themselves!!!
even if i thought some A hole stole some of my stuff, no way am i packing up and leaving if i have a pocket full of tags and time off of work!.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
6,922
I agree. If I tagged out I would stay in camp to guard our stuff and let my friend hunt on his own. I would not allow someone to run me out of that area

I also had the same idea about animals. Especially since the hide was disturbed at the bullet wound. A friend had a cabin that a pack rat got into his basement. That critter had hammers And an assortment of other tools and buckets of paint pulled into his “nest”. And that is at close to 10,000 ft!

And a dead elk and something about Human odor attracts bears. I have had bears mess with trail cameras, and rip up a strap-on seat attached to a tree. I assume they associate the scent with food
 
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BLooDTRaCKeR

Very Active Member
Messages
1,247
Yep, I always think about my camp before I leave for the day hunting. I wonder what I’ll come back to at the end of the day. So far, in all my years of hunting, I have never had my camps messed with. Not to say it will not happen in my lifetime because I hear of stories of stolen gear all of the time.

I have found abandoned camps before. I left everything as it was because I would want someone else to have mercy on me if I had an emergency and had to leave my camp for a few weeks......or whatever the reason was.

this year, we had visitors come to our camp while we were hauling meat off the mountain. Apparently these kids saw us kill the bull. Somehow they knew where we were camped and before leaving the area, they stopped in at our camp while we were gone, left 3 blocks of ice with a note that said congratulations.

these were young kids. Maybe 20? Maybe not even 20. They did nothing to our camp but left us some ice and a note!

I was floored when I realized who did it! Those kid’s parents raised em right!

I wish and hope more parents teach their kids to respect others as these three did!
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
6,922
It is pretty unusual that a person who would hike in 7 miles would be a thief. They come in all varieties though, and we can always blame it on Covid!
 

Bluehair

Very Active Member
Messages
1,925
I agree. If I tagged out I would stay in camp to guard our stuff and let my friend hunt on his own. I would not allow someone to run me out of that area

I also had the same idea about animals. Especially since the hide was disturbed at the bullet wound. A friend had a cabin that a pack rat got into his basement. That critter had hammers And an assortment of other tools and buckets of paint pulled into his “nest”. And that is at close to 10,000 ft!

And a dead elk and something about Human odor attracts bears. I have had bears mess with trail cameras, and rip up a strap-on seat attached to a tree. I assume they associate the scent with food
Yeah, that SOB could have packed all your gear out and half the elk. Except for the part where I ruthlessly murdered that freaking kangaroo. ;)
 

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