It’s was mid April of 2013 and was time to get out of the house, strap on my pack and start scouting! The warm weather was quickly melting the snow pack and I planned on trying to hike into the lower end of the Deer and Elk summer range. This was a quick 2 day trip and I saw a lot of animals along the road on the way up. It was clear they were in the midst of migrating up higher. Along the way in the bare dirt turned to snow and I stopped seeing animals. I knew there would probably be nothing up high, but out of thoroughness I wanted to check anyways to get a better idea of just how the migration goes.
There was a little bit of burn off on the southerly slopes where I was at about 7000 feet, but the spring growth really had not began yet. The spring growth is really what they are following up, not necessarily the snowline. The snow had just melted in the last couple of days and the areas of bare soil had lots of seedlings sprouting. The feed will be prime in a couple of weeks.
Up on the ridge I like to glass from there is still a pretty good base of snow. I was hoping for some bare dry dirt to set up on but that wasn’t going to happen that high up. So I go ahead and set up my Supertarp, Annex, and Parastove for the night. Stakes don’t work in this situation so i use branches.
My sleep set up for the night consists of a Kifaru Super Tarp, Annex, Parastove, a Neoair sleeping pad, Montbell pillow, and a 0 degree Kifaru Slick bag. The temperature was expected to get down into the low 30’s with a chance of snow.
After setting up camp, it was time for some evening glassing! These are the kind of conditions where you want to wear your rain gear to keep you dry while sitting in the snow. The slope I was checking out was mostly free of snow, but the game animals had not migrated up this far yet. I didn’t see anything! Last season there were a few Bucks living on it, but nothing big.
Snow came in that night and the next morning I packed up camp and headed out.
On the way home I stopped and glassed down lower near the road and saw a few Deer and Elk.
I think I will scout a little lower in elevation on the next trip!